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  1. Thank you for writing this article! It totally saved me. I’ve had no trouble with Mail over the years, and then it somehow got corrupted and started crashing upon launch. (Removing the envelope files was the solution for me.) I really appreciate you making this information available.

  2. Thanks! When I went to de-activate accounts, I saw my Yahoo account showed up twice and one of them said “Game Center”. Removed that and all is well!

  3. My Mail app would no longer stay open for more than 5 seconds, was driving me insane. Nothing else was working for me, until I tried out the “Removing Envelopes” method, and BOOM… worked like a charm! (Knock on wood). Thanks so much!!

  4. First attempt at opening Mail without a message highlighted allowed me to delete the problem message. Thanks for this article!

  5. I moved envelope files to my desktop and the app started building new envelope files: however, it stops with one minute remaining and does not build all the files. I’ve tried twice. How do I move the original envelope files on my desktop back to the mail data folder?? Help!

  6. I identified the offending account, then “when you find the problematic account, what you can do is to delete the account and then re-add”
    When I try to re-add I keep getting a red message “account already exists” and it won’t add

  7. I turned off the accounts, then turned one on and it crashed. I turned it off and the other account on and it worked. So I deleted the crashing account and suggested. But when I go to add the account, I keep getting a message that the account exists and won’t let me add it in.
    Any suggestions

    1. I eventually got my Mail working by deleting iCloud and reloading. Now a couple weeks later it’s crashing again. I can get it to open but as soon as I try to open Inbox it crashes. I have tried all the above with no success. Any suggestions?

  8. Removing mail container worked for Mail v9.3, OSX 10.11.6. Restoring email with Time Machine as well.

    Thank you, Lech.

  9. I tried everything mentioned above and then I did the remove envelope files. It took some time, as I had a lot of old mail, but it worked straight away. Thank you so much for the help. I could never have done this without the support on this group.

  10. I just had the issue of mail not opening ( crashing at open ) OS 10.11.6
    The “Remove Envelope files” steps worked for me… All good now. Thanks!

  11. Hi!
    Anyone know how to remove a corrupt email from a Mailbox that I CAN’T open? Because it crashes every time I try to open that particular mailbox. I know which email is corrupt, but can’t get to it.
    I’ve already tried all of the suggestions on this page.
    Help! 🙂
    Mac OSX 10.11.6

    1. @Stef:
      If selecting a single mailbox crashes Mail, it may contain one or more damaged emlx documents (each is a single mail).

      Quit mail, in Library/Mail/V4 find the mbox folder that represents the crashing mailbox, drag it to the desktop. Launch Mail, delete the mailbox _without selecting it_ by a right-mouse-button click and hold, which opens a dialog with a _Delete Mailbox…_ option.

      In Finder, open the mbox folder in list mode. Create two (or 8 for a large mailbox) folders and divide al emlx files between the two (8) folders, each holding a similar number of emlx files.

      In Mail, import the two (8) folders. From the now available IMPORT mailbox in Mail, select one. If mail crashes, that mailbox contains the offending emlx file, label the corresponding folder in the finder as red. Repeat for the other imported folders. In Mail delete the offending mbox(es).

      In the Finder delete the contents of the non-offending folder(s) in the desktop folder, then redistribute the contents of the offending folder(s) between all folders (2 or 8). Repeat this procedure until only one emlx file remains, that is your problem message.

      When you split up the emlx files on four or eight folders before import, the process can be sped up considerably. From a 4000+ message inbox of 10 GB, apart from the first import that took a few hours overnight, with the strategy above (binary search) across 8 folders the second iteration only took 10 minutes and this way I’ve found 2 offending emlx files within half an hour at the computer.

  12. Removing Envelopes did it for me!
    I still cannot see which rogue email crashed/corrupted the Inbox.
    At least back up and working – maybe time to clear out some of the 40,000 emails.

  13. Sirs;
    I tried everything, including new OS, but nothing would help my Mail to open on the first try. Resetting the NVRAM helped with a disk issue but not the Mail. But when I removed the “” it worked!!!

    Comparing the old folder to the new I saw “window 1” and “window 3” in the old, but in the new working folder I see “window 1” and “window 2”. It appears the old savedState was corrupted somehow.

    Most grateful!!!


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