The Mail app on my Mac stopped displaying message body once the message is opened.

I can still see the message body in the message preview in each mailbox, but when I click (or double click) on a specific message, the message body is blank in the new window.

enter image description here

This happened to me a while ago, some time after updating to El Capitan. It affects all my email accounts on my Mac, Mail works properly on my iPhone. I don't remember changing any settings.

How to resolve it?

  • This happens to me too. A workaround I found is to close the mail app (right click in the dock -> quit) and reopen it. This will make email content visible again for some time until this happens again. Jan 19, 2016 at 10:37

1 Answer 1


Rebuild the Mailbox

Try rebuilding the affected mailbox:

  1. Select the Inbox or affected mailbox.
  2. Select Mail.app > Mailbox (menu) > Rebuild

Rebuilding the mailbox will cause Mail.app to read all the messages again from the server. Rebuilding often fixes problems and restores missing or malformed messages.

From Apple's support document Mail: Rebuild mailboxes:

You may need to rebuild a mailbox to update the list of messages it contains. For example, if messages appear to be missing or garbled, or if you can’t find all relevant messages when you search using the Entire Message search option.

  • 1
    Did this really solve the problem? I've done this too and the problem came back after a few days. Jan 19, 2016 at 10:36
  • 4
    Rebuilding corrects the symptoms of a bug in Mail but rebuilding can not fix the underlying cause. Only Apple can fix the underlying cause. Please tell Apple's Mail.app team that you are seeing this bug – every report helps! Jan 19, 2016 at 10:42
  • 1
    Rebuild mailbox seems to do nothing... At least in Mail 10.3(3273). There is no user feedback and nothing changes.
    – Ryan
    Jun 3, 2017 at 0:42
  • @dissolved please tell please tell Apple's Mail.app team that you are seeing this bug. The message you have may uncover a new specific bug. Jun 3, 2017 at 12:14

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