Each time I launch Mail.app on OS X 10.5.8 it crashes. It has been doing this for over a month. It has about 10 seconds before it locks up and crashes. Here's what I've done so far:

  • Restored ~/Library/Mail from Time Machine backup from when Mail was working
  • Run repair permission / check disk
  • Deleted the ~/Library/Mail folder
  • Removed both account (me.com and gmail)
  • Turned off the Junk Mail filter
  • turned off the Airport (internet)
  • removed the password from keychain
  • reported the problem to Apple about 100 times

Mail opens with two folders, no mail, and still crashes. I've deleted/reset everything I can think of. I don't have any plugins installed. The following is a crash report.

Process:         Mail [31563]
Path:            /Applications/Mail.app/Contents/MacOS/Mail
Identifier:      com.apple.mail
Version:         3.6 (936)
Build Info:      Mail-9360000~1
Code Type:       X86 (Native)
Parent Process:  launchd [71]

Interval Since Last Report:          718 sec
Crashes Since Last Report:           2
Per-App Interval Since Last Report:  92 sec
Per-App Crashes Since Last Report:   2

Date/Time:       2010-01-14 22:25:13.396 +1100
OS Version:      Mac OS X 10.5.8 (9L31a)
Report Version:  6
Anonymous UUID:  D505FC1F-648F-4800-BE55-75F1DCC719F1

Exception Codes: KERN_INVALID_ADDRESS at 0x00000000c5839a67
Crashed Thread:  9

Application Specific Information:
-[MailApp _synchronouslyTellSyncServicesToRegisterAndSync]

Thread 0:
0   libSystem.B.dylib               0x97111286 mach_msg_trap + 10
1   libSystem.B.dylib               0x97118a7c mach_msg + 72
2   com.apple.CoreFoundation        0x90d36e7e CFRunLoopRunSpecific + 1790
3   com.apple.CoreFoundation        0x90d37aa8 CFRunLoopRunInMode + 88
4   com.apple.HIToolbox             0x93dba2ac RunCurrentEventLoopInMode + 283
5   com.apple.HIToolbox             0x93dba0c5 ReceiveNextEventCommon + 374
6   com.apple.HIToolbox             0x93db9f39 BlockUntilNextEventMatchingListInMode + 106
7   com.apple.AppKit                0x961986d5 _DPSNextEvent + 657
8   com.apple.AppKit                0x96197f88 -[NSApplication nextEventMatchingMask:untilDate:inMode:dequeue:] + 128
9   com.apple.AppKit                0x96190f9f -[NSApplication run] + 795
10  com.apple.AppKit                0x9615e1d8 NSApplicationMain + 574
11  com.apple.mail                  0x000fc0b2 0x1000 + 1028274
  • Did you check for any Mail Plugins, or Input Managers that might be causing trouble? Check the logs. – Jeremy L Jan 10 '10 at 15:14
  • Is it possible to post a crash report? – Chealion Jan 10 '10 at 17:51
  • 1
    Might _synchronouslyTellSyncServicesToRegisterAndSync be referring to some iSync/MobileMe thingy (which then has its own settings in System Preferences)? Or did you ever hook up some mobile phone? And if you're really up for it: you might try using a different account, as suggested at forums.mactalk.com.au/11/… ... – Arjan Jan 14 '10 at 12:32
  • Is that the full crash report? Only information for Thread 0 is shown, and it looks like Thread 9 crashed. – mipadi Jan 14 '10 at 14:55

If you're deleting the ~/Library/Mail directory in order to reset mail, you won't really accomplish that unless you also delete ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.mail.plist

Do you have an IMAP or Exchange account? If so deleting both of those and redownloading your mail is the easiest option. Both me.com and gmail support IMAP, so hopefully you do.

If you have local mail downloaded from a POP account you can move the .mbox files from the ~/Library/Mail/Mailboxes directory that you restored from Time Machine into your newly created ~/Library/Mail/Mailboxes folder. Each of those folders would then need to be Rebuilt (an option in the Mailbox menu). You can only select one at a time unfortunately, but you can queue them up by selecting each in turn and choosing Rebuild and they will all complete one after another.

Nerdling is correct to point out that you could have an incompatible plug-in causing a crash, but removing ~/Library/Mail will uninstall all of them as they are located in ~/Library/Mail/Bundles. You can of course reinstall them one at a time after you are back up and running so if that was the problem you will know which one causes the crash.

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  • 1
    The plist file is likely what you need to get rid of. – churnd Jan 10 '10 at 17:06
  • Thanks. I deleted the plist, but it recreated it and still crashed. Yes, all the mail is backed up in an IMAP account, and I just can use the mail program locally. – brianegge Jan 14 '10 at 11:31
  • If you create a new user on your computer and set up Mail.app in that does it crash? I would also try setting up the accounts one at a time as there could be a malformed message in one of them that is causing the crash. Deleting mail from your webmail page that you received leading up to the start of this crash may solve it, and adding the accounts one at a time would let you figure out which account has the bad message. Don't forget to empty the junk folder as well. It is also worth your time to try running DiskWarrior and to reinstall the latest combo updater for your OS. – ridogi Jan 15 '10 at 3:53

Thanks for the comment Arjan. I reset the SyncService and it fixed the problem. I was able to restore all my mail.

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  • Glad it helped, and good you found that article. Too bad the Apple KB article doesn't even mention Mail. – Arjan Jan 15 '10 at 9:07

There is an option to 'rebuild' the mailbox under the Mailbox menu. Try that. I had this issue myself a time or two and I tried the those things you suggested along with the rebuild in various orders and eventually found the problem went away.

I don't know exactly which it was, but I didn't do anything (other than rebuild) that you haven't done yet.

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Is the log telling you anything? See Utilities » Console.

And just in case Mail is trying to send or fetch some message that is giving problems, you can enable logging of its communications with remote servers:

  • Stop Mail
  • Double-click the file /Library/Scripts/Mail Scripts/Turn on Logging.scpt
  • In AppleScript Editor, click the Play button (or choose menu Script » Run, or press ⌘R)
  • Choose "Enable socket logging for checking or sending mail: Both"
  • To view the log, use Utilities » Console

This will kind of flood the logs in Console, so use with care. When done investigating, simply restart Mail.

(The following won't help you, given your comment on ridogi's answer -- just for the archives then...)

Or: maybe you can find anything odd in the preference file? To dump the file to the command line, use:

plutil -convert xml1 -o - ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.mail.plist
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  • Thanks. Since I deleted the accounts from mail, it doesn't have any to fetch messages from. I tried the suggestion and no socket traffic occurred before the crash. Also, turning off the internet would have prevented a crash if it was related to the IMAP messages. – brianegge Jan 14 '10 at 11:27
  • Wow, you're right, I guess I missed parts of your question. Now reading the new info...:-) – Arjan Jan 14 '10 at 11:36

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