I've noticed since upgrading to Lion that Mail.app doesn't seem to update the mailbox and synchronize properly with Exchange.

Before on SL, or using Outlook now, they always maintained correct state, matching with my iPhone, or webmail. Now, it seems that Lion gets lost. I have to force a sync, open and shut it, or change folders to get it to resync that folder contents.

Is this just me, or is this a known issue?

Is there a work around?


  • Have you checked the activity and connection doctor windows to make sure it's not a temporary issue?
    – bmike
    Aug 9, 2011 at 15:21
  • I can open up Activity then run a Get New Mail, and it will prompt a flurry of checking, but no change to the inbox. Restart will make it do a proper sync and it's fine. The mailbox isn't indicated as offline.
    – Alex
    Aug 9, 2011 at 16:57
  • Yowsers - might be a bug, then. Connection doctor should show temporary server errors, but it seems you are having to hand tend this more than is warranted.
    – bmike
    Aug 9, 2011 at 17:44
  • I noticed this for the first time today. I'm not sure if it is environment related or Mail.app. I have been in this location many times before without difficulty, so not sure. Did you ever find a solution/workaround?
    – minamhere
    Sep 21, 2011 at 20:33
  • I have same issue. Check activity monitor and see if your Mail memory is creeping up over time. Mine would go to 3+GB. Lots of posts online with same issue but no solution so I went to Outlook. :/
    – user15805
    Jan 1, 2012 at 10:14

3 Answers 3


Try the rebuild utility through the app, I had a very similar problem and this resolved it for me. Best of luck.


1) Run the following in Terminal.app:

sqlite3 ~/Library/Mail/V2/MailData/Envelope\ Index vacuum

2) And then select your Inbox, and select Mailbox->rebuild.

Worked for me :)

  • What exactly does this command (vacuum) do?
    – nohillside
    Oct 14, 2012 at 15:06

There is a partial work around for this:

Delete (or copy to somewhere else) this file: ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.mail.plist

That stores your preferences for Mail.app, after deleting it you will loose your preferences with the exception of your mail accounts.

This worked for me but a couple of months later the bug came back and I had to delete the file again.

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