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Mail gets improvements in 10.9.2, but some users still have trouble — how about you?

On Tuesday Apple pushed live OS X Mavericks 10.9.2. Among the changes are improvements to Apple's Mail app. Apple's certainly moved Mail in the right direction, but it hasn't solved everyone's problems. Are you one of them?

Mail has had a tough row to hoe since the release of Mavericks last October. Users with Gmail accounts in particular have had loads of problems right from the start, not the least of which are exacerbated by Gmail's non-standard implementation of the IMAP protocol.

Apple soon released a Mavericks Mail update that was meant to the address the problem. Then Apple released OS X 10.9.1 in January, and that was supposed to help Gmail users especially, but they soon found that problems persisted.

10.9.2 tackles head-on many of the problems Mavericks users have had with Mail. Among the fixes in 10.9.2, according to Apple:

  • Includes general improvements to the stability and compatibility of Mail
  • Improves the accuracy of unread counts in Mail
  • Resolves an issue that prevented Mail from receiving new messages from certain providers
  • Improves VoiceOver navigation in Mail and Finder
  • Improves compatibility with Gmail Archive mailboxes
  • Includes improvements to Gmail labels

That all sounds promising, if, in some cases, maddeningly vague. Only two of these line items mention Gmail specifically, but some of the others (like Mail receiving new messages) were certainly problems that Gmail users encountered. Apple's wording suggests that the fixes weren't Gmail-specific, but perhaps were related to other problems.

Prior to 10.9.2's release, I was having trouble with Mail not retrieving e-mails in a timely fashion from Gmail accounts. I would also have pretty consistent trouble simply quitting Mail — it would hang when doing routine maintenance on various mailboxes prior to quitting. So I was quite anxious to give 10.9.2 a try as soon as it was available. As near as I can tell, the update has corrected the problems I was having.

Alas, not everyone is having the same positive experience. Users on Twitter and various support forums — including Apple's own support forums — report issues with Mail, including hanging when checking Gmail accounts, management of messages in Smart Folders, crashing and other issues that haven't been resolved after applying the 10.9.2 update. In some cases users have deleted and recreated their IMAP accounts, which has fixed problems for some but not for others.

Joe Kissell has been out in front of Mavericks Gmail trouble from the start. And he's documented a number of Mail app changes for Gmail which he's discovered in 10.9.2, so make sure to check out TidBITS.

In the interim, what's your experience with the Mail app in OS X 10.9.2? Has it fixed your issues or are you still having trouble? Let me know in the comments — I want to hear from you.

