Mailboxes becoming Corrupted (Apple Mail with IMAP)
Problem reported by Scarab - 1/27/2016 at 11:17 AM
We are running SmarterMail Enterprise v14.3.5752 and  we've had multiple email accounts recently have their email folders corrupted (we've never had this happen before). We have traced the common thread to Apple Mail clients using IMAP ever since the last MacOS X update.
The symptoms are that the IMAP connection times out or keeps repeatedly downloading the same emails over and over. The user can logon to their web-based mail but when they go to their Inbox or other corrupted folders the loading screen spins and spins and it never displays. Their account is generally listed in the Indexing Status which never finishes.
What we have done for these accounts is as follows:
  1. Stop the Indexing Service
  2. Delete the contents of their \Index folder
  3. Go to RESTORE and choose REBUILD FOLDER
  4. Enter their email address and enter the folder name
  5. Repeat for any additional folders that are corrupted
  6. Restart the Indexing Service.

Granted this isn't difficult to do, and doesn't adversely affect other users on the server when it needs to be done, but when it occurs frequently (two to three times a day) it starts to become a support headache (we've had a couple where the damage was so extensive we had to delete the contents of their \Mail\ folders and restore from backup and use the Attach Folder function of Restore).

Just curious if anyone else has been experiencing this or knows of an Apple Mail setting that can be made to prevent causing Mailbox corruption. We have begun suggesting to our customers experiencing this to disable IMAP IDLE in Apple Mail and increase the frequency at which Apple Mail checks for new messages (to either 5 or 15 minutes) but only time will tell if these changes helps remedy the situation.

4 Replies

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Brian Davidson Replied
I know this is an old message now but we're having similar issues with one mailbox, where messages in Apple Mail appear mixed up - the subject line is for one message, and the body is simply the code of another message. Rebuilding Apple Mail and attempting to completely reset Mail have not worked. The same message works fine in IOS Mail or Outlook.
Nothing seems to work and it's becoming more and more serious. It started with an occasional message, but now it's happening regularly.
Paul Blank Replied
Apple mail can be very odd stuff. Try creating a new user on the same or different Mac, and installing Mail there for the account in question. If the problem goes away, you'll want to remove as many traces as possible of the Apple Mail installation/data from the affected user's original login, and start again.
Merle Wait Replied
Totally un-related to the above.. but not... How do you budget that type of support into your charges or cost?? Have spent several hours.. working on Apple / Mac related issue(s) in the past.. and the hours of support can get out of hand.
Paul Blank Replied
That's always a big question. I have no good answer.

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