How to Fix: Mail App Issues on macOS Big Sur

macos big sur mail issue

If you have just installed macOS Big Sur, you will probably love all of the new features and integration it provides for your Mac.

This latest update has been eagerly anticipated for a while now, and it offers one of the most drastic changes to the Mac operating system in years.

There have been some issues reported with the Mail App, among other things upon installing Big Sur, however.

So let’s take a look here at how to fix these Mail issues so you can get everything operating exactly how you’d like to and take advantage of everything else Big Sur has to offer.

Why Am I Experiencing Mail App Issues after Installing macOS Big Sur?

There have been several different issues reported with the Mail app after installing macOS Big Sur.

Some people are experiencing outgoing mail not being delivered, while others are noticing that IMAP will time out when you attempt to login.

If you are experiencing any of these issues, or others related to the Mail app, it can be caused by bugs that still need to be worked out by Apple developers.

Let’s take a look at how to fix these issues in the meantime below.

Fix #1: Restart Your Mac

We will start with a basic fix that might help your problems with the Mail app. If you have just installed Big Sur and noticed issues with Mail, go ahead and restart your computer.

Oftentimes, this can fix some basic bugs and glitches that can occur when making a big update.

Once you have fully restarted your computer, attempt to login and access the Mail app again. If you are still experiencing issues, continue to the next fixes.

Fix #2: Launch Mail App From Applications Folder

If you are experiencing Mail app issues when trying to access the app from the Dock, you can try to access from the Applications folder instead.

You can do this by opening your Finder, selecting Applications on the left-hand side of the window, and then selecting Mail from the list of available apps.

If the Mail app seems to work after opening from the Applications folder, follow these steps to solidify the fix:

  1. Drag the Mail app icon out of the Dock and onto your Desktop. This will make a copy of the Mail icon appear on your Desktop.
  2. Once on the desktop, drag the Mail icon back into the Dock.
  3. Quit the Mail app if it is open.
  4. Attempt to open again from the Dock.
  5. If this doesn’t work, restart your computer and try the steps above another time.

Fix #3: Check Mail Connections

Another cause of problems with the Mail app after upgrading to Big Sur is missing Mail folders.

You can check on the Mail app connections to try and resolve this issue by following these steps:

  1. Launch the Mail app.
  2. Click on Window from the top menu bar.
  3. Select Connection Doctor from the drop-down menu.
  4. This will allow you to see if there are any connection issues with your mail accounts. If you see any issues, delete the account and then add it back into the system.
  5. This can fix the issue.

Fix #4: Resync IMAP

This fix can help if you notice the issue of no emails coming into your mailbox and can’t send any out either.

This can be caused by IMAP not syncing correctly. To fix this issue, follow these steps:

  1. Quit the Mail app.
  2. Open the Finder.
  3. Select Go from the top menu bar.
  4. Select Go to folder from the dropdown menu.
  5. Enter this text into the dialog box – /Users/your_profile/Library/Mail/IMAP-account_concerned/ *note that you should enter your actual profile name in the ‘your_profile’ section here.
  6. Find the hidden folder named .OfflineCache and then delete it.
  7. Launch the Mail app again to see if the problem is resolved.

Fix #5: Close Out of Mail Using Activity Monitor

Another fix you can try is to close out of the Mail app using the Activity Monitor rather than closing it through the app itself.

This can sometimes fix the issue of the Mail app running slowly or crashing. To use Activity Monitor to close the Mail app, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Finder.
  2. Locate the Utilities folder and open it.
  3. Select Activity Monitor.
  4. Click on the Mail app.
  5. Click on the X icon on the top left of the Activity Monitor window to close the Mail app.
  6. Attempt to open the Mail app again to see if this fixed the problem.

Fix #6: The Shift Open Fix

There is one last fix to try that has recently been reported in the Apple discussion forums.

It simply involves holding down the Shift key while you open up the Mail app.

One user said to open the Mail app while holding the Shift key and then quit the app.

Repeat this process another time and then restart your Mac. While this didn’t resolve every issue, it did work for some people experiencing issues with the Mail app.

Final Thoughts

The Mail app is a very useful feature of your Mac and you will want it to work properly.

If you are experiencing any issues with the Mail app after installing macOS Big Sur, run through all of the fixes listed here to see if you can fix the problem.

If not, you might need to contact Apple customer support for further instruction.

9 thoughts on “How to Fix: Mail App Issues on macOS Big Sur”

  1. OMG…it worked, thank you so much…option 6 that is. I have been having this issue since upgrading to Big Sur on Friday…mail not opening etc. But using shift open it works!!! And having done it, and restarted, it now operates normally. So much appreciation for whoever came up with this fix. Even the Apple Support Team were unable to help.

    Reply
  2. Hello from Sao Paulo! Deleting an email on my Ipad/ Iphone delete the email right away on my MacBook Pro. Now, deleting an email on my MacBook Pro does NOT delete emails on Iphone/ Ipad. Any recommendations?

    Reply
  3. I had 28,000 e-mails in archived and important folder dating back to 2018. I deleted these and all the e-mails that I had saved in folders were deleted also. Next, all 28,000 archived/important e-mails and folders came back. I changed some settings in mail preferences and deleted again. Now all 28,000 e-mails are in a trash folder and all my saved e-mails in folders are gone. Looks like this loss is permanent. When I delete an e-mail, it goes into important/archived folders and not into trash. Please tell me how to get rid of macOS Big Sur and go back to the previous operating system.

    Reply
  4. I could not figure out Fix #4 and I am a pretty IT savvy person. I didn’t see this folder anywhere in the folder the link took me to. Wish I had a better understanding of this one and why I am not seeing the offlinecache folder anywhere.

    Reply
  5. Was having spinning wheel of death in Mac Mail. Tried lots of things to fix it but nothing worked. Then tried your “hold down shift key” solution. It worked like a charm. Did it twice and then restarted Mac. Mail is now back to normal.
    Thanks for the great advice!
    James

    Reply

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