All of my email accounts seem to be working just fine, and in the main inboxes, emails from VIPs are marked with stars next to the senders' names as usual. The issue is that all of the VIP-specific mailboxes show up as having 0 messages, even the big "VIPs" one (the one that contains mail from all VIPs). Un-starring and re-starring the contacts doesn't fix anything. I can still search for the messages by the contact and find everything, it just doesn't show up in their VIP mailbox in the sidebar.

Another helpful observation: Turns out VIPs work fine on my two rarely-used email accounts (Verizon and iCloud) that aren't Gmail. I knew OS X didn't like Gmail, but I've never seen this before.

This has been going on for as long as I can remember on El Cap, from the first public beta all the way to the newly-released 10.11.1 public beta. How do I fix it?

  • 1
    I haven't had any issues with the VIP on 10.11 - have you tried making a new user account and testing with one mail account there? I don't use gmail with Apple mail, though so I don't want to answer either way...
    – bmike
    Sep 22, 2015 at 4:14
  • It is a beta for a reason....
    – user14492
    Sep 22, 2015 at 12:21
  • Threads (conversations) don't work properly either; one reason I went straight back to Yosemite.
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 22, 2015 at 16:30

1 Answer 1


I just got this to work after an annoying 2 months!

  1. Select a single VIP Mailbox
  2. Go to View then Sort By then select All Mailboxes
  3. Go to the main VIP Mailbox and all should appear.

If that works you can then try changing the sort to go back to Inbox only.

  • I just love when a series of random actions manages to fix something. Thank you so much!!!
    – user24601
    Sep 22, 2015 at 14:55
  • Sir, your answer is gold. I've been updating to the latest beta versions of ElCapitan and was frustrated the bug is here. I used a lot the VIP inboxes. Thank you. Oct 16, 2015 at 6:38
  • What is met by "Select a single VIP Mailbox" I don't see any VIP mailboxes. On MacOS Sierra at least, there is no All Mailboxes in the View->Sort by Thanks Oct 16, 2016 at 21:26
  • This bug/fix still applicable to Sierra, it would appear... just used it to fix a similar issue.
    – calum_b
    Apr 13, 2017 at 23:02

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