Problem With Flagged eMails

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This just started. The screen snippet below shows there is 1 flagged email, but as can clearly be seen, there are 0 flagged messages. If I flag a previously unflagged email (so that now there is only one email actually flagged), the count changes from 1 to 2. Unflagging the email returns the flagged count to 1.

This is not a big deal, there is no impact on functionality, but it is a visual irritant. Is there a way to clear this condition? I'm running Catalina 10.15.7.
 

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Hey @37Shannon

That does sound like a quirky little bug—annoying though it might not hinder your workflow! It seems like there might be a miscommunication or glitch in the indexing of flagged emails within your Mail app. Here’s a simple approach to try and resolve this visual glitch:

  1. Rebuild Mailbox: Often, rebuilding the mailbox can help clear up issues where counts and actual emails don't line up.
    • Open the Mail app.
    • Select the mailbox that seems to be having the issue.
    • Go to the Mailbox menu at the top and select "Rebuild".
    • This process might take some time depending on the size of your mailbox.
  2. Restart Mail and Mac: Simple but sometimes incredibly effective. Close your Mail app, and restart your Mac. This can help reset the system's management of temporary files and caches.
  3. Reindex Spotlight: Since macOS uses Spotlight to index emails for quick searching, sometimes forcing a reindex can solve issues like yours.
    • Open System Preferences.
    • Go to Spotlight and select the Privacy tab.
    • Drag your hard drive icon from Finder into the list, then remove it. This forces Spotlight to reindex the drive, including emails.
  4. Check for Updates: Ensure that your system is up to date. Although you're on Catalina and might not want to move to a newer OS, checking for any incremental updates is always a good idea.
  5. Remove and Re-add Email Account: If none of the above works, consider removing your email account from the Mail app and re-adding it. This can often clear up odd bugs:
    • Go to System Preferences > Internet Accounts.
    • Select the account and click the "-" (minus) button to remove it.
    • Add it back by clicking the "+" (plus) button and following the prompts to re-add your email account.
While it might seem like a bit of a hassle to go through these steps for a visual irritant, getting it back to working normally without any misleading counts can sometimes make the email experience just a bit more pleasant. Let us know how it goes!
 
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  1. Rebuild Mailbox: Tried this, nothing appears to happen.
  2. Restart Mail and Mac: Tried this, problem remains.
  3. Reindex Spotlight: Tried this, problem remains.
  4. Check for Updates: I'm on Catalina 10.15.7, which is the most recent update for that OS. This problem did not initially occur with Catalina. Upgrading to a newer OS is out of the question at the moment due to equipment issues.
  5. Remove and Re-add Email Account: Tried this, problem remains.
 
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Hey @37Shannon

It sounds like you’ve been through the wringer with all the standard fixes and nothing’s worked so far. Here are a couple more things you might try, although we’re getting into less typical territory:
  1. Reset Mail Preferences: Sometimes, preferences files get corrupted. You can try resetting Mail’s preferences to see if it clears up the issue.
    • Quit Mail if it’s open.
    • Open Terminal and type:

      defaults delete com.apple.Mail
      This command will delete Mail's preference file, and it should recreate a default one when you open Mail again.
    • Open Mail and reconfigure any custom settings you had before.
  2. Look for Hidden Flags: Occasionally, emails might be flagged in a way that isn’t visible in the standard interface.
    • In Mail, try searching for the term flagged in the search bar to see if anything comes up that might not be showing under the usual flagged section.
  3. Console Logs: Check the Console app for any errors related to Mail around the time the issue occurs. This might provide clues if there’s an underlying problem not evident through normal troubleshooting.
    • Open Console (found in Applications > Utilities).
    • Look for any messages that occur at the time of Mail use, especially errors or warnings that might relate to Mail functionalities.
  4. Create a New User Account: This is a bit of a stretch but can help determine if the issue is systemic or user-specific. If you create a new user account on your Mac and set up Mail there, it can indicate whether the issue is tied to your current user profile.
    • Go to System Preferences > Users & Groups and create a new account.
    • Log into that account, set up Mail, and see if the issue persists there.
  5. Third-Party Mail Apps: If nothing else works and the issue is too bothersome, consider using a third-party email client. Some clients might handle flagging differently, or simply not encounter the same bug.
I realize these steps are more on the advanced side, but given everything you’ve tried, it might be worth exploring these less common solutions. Let me know how it goes, or if you decide to try something else entirely!
 

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