Every time I quite Mail or reboot my computer, all of my mail accounts are gone and I'm prompted to reconfigure my accounts (6 of them).

This is incredibly annoying and I'm not sure where I've gone wrong.

What I have tried id deleting the plist file in ~/Library/Preferences/ and recreating from scratch, but the same crap still applies. (I'm not worried about losing stuff as the accounts are all IMAP)

Also, the folder ~/Library/Mail only has two folders

  • Mail Lost+Found
  • V2

All of my mailboxes are contained within V2... is that normal?

Lastly, and a completely side topic. It's annoying to have to go through the wizard every time I have to configure an account. When I hold the Option key (as I read on MacWorld) doesn't do anything.

I'm using Lion (Mail Version 5.2 (1257))

  • 1
    Is this OS X 10.7 Lion’s Mail.app (v5.2/1257)? Mar 23, 2012 at 16:01
  • yes... I added it to the original question, thanks! Mar 23, 2012 at 16:04

1 Answer 1


Chase reports and asks:

Also, the folder ~/Library/Mail only has two folders

Mail Lost+Found V2 All of my mailboxes are contained within V2... is that normal?

Those folders should exist, but at least based on the contents of my own ~/Library/Mail folder, it's incomplete. I also have individual folders for each of my email accounts and those folders contain mbox files which I assume are the local copies of the IMAP mailstore.

screenshot of Mail folder contents in Finder

By way of troubleshooting, it might be interesting to know what the file permissions are for the Mail directory.

Open the terminal, and type (or cut and paste) the following command:

ls -l ~/Library/Mail

The results (edited here to show only the relevant line) for my own functional Mail folder are:

drwx------    13 jaberg  staff    442 Oct 13 00:25 Mail

The permissions basically tell us that this a directory and that the owner, jaberg (me) is able to read, write and execute. (The execute permission of a directory is sometimes thought of as the search permission. You need the x in order to be allowed access to the information about the contents of the directory.)

You can also view permissions from Finder by selecting the folder and performing Get Info… from the file menu (or +i), but you won't get as much information.

screenshot of permissions for Mail folder in Finder

You'll find more information about accessing and interpreting file permissions in the Apple Knowledgebase: Troubleshooting permissions issues in Mac OS X

If you're permissions differ from those shown here, you can try to Repair Permissions using Disk Utility (this doesn't require a restart or booting from a different volume) or, if you're comfortable, change the permissions of the Mail folder to match those shown using the chmod command. You can learn about chmod from its man(ual) pages, accessed from the terminal by typing:

man chmod
  • This got me going down the right path. I renamed the ~/Library/Mail folder to ~/Library/_Mail while the Mail app was closed. I then proceeded to open Mail and start over... seems to be working. Mar 23, 2012 at 18:38
  • 1
    That works too. Your new folder had the correct attributes.
    – jaberg
    Mar 23, 2012 at 18:46

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