One of the senior I help reports that on her 2011 MB Pro running El Capitan 10.11.6, Mail keeps crashing.

She will open Mail, read two or three incoming emails, click on the next email to read and Mail will crash. This happens repeatedly.

Each time Mail quits, in the report to be sent to Apple this is prominent:

Exception Type: EXC_BAD _ACCESS (SIGSEGV) Exception Type: KERN_INVALID_ADDRESS at 0X000000000018 Exception Type: EXC_CORPSE_NOTIFY

I Googled this and the only thing useful I found was the suggestion that perhaps this might be connected with SIP; we checked and her is turned on.

I told her, tomorrow morning, when her mails comes in, to restart in Safe Mode, read her email, and see if the same thing happens or not. Will report back with her results.

In the meantime, can anyone suggest anything to try that might fix this???

  • Last restart? How many programs running?
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 21, 2022 at 20:57
  • What mail service? What protocol (e.g. IMAP or POP)? Services like gmail have changed over the years and old Apple Mail might no longer be fully compatible.
    – Gilby
    Jun 21, 2022 at 23:30
  • @SolarMike- Apple Mail and Safari running. She restarted a day or two ago. I was directed to this page as a possibe fix which I will try is simpler steps fail to fix the problem: logi.wiki/index.php/Update_Certificates_in_Older_macOS
    – Penny11
    Jun 22, 2022 at 17:05
  • @Gilby - iCloud is, of course IMAP, her MUG email account is POP. These are the only two accounts she has.
    – Penny11
    Jun 22, 2022 at 17:11

2 Answers 2


She will open Mail, read two or three incoming emails, click on the next email to read and Mail will crash. This happens repeatedly.

This used to happen to me in older versions of the Mail app (on previous versions of OS X/macOS). What worked for me was doing a rebuild of the inbox (or the affected folder). You can find the option in the Mail app's "Mailbox" menu:

Mail.app Mailbox menu with Rebuild highlighted in blue

  • Got it, John. I had forgotten about that. Thank you.
    – Penny11
    Jun 25, 2022 at 11:49
  • I have collected, from various sources, a rather long list of possible solutions to try in an effort to help this senior resolve their problem. It if might be useful to others, I would be happy to post it here. I find the rules for posting here somewhat arcane and don't know if that would be allowed. Would it?
    – Penny11
    Jun 25, 2022 at 11:51
  • @Penny11 I think your list could be extremely useful to anyone who sees this question in future. I'd suggest posting it as another answer to this question. (I think it's generally allowed to answer your own questions, as long as you have a worthwhile answer, and you try to give credit if significant parts are from other people.) And if one of the items helped your senior, that would be good to know too!
    – gidds
    Jul 24, 2022 at 20:54

As requested, here is the long document I pulled together and saved should this problem arise again with any of the seniors I help: Email troubleshooting steps

If Mail is repeatedly quitting unexpectedly:

List of possible solutions: simplest to most complex.

[Apple’s comprehensive Troubleshoot Email Problems In Mail on Mac can be found here: https://support.apple.com/guide/mail/troubleshooting-mail35552/mac]

  • Are you running AV? - Try completely uninstalling any fully interactive anti-virus software that you have installed. (This will likely require the developer's uninstaller to uninstall it completely.) Modern anti-virus software integrates with your e-mail program, and sometimes the two will interact badly.

  • A common Mail problem is receiving a corrupted/malicious e-mail that causes Mail to choke and crash. The way to deal with that is to log into your ISP's mail server using the Web-based interface most ISP's provide and to delete the problematic e-mail manually. The problematic one is usually easy to spot. It's usually either spammy or unreadable.

  • With the Apple Mail Application closed, hold the SHIFT key & open Mail. This should start the Application in a Safe Mode. If that does not work follow the three listed steps below.

  • Restart your computer in Safe Mode. This will perform a Disk Repair, clear cache files and only load Apple Software, extensions and fonts. The boot up will be slow and can take some time. This is accomplished by restarting your computer and as soon as you hear the chime, hold down the Shift key and keep holding it down until the Apple logo appears on your screen. After determining whether or not Mail now works properly, restart your Mac again as you normally do.

Now the possible solutions get a bit more complicated:

These are more complex solutions -

  • Quit Mail, move Mail's "Mail Downloads" folder (in your user Library folder) to the desktop, relaunch mail, and see if the problem is gone. If it is, your problem is a corrupted e-mail attachment. (My note - that [Mail Downloads] folder may be in different places in different macOS; use FindAnyFile to search for [Mail Downloads]

  • You might try dumping all of Mail's log files, which are in the user Library folder: ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.mail/Data/Library/Logs/Mail/

  • Sometimes Mail chokes/crashes because of a corrupted font. Use Font Book (installed with the Mac OS) to validate and (if necessary) repair your fonts. Also use Font Book to check for duplicate fonts.

The root certificates of older macOS like El Capitan are expiring. At this site is a script to pull the updated certs from the logi.wiki source and install them to an older system.


bash <(curl -s http://logi.wiki/rootcerts.sh)

  • I was directed to this page as a possible fix which I will try if simpler steps fail to fix the problem: logi.wiki/index.php/Update_Certificates_in_Older_macOS – Penny11

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .