A few days ago, I decided to move nearly 80,000 messages from an IMAP server to a Gmail server using Mail.app on Sierra 10.12.1:Mail.app Activity window showing two tasks: "Moving Messages, 4 of 79,718", "Checking for Mail…"

This task still hasn't completed.

"Checking for Mail…" comes and goes as one might expect, and normal mail functionality seems to work fine. Connection Doctor shows nothing strange.

However, this task has been going on for days, and moves very slowly—I've left the computer on all night and it only chews through a few thousand, occasionally stopping with an error. If I restart Mail.app (it takes a bit to quit), it eventually comes back up with the same 79,718 messages needing to be moved.

Is there any way to terminate this process? I'm inclined to try another tool at this point, but I'd like Mail.app to stop trying to move these messages.

  • I'm seeing this on an Exchange account too. It looks to me like I was impatient and scheduled the same messages to be moved multiple times when it looked like the first move hadn't succeeded, and now it's stuck because it can't move a message which is no longer there. – tripleee Nov 18 '19 at 13:40
  • I'm having a similar problem with moving the IMAP messages to an iCloud server. I swear you could just cancel this process in previous Mac OS's with an X in that Activity Window next to the process. I see Mail processes in the Apple supplies Activity Monitor app, but I have no idea which one, if any, would cancel this annoying issue. – user376503 May 21 at 16:53

Two things which come to mind that you could try are:

  • pressing the Command + . keys
  • pressing the ESC key

Either way you may need to do this a few times and wait for the task to register what you're doing.

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  • 2
    Both of those close the activity window immediately, but don't actually terminate the activity, unfortunately. – zigg Nov 18 '16 at 21:30

Delete the account that you were moving mail to and it will cancel the move.

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  • This is pretty drastic, and doesn't really work when the botched move is within your primary and single account, does it? – tripleee Nov 18 '19 at 13:36

The problem is likely Gmail. It's not well known, but Gmail throttles paid and free accounts once they move a certain amt of mail in the day. The last time I checked, it was 500 MB of mail -- and then you were throttled for 24 hours.

Maybe things have changed -- but this has been my experience in the past. Want to test it? Disable the Gmail account, and see if the other accounts download more quickly.

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For me, quitting Mail seemed to cancel the stuck move.

Attempting to move the same messages again seems to get stuck once more but I'm guessing it's just taking a long time because there are several thousand.

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