Mac Mail Keeps Crashing? Follow These Stepwise Fixes

Published by John on Last Updated On :

Mac Mail Keeps Crashing

Mac mail users complain of regular crashes while using the Mail app on their devices. You may find that your Mac Mail keeps crashing because of numerous reasons like corrupt preferences, technical glitches, and broken mailbox indexes. But regardless of the specific cause, treating this issue is imperative. Frequent crashes are not good for the system. It also prevents you from carrying out your work effectively. Fortunately, there are several techniques you can try to fix this issue. In this article, you’ll find all the troubleshooting you need to prevent the app from crashing on Mac. 

Also Check, Why:- Mac Mail Not Working


Troubleshoot the Mac Mail Keeps Crashing Problem

You can treat this problem by first implementing simpler fixes like quitting and opening the app again. If they do not work, move to more advanced troubleshooting. 


1. Quit the Mail App and Open it Again

If you find your Mail app on Mac keeps crashing at launch, quit it entirely and attempt to open it again. Follow these steps to force-quit and open the app again. 

  • Choose the Apple logo, followed by ‘Force-Quit.’
  • Choose the ‘Force-Quit’ option again to confirm. 


2. Look for Updates 

Another fix is to check for macOS updates. An update also updates built-in macOS apps like iTunes and Safari. You can check the updates in two ways. 

  • Go to the Apple menu and click ‘About This Mac.’ Now, tap ‘Software Update.’
  • Go to the Apple menu, and tap ‘System Preferences.’ Lastly, click ‘Software Update.’

If you find an available update, tap ‘Update Now.’ You can also get more information about the update by clicking the ‘More Info’ link. 


3. Rebuild Mailboxes

Rebuilding the mailboxes is also an effective resolution. Here is the simple process of rebuilding them.

  • Launch ‘Mail’ and choose a mailbox.
  • Then click ‘Mailbox’ followed by ‘Rebuild.’


4. Delete Damaged Messages

Do you find that Mac Mail keeps crashing whenever you want to open some messages? Damaged emails are a probable cause behind it. So, you can delete them by using these steps.

  • Start by pressing and holding the shift key.
  • Now launch the Mail app. When you open it while still pressing the shift key, the Mail will open.
  • Drag the ‘Message Viewer’ pane until you clearly see the list of messages.
  • Click once and choose the problematic message.
  • Now hit the ‘Delete’ key on the keyboard.


5. Delete Mail Preferences 

All your preferences are stored in a Property List file by the Mail app. This file is present inside the Mac user library folder. If it is corrupt, you’ll find that your Mail keeps crashing on Mac. So, delete the file and see if it fixes the problem. 

  • Quit the Mail app.
  • Right-tap the ‘Finder’ icon, and choose ‘Go to folder.’
  • Paste the path given here in the Go to Folder box and hit Enter. 


  • Shift the Mail Preference file into the trash. 
  • Start your Mac again and open the Mail app. 

Also Check, Why:- iPhone Mail Notifications Not Working


6. Clear Application State 

For quickly resuming after a reboot or shutdown, the Mac will save the state of the Mail app. But these files can become corrupt and cause crashes. So, you can delete the application state to prevent crashes. 

  • Force-quit the Mail app. 
  • Right-tap the ‘Finder’ icon, and choose ‘Go to folder.’
  • Copy and paste the following path in the Go to Folder box and hit Enter. 

~/Library/Containers/ Application State

  • Shift the Mail saved folder into the trash. 
  • Start your Mac again and open the Mail app. 


7. Delete Envelope Files 

Deleting envelope files from the desktop also works well for most people who are tired of finding their Mail app crashing or freezing. To remove envelope files, adhere to these points.

  • Firstly, quit the Mail app if it is active. 
  • Press and hold together the ‘Option’ key in the ‘Finder’ and tap ‘Go’ followed by ‘Library.’
  • Next, launch the Mail folder.
  • Based on your macOS version, launch the V7 folder. In your macOS version, it can be V5, V6, V7, or V8.
  • Next, open the ‘MailData’ folder.
  • Find the following files:
    1. Envelope Index
    2. Envelope Index-wal
    3. And, Envelope Index-shm
  • Shift the files to the desktop.
  • Launch the Mail app and wait for it to rebuild envelope index files. If everything works, remove the envelope files from your desktop.


8. Reset NVRAM or PRAM 

It is a highly effective method to use when Mac Mail keeps crashing. Note that resetting it will delete settings like time zone and volume. 

  • Switch off the Mac.
  • Only locate the following keys on your keyboard: Command, Option, P, and R.
  • Now switch on your Mac and immediately hold and press these keys for around 20 seconds.
  • After 20 seconds, release the keys. Now you won’t find your Mac freezing or crashing often.


9. Remove the Container Folder

This option is ideal for those who don’t mind using settings like signatures, mail filters, etc. Go through these steps to remove the mail container folder.

  • Exit the Mail app and navigate to the Finder. 
  • Hold and press the ‘Option’ key. While you are pressing this key, tap ‘Go and Library.’
  • Launch the ‘Containers’ folder. 
  • Now, locate the ‘’ folder. 
  • Shift this folder to the desktop. It will help you to restore the folder easily if required. 
  • Now, launch Mail. If it opens appropriately, your problem has been resolved. But if it still crashes, you must put the container folder back. 


10. Remove Your Account and Re-add It

A broken account configuration also causes the Mail app to crash. You can try deleting and re-adding your account to Mac.

  • Force-quit the Mail app.
  • Launch ‘System Preferences.’
  • Now, choose ‘Internet Accounts.’
  • Choose every account on the sidebar, and untick the box beside ‘Mail.’
  • Now, open the Mail app. 
  • Reenable every account through the internet account screen till the app crashes. 
  • Then, tap the ‘Minus’ button to remove the account causing the problem from your Mac. 
  • Restart Mac and go to the ‘Internet Accounts’ plane again. 
  • Choose the ‘Plus’ button to add the account. 


Final Thoughts

Now you are armed with various measures to use when your Mac Mail keeps crashing. Follow the simple stepwise instructions and make your device work seamlessly again. Although these measures effectively fix a crashing or freezing Mac, sometimes you may require expert assistance. In that case, speak with professional email support services. 


Written By


John is a Technical Writer at Email Support, has 10 years of experience, and is an expert in Email and Cloud Computing. His specialty is writing about the Email clients such as Outlook, Yahoo, Verizon, SBCGlobal, Gmail, Apple Mail, AOL, WildBlue, and others.

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John is a Technical Writer at Email Support, has 10 years of experience, and is an expert in Email and Cloud Computing. His specialty is writing about the Email clients such as Outlook, Yahoo, Verizon, SBCGlobal, Gmail, Apple Mail, AOL, WildBlue, and others.

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