SOLVED Apple Mail stopped working on El Capitan 10.11.6 on iMac


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Apple Mail has simply stopped working. I was on with Apple tech support yesterday for a while. We restarted the iMac in safe mode, but that didn't fix the problem, nor did anything else work. The upshot is that I might need to reinstall the OS to maybe get Mail to work again. I do not want to upgrade to another OS because the programs I use may not work on them except maybe, possibly Sierra. At one point today I was able to open Mail by clicking on a saved message, but then it crashed again. The icon in the dock has a grey circle with a black dot in it at the bottom right of the icon instead of a black dot beneath it. Does that tell you anything except that there's a problem? I never discussed this with Apple, but is there any chance that deleting a .plist file for Mail might fix it? What do you think the chances are that reinstalling the OS will get Mail back? What unintended consequences might/will there be? I have Time Machine as my backup. I am not totally without mail since I can get and send it through Earthlink's WebMail, but it's clunky, and I can't save messages from it to my hard drive unless I do a screen save. There's no drag and drop in it. This newbie to the Forum thanks you in advance for any suggestions or comments.
 
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Apple Mail has simply stopped working. I was on with Apple tech support yesterday for a while. We restarted the iMac in safe mode, but that didn't fix the problem, nor did anything else work. The upshot is that I might need to reinstall the OS to maybe get Mail to work again. I do not want to upgrade to another OS because the programs I use may not work on them except maybe, possibly Sierra. At one point today I was able to open Mail by clicking on a saved message, but then it crashed again. The icon in the dock has a grey circle with a black dot in it at the bottom right of the icon instead of a black dot beneath it. Does that tell you anything except that there's a problem? I never discussed this with Apple, but is there any chance that deleting a .plist file for Mail might fix it? What do you think the chances are that reinstalling the OS will get Mail back? What unintended consequences might/will there be? I have Time Machine as my backup. I am not totally without mail since I can get and send it through Earthlink's WebMail, but it's clunky, and I can't save messages from it to my hard drive unless I do a screen save. There's no drag and drop in it. This newbie to the Forum thanks you in advance for any suggestions or comments.
Have you considered trying another EMail program? I've never used Apple Mail, as I've read too many horror stories that a number of folks have had with it. I use Thunderbird, and while it is not as "sexy" looking as other EMail clients, it works flawlessly. And it's free.
 
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I've never had any issue with Apple Mail before in all the years I've been using it. But I'll definitely check out Thunderbird if it's not going to be difficult configuring it. Thank you for the suggestion, Marty.
 
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I've never had any issue with Apple Mail before in all the years I've been using it. But I'll definitely check out Thunderbird if it's not going to be difficult configuring it. Thank you for the suggestion, Marty.
It's been a few years for me, but after having a serious issue with Microsoft Outlook 2016, I was able to successfully "migrate" everything over to Thunderbird without a hitch. And setting it up to work with my ISP was painless.

Not sure if there are different versions of it. I am running the latest Mac OS, Catalina, OS 10.15.7, and I thus use the latest version of Catalina. But it looks like even the latest version is compatible with OS 10.9.x and above, so you should be fine.
 
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Thank you again, Marty. I've downloaded Thunderbird but haven't yet installed it, but I will. Here's hoping!
 
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Good luck! Let us know how it goes.
Because I had other Apple issues that I was trying to resolve this past week, I decided to ask for an escalation to a senior adviser. The one I was lucky enough to get hold of today was able, in just one hour, to laser-focus into exactly what needed to be done, through screen sharing on my computer and on my phone, to restore Apple Mail and get my iPhone back communicating with my iMac and able to use iTunes for backups, without having to upgrade my iMac's OS. Whew! I'll keep Thunderbird in my downloads folder just in case, but I really like Apple Mail and hope it'll stay functional. Thanks again for your suggestions.
 
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PS: With a stroke of luck, Apple Mail loaded when I got on the phone with the senior adviser. It turned out that one of my mail accounts was the culprit. I uninstalled and reinstalled it, and everything worked fine afterwards.
 
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I downloaded it only. I really like Apple Mail and hope it stays working. If not, I've got Thunderbird right in my Downloads folder.
 

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