I was on my Mac yesterday and accidentally moved (deleted?) an important IMAP folder. The mail account is synced via iCloud. I can see the folder and its contents both at the provider's web portal and on my other devices but I cannot see it on My Mac. Is there a way to get this IMAP folder visible again on my Mac?

macOS Monterey 12.5.1 Mail.app 16.0

Update After googling quite a bit and checking back here periodically, I took the extreme step of deleting the mail account and its 300k + downloaded emails. This did not solve my problem. The folder is still missing. Obviously there is some setting or plist somewhere that marks this folder as not to be displayed. The account was and is again synced via iCloud to my phone and iPad and the folder is visible there.

Update 2 This update just summarizes comments as they tend to get buried. It also provides a bit more information.

  • My email provider is Fastmail on a paid account.
  • I have added a folder with the same name in Mail.app - this resulted in 2 folders with the same name at Fastmail. I subsequently deleted the new folder both at Fastmail and in Mail.app
  • If it matters, the missing folder in Mail.app is named "auto" (I mention this in case that name has special meaning) and it contains 2 subfolders. No mail resides in the auto folder itself at Fastmail, only in its subfolders.

Possible new direction I'm wondering if the most expedient solution might be to delete the account again, but this time delete all the ~/Library files containing data and settings related to this account. I just don't know which files to delete.

  • is it in one of the "Trash" folders? Sep 7, 2022 at 12:56
  • No - it is not in a trash folder
    – Scott
    Sep 8, 2022 at 11:05
  • Who is your IMAP provider / vendor? Some like gmail have flags to suppress folder sync for computers so this could be a “by design and configuration” situation.
    – bmike
    Sep 8, 2022 at 11:43
  • 1
    Well if you have a backup... what happens if you re-create the deleted folder in mail.app? Sep 8, 2022 at 16:24
  • 1
    Excellent - that’s the best possible case since their support is amazing! You’ll likely need to enable logging in mail app. I’ll pop an answer if I can reproduce any steps later in the weekend
    – bmike
    Sep 8, 2022 at 17:25

1 Answer 1


The solution, proposed by an Apple Senior Support Advisor was to create a new folder with a slightly different name. I then moved the mail messages via Fastmail's web interface to the new folder. I then had to update a bunch of mail rules to reference the new folder and delete all references to the old folder. Everything worked out great. My mail is working just as it was before, and I can see all my folders and messages in Mail.app on my Mac. The downside is that I don't really understand what happened or why this was necessary. But I guess all is well that ends well.

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