The email on my mac is not working. I have tried several things.

Is there a way to delete the email files (files where mac stores the emails) on my mac book pro so that it downloads all my mail again. (I will leave it to download overnight).

  • Do you know whether you are using POP or IMAP? – Jivan Pal Feb 11 at 17:34
  • Delete the accounts and re-add them. It will force the accounts to be redownloaded – Allan Feb 11 at 23:52
  • @Allan I have tried removing all accounts and then adding them back, but things did not improve. – A j Feb 12 at 10:42
  • @Jivan Pal, I have used the default setting that mac mail uses for each of the providers, so I expect it to be IMAP, not POP3. – A j Feb 12 at 10:44

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.

In the Mail app on your Mac, select a mailbox in the sidebar.

Choose Mailbox > Rebuild.

When you rebuild mailboxes for IMAP or Exchange accounts, messages and attachments stored on your computer are discarded, and then downloaded again from the mail server to your Mac. Your mailbox appears empty until the download is complete.

  • I have tried this, and also removing all accounts and re-adding them. Every time I look at the mail window it is stuck on downloading emails. Could this be file permissions issues? This really started after I upgraded to Catalina. could that be the problem? Anyway, how do I fix this? – A j Feb 12 at 11:06

Delete only work in some cases, check your email configuration before you act: if you're using POP3 or your IMAP settings are MOVING messages from the server into your local computer, deleting messages or attachments will result in loss of data. I would recommend trying with the mailbox rebuild procedure suggested above.

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