I set up my outlook.com account with the OS X (10.9.1) Mail app using IMAP, pretty much as suggested in this link except that the latest mail app has no option to keep the account offline before it is created.

The connection to outlook.com appears to be fine, as my sent items, junk, etc. folders are all populated with up-to-date mail, and I can send mails from the account, but my inbox is completely empty.

I've tried a bunch of suggestions such as deleting the pertinent mailbox folder from ~/Library/Mail/V2 and also the EnvelopeIndex files from MailData to try and force a rebuild of the mailbox, but it seems these are to no avail.

Not sure if this info will be of help, but in the menu items the Get New Mail and Rebuild commands are greyed out for this account too.

It seems like this is a common enough problem, but none of the solutions I've seen work for me. Anybody got any ideas?

1 Answer 1


I've faced the same problem trying to set up my wife's Hotmail account in Mail.app. After much fiddling I eventually gave up and used POP3 instead.

About the only suggestion out there that I didn't try was trimming down the inbox (she had, I believe, 3k+ emails in her inbox), since some people reported solving the problem by getting their inboxes down to, say, 100 emails or so. I didn't even bother trying that solution since it seems so fragile -- what happens when she receives new email above the magic threshold that breaks IMAP? Is it just going to break again?

Much as it pains me to say this, it appears POP3 is the way to go for Hotmail/outlook.com/etc. accounts. IMAP appears to be simply broken.

  • 1
    Hmm, the inbox size point is interesting, as this account started out about 15 years ago as a Hotmail one and thus has many thousands of messages in the inbox. Well, if nobody else posts a solution in the next couple of days I'll give up and mark this as the answer!
    – Greg Beech
    Commented Dec 30, 2013 at 15:14
  • @GregBeech: FWIW, I had a similar experience. IMAP appears not to really work (at least not with OSX Mail), and I had to return to POP3 instead. Frustratingly, in the process of simply trying the IMAP account, I seem to have lost all my old mail permanently.
    – orome
    Commented Jul 27, 2014 at 20:14

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