Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have been having a bunch of email problems and want to start over. I have deleted all the IMAP accounts from Mail. What other files do I need to delete, hidden and otherwise, to make Mail (and only Mail) just like a clean install?

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

The following directories should be empty:

  • ~/Library/Mail
  • ~/Library/Mail Downloads
  • ~/Library/Application Support/Mail
  • ~/Library/Caches/Mail
  • ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.mail

The following files should be removed:

  • ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.mail.plist*
  • ~/Library/Saved Application State/com.apple.mail.savedState
share|improve this answer
Tried this, but it does not work for me to get of rid of my problem with Mail Default Reader preference selection. –  user18723 Feb 14 '12 at 15:51
Then maybe it's better to ask a new question describing your issue. Screenshots may help as well. –  patrix Feb 14 '12 at 17:52

In addition to the folders mentioned by Patrix, I discovered that Apple Mail (at least the OS X 10.9 Mavericks version) is using another folder, at:


After I had tried to do a clean restart of Mail by disabling (re-naming) all the folders that I thought that it was using (and having done a Force-Quit of the process "cfprefsd" in my username, to further reset caches), my Mail froze on trying to start up.

When I also disabled the folder in Library/Containers, the Mail application was able to start up.

share|improve this answer
Which OS X version are you using? –  patrix Jan 30 at 12:58

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.