30 Comments
  • My gmail accounts are retrieving correctly now, but my smart folders are not updating in a timely manner….
  • I can quit much easier now, which I find myself often doing because I am really fed up with this [mail] client. I have reverted back to Outlook.
  • I haven't had any Gmail issues for a while now. I tend to use Gmail like regular mail anyway, so I'm likely not at the spearhead of pain :)
  • I don't use Gmail, but my gripe has been that Mavericks broke Rules in Mail when it was released. That's finally been addressed and fixed (at least insomuch as they are now moving—and not just copying—incoming mail into the specified folders).
  • "Has it fixed your issues or are you still having trouble? Let me know in the comments — I want to hear from you." Uh, well. Where do I start... I am not using Gmail and I am using Mavericks since the first developer beta. I did not have a single problem until yesterday (my mail rules worked, my smart folders were updated instantly etc.). 10.9.2 deactivated three of my IMAP accounts (I could add them again manually though), smart folder content and badge counts are completely messed up, several self-signed SMTP certificates (previously working) are now rejected (I can accept them manually, but it does not stick, they all get rejected again when I restart Mail), the update did also kill all Mail plug-ins for no reason – reinstalling identical versions manually worked flawlessly. Seems Apple now supports Gmail only? Can we have Serlet and Forstall back please?
  • OK, if somebody runs into similar problems (like I described above), try installing the Combo Updater from Apple's site. I just did and everything works fine now.
  • I was getting ready to suggest that while reading your first post. The Combo updater has always been my "go-to" since back in the early days..
  • Sync is still screwed up. I'll have unread emails in my Gmail browser or Mailbox.app on my phone for over a half an hour and it still shows as unread in Mail. I really try not to use it anymore since Apple doesn't care about it.
  • I had some issues with not getting mail (gmail). Finally got it working. Yesterdays update broke one of my gmail accounts by not being able to send mail. Pulling my hair out for hours last night trying to get it to work. Finally gave up and went to bed. This morning (magically) everything seems to be working OK? What bothers me is "how can this be so hard"? I have used gmail for years with Win/Outlook with zero issues. So when you state that Gmail has a non-standard implementation of imap, I would ask then why does no other mail client have issues? Anyway, so far so good now.
  • No issues for me from the beginning. Gmail IMAP works fine in Mail.app. So does the Archive folder.
  • The only thing that bothers me is the BUG it introduced wherein if you click on a Mail notification, it takes you to Mail and the email in question is open in a new window all by itself. This gets real annoying real fast.
  • IT guy here for a staff of about 80, about ⅓ of them on 10.9.2 & Office 365 (Exchange). Already seeing a HUGE positive difference. Mail is performing WAY better than the crappy "Outlook for Mac 2011," which still has messages stuck in the Outbox, errors about not being able to move messages to the Trash or other folders, and more. This version of Mail has been a HUGE win.
  • I still have to Force quit about 50% to quit Mail
  • It's been hit and miss for me. Not sure why this is such an issue for apple to figure out. Sent from the iMore App
  • Seems apple is having as many issues with mavericks as they are with IOS7 and can't figure out how to fix it... Come on apple. Sent from the iMore App
  • Have you ever tried to move a return response to an email that lies behind it? When Mail is at full screen your outgoing message will not move. Many times I may want to review the content of the original message and I can't. In order to see the original you must take Mail out of full screen. I also noticed that I cannot play HTML5 instead of Flash when using , so now its back to Flash for most content.
  • No problems here, all is well! Sent from the iMore App
  • I've never had a problem with Mail. Gmail is my primary email, and I also have a Hotmail account added. I even use my Gmail account to forward my school mail, so I receive dozens of emails a day. Only issue I had after updating to 10.9.2 was that when I would swipe-back in a Safari tab it would freeze that tab. A simple restart fixed this for me.
  • I've had Mavericks since last November on an old iMac, a brand new Mac mini (December), and a brand new MacBook Pro (two weeks). I've never had any problems with Mail in general or Gmail in particular, and all of my devices are iCloud synced. Then again, I have simple mail needs, without any enhancements. Every time I read one of these posts, it makes me wonder if I'm missing something, but according to my three Macs, my iPhone, and my iPad, not to mention Gmail on the web, I'm not.
  • Never ever had problems with Mail ... but I only use a me.com address...
  • I've had issues with Mavericks Mail updating my Gmail, until 10.9.2 came out and seems to have fixed everything! Sent from the iMore App
  • Three days on from the update and I still cannot send outgoing messages from my gmail account through Maverick mail. Broke down and had nerd husband look at it last night; still not working. Grrr.
  • I've crashed multiple times today and haven't ever before. Also have had to start checking Trash frequently as mail from Contacts is winding up there instead of the inbox.
  • SIGH. after latest os x upgrade I can no longer receive messages on mail for my hotmail account. Login works fine on a browser using the same creeds. I can send but not receive mail for that account. apple fail!
    Server settings are all by the book. mmap shows the ports all there maybe this time...
  • I had trouble connecting to Gmail with Mail App on 10.9.2. It worked at first and then stopped. The trouble? Apple, in its infinite wisdom, now has two interfaces to your manipulate your mail credentials and they don't talk to each other. Under System Preferences, the new "Internet Accounts" control panel lets you set up your connections to services like Gmail. However, if the settings in there don't jive with your mail.app account preference settings, you don't get a connection and therefore no new email. Come on Apple. You can do better.
  • Mac OS X 10.9.2 update hash't brought any visible improvements. Quite the contrary, since the update, I can't open any mailbox from Mail app. I tried changing ports, flipping from imap to pop and vice versa, tried recreating my /Users/<me>/Library/Mail/ folder... at no avail. Sample error msg: The server returned the error: The server “....me dot com....” cannot be contacted on port 993 I need to rely on webmail shell until someone finds a solution or a better workaround.
  • Gmail works fine. Again I am suddenly being asked for passwords over and over again. I thought I had it fixed. Updated and here we go again.
  • I'm still having issues with Mail. I have a Google Business account and all mail goes through there. Update did nothing. I try to force synchronise my accounts and it rarely works.
  • Upgraded 10.9.2. & Gmail I have large mailbox size a few GB, when synchronising the mailbox, especially the fist time, it is important to open the 'ACTIVITY' window, and then synchronise, and then just wait for it to finish. Most mail problems occur when the user is impatient and does not let the system finish before you start clicking on the next task. Remember if you email box is big, it will take a LONG LONG time to synchronise up mail messages. If you have lots of content remember it's going to take a long time, HOURS !!!! IMAP is not a fast protocol, lots of handshaking. Andrew from http://Docand.com
  • Wow! I have had NOTHING but issues with Apple Mail since the update. In fact, updating (and apple mail issues) have caused me to loose and anger clients! It's completely put a funk in my work flow and lost me hours of trying to debug, test, and look at new mail apps. I have had it. I thought the newest update was going fix my problems, and it seemed to have for a little while, but now its back. I went two days and only received 3 emails which is REALLY rare for me. Then all of a sudden they filtered in, I went through all of them and things seemed back to normal, then today all of a sudden a bunch of the emails I already read / processed/ marked came back! I can't deal with it. I need to switch to a new email app