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For some reason, Mail takes significantly longer than most of my other apps to quit. It might become unresponsive for a period of time after I hit [command]+[q] before it actually quits. What is taking Mail so long to quit?

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Turn off your network and repeat the experiment. What could it be? –  bmike Mar 21 '12 at 4:56
With the network off, mail still refuses to close, but it's much quicker. –  Moshe Mar 21 '12 at 4:59
You've now measured the time to finalize open files and clean up as well as the difference in time due to slow mail server / network responses. You could go a step further and test quitting mail on a new user account to know if your mailbox needs to be rebuilt or it's just the machine's speed. (i hope you don't mind fishing lessons) –  bmike Mar 21 '12 at 5:02
Lol, I don't mind the fishing lessons. I mind the barrage of downvotes I'm seeing today. :p –  Moshe Mar 21 '12 at 5:07
I think people are a little overwhelmed by the flood of very simple questions and also energized to vote for the contest. This grumpiness will pass - and you can always look to improve things. I think as a user with 2.5k or more, the bar is higher for what sort of question is worth an up vote - but everyone gets a vote even though it can sting to be down voted. Guessing questions where no troubleshooting steps are offered, no research is done to frame the questions are as a class getting the most down votes this week. –  bmike Mar 21 '12 at 5:11

2 Answers 2

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Mail is like many apps that use the network - it can't just quit if there is network traffic active, it needs to see those requests safely terminated. If for example Mail is checking your iCloud account it needs to wait a certain time until all processes are complete before exiting. It may also be sending an email that you have just hit "Send" on, and then you have immediately tried to quit - can't work that way. Even if the network communication is asynchronous these things need to be tidied up before exiting.

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Quitting the application terminates all network connections. Operating System is responsible for cleanup of network connections. Maybe not "safely", but checking remote email folders should not require any kind of "safe" termination. Only if it was sending the email I would accept the delay (or alert dialog). –  Peter Štibraný Mar 21 '12 at 8:52
Obviously it terminates network connections but it does not do so instantaneously. (Mail.app developers eagerly await the full definition of what delays you would accept) –  Adam Eberbach Mar 21 '12 at 19:40
My point is ... unless there is mail being sent, there is really no point in waiting for network connections when quitting the application. You write "it can't just quit if there is network traffic active, it needs to see those requests safely terminated" -- I just don't see why that would be the case. –  Peter Štibraný Mar 21 '12 at 20:08

Turn on the Activity window to see what's going on. You probably have it set to purge deleted emails or some other shutdown maintenance. Press command-option-0 (command-0 if you're not on Lion 10.7) to see it or select from the Window menu.

I keep the Activity window up all the time just to see what's going on. But then, I have to monitor about 30 different email accounts for various work-related reasons.

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