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Apple Mail will not open

Avatar Michael Corgan
My wife's MacBook Air, running High Sierra, has a problem with Mail. It would not respond when she was trying to forward an email. Re-starting the Macbook and trying to launch the app got the message "You can't open the application "Mail" because it is not responding".

One suggestion on line was to restart and then try to launch the app holding down the Shift key, but that didn't work. Another suggestion was to type Mail into Spotlight but this got the response "The application "Mail" is not open any more"

Has anybody had experience with this problem? Or more importantly, found a solution!

Re: Apple Mail will not open

Avatar Drew McFarlane
Yes Michael, on Wednesday evening I had a similar problem on both our 2010 MacBook Air and Pro running High Sierra.

I eventually deleted our email accounts (5) from both computers and reinstalled them an hour later, that worked for me.

Possibly a coincidence, however on Wednesday evening there was a power outing in parts of Bridport, as well as Bothenhampton, I believe Barrack Street and St Andrews Road were also affected. We were cut off twice in less than five minutes, and although both computers were on battery power everything else in the house was affected. Our newish MacBook, iPad and phone, all of which were dormant at the time were OK.

Re: Apple Mail will not open

Avatar Mick Burrell
If you have an app that is "not responding" it's best to force quit it before trying a restart. Also, I believe (can't remember where I read it) that a restart is not quite the same as a power button shut down followed by a power button start up.

Is it possible you restarted with the option to open current windows set?

Re: Apple Mail will not open

Avatar Michael Corgan
For no apparent reason the MacBook Air has returned to normal.
According to the Apple Support site, a possible method of dealing with the recalcitrant app was to restart in Safe Mode, which might solve the problem (whatever it was).

However the MBA wouldn't restart in Safe Mode. I dutifully held down the Shift key at the start-up chime, the thermometer gradually got to 95% and stopped. So I restarted normally. Mail launched and showed new incoming emails, but I was unable to enter anything in a new email. Restarted for a second time and this time the icon in the Dock didn't show the dot beneath it to indicate that the app had launched and the same happened when I launched Safari. Another couple of tries at Safe Mode with no result, so I gave up and restarted normally. And everything works. Incoming mails and outgoing. And the Dock is showing the dots.

Parenthetically, while I think that the problem arose from the power outages, as Drew's two laptops were similarly afflicted, neither my MacBook Pro, running Catalina, nor my ancient iMac, stuck on El Capitan, were affected.

Re: Apple Mail will not open

Avatar Michael Corgan
Oh, and before trying Safe Mode I did try Force Quitting Mail. It didn't budge, nor did any of the other apps shown as open.

Re: Apple Mail will not open

Avatar Tony Still
I suspect that Mail sometimes hangs because it has comms problems (which may be beyond your control). I have sometimes had success from turning off WiFi (on the menu bar) and then reconnecting a few seconds later.

In theory, this will reset any troublesome connections. In practice, it may just be a placebo. Rebuilding your mail boxes is another long shot: if Mail has borked its data structures and then got confused, it may help.

Re: Apple Mail will not open

Avatar Michael Corgan
Is it because I have updated the MacBook Air to Catalina that my wife's Google account in Mail is offline? - and I can't get it back on line by using the 'Take All Accounts Online" option in the Mailbox menu.option.

Can't get at the account set-up details either. Come back Entourage!

Suggestions welcome, as always.

Re: Apple Mail will not open

Avatar Mick Burrell
Modern IMAP accounts tend not to set up as they used to i.e. showing you the sever details. iCloud and Gmail being two like that, so I doubt you'd be able to set them up in Entourage if it did come back ;-)

Gmail could be POP but it's far more likely to be IMAP (check by sending an email from one device that's working and seeing if it appears in the sent box of another). If it is, you could delete the account and set it up again and Mail will follow the correct procedures.
 
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