Running on the following:

  • macOS Ventura 13.2.1
  • Mail 16.0 (3731.400.51.1.1)
  • MacBook Pro M1

The following screen clip illustrates my issue.

enter image description here

As part of my email workflow I have Mail's "Viewer" window open and a number of emails as in the lower window in the attached screen clip (I'll refer to the lower window as the open email window).

This open email window can include (i) emails to which I need to read or reply or (ii) drafts of replies in process.

My problem, Mail appears to randomly close this open email window, wrecking havoc with my workflow. I lose immediate visibility to items I need to address and have to try to reestablish what I had open - always an imperfect solution.

This behavior very much undermines my ability to perform my job.

Of note, this has happened both when I have had individual emails open as well as when I have emails in tabs in an open email window.

Why does this happen? Can I stop it from happening? Can I recover an open email window? Does a workaround exist?

Do I need to stop using mail and move to Microsoft Outlook? I dread doing this. I have serious concerns about Microsoft software.

Thoughts|guidance appreciated.

  • What are the circumstances when this happens? (Have you rebooted - or shut down - before it happens? Or maybe you have closed the lid? Or made it sleep?) Is this only happening when using Mail or does it also happen with other apps? Is your Mac or iCloud account managed or supervised by your organisation/school?
    – Thinkr
    Apr 22 at 15:50
  • This is not an answer but- Have you tried using the flag system? There's different flag colors and you can sort your emails using this criteria.
    – Thinkr
    Apr 22 at 15:52
  • @Thinkr - I use an external monitor with my MacBook. I always have the lid closed. The problem seems most likely to happen overnight, while the machine sleeps. This only happens with Mail. This is my personal machine, no organizational/school interference or access.
    – Jagra
    Apr 22 at 16:05
  • @Thinkr - I have used flags. I don't find them particularly effective. They get lost in the overall volume of email. The system I used gives me immediate access to my essential workflow. The problem - Apple makes the functionality I need and use available, but has not made it reliable (or perhaps more kindly, hasn't provided clear guidance to use it so it doesn't screw things up.)
    – Jagra
    Apr 22 at 16:08
  • Okay. I'm then thinking that it could be because it logs you out after some inactivity. Try disabling the setting. Go to System Settings > Privacy & Security and disable the "Log out after [number] minutes of inactivity" option. You may need to press the lock icon to make changes. Then try putting you Mac to sleep to see if the issue persists, inform me of the result. :)
    – Thinkr
    Apr 22 at 16:19

1 Answer 1


Any chance you have this setting switched on? It would prevent the system from saving and restoring the window over a reboot.

  • Apple menu  > System Settings.
  • Click Desktop & Dock in the sidebar.
  • Scroll down on the right and turn on “Close windows when quitting an app.”
  • You maybe mean "turn off "close windows when quitting...."?
    – Thinkr
    Apr 22 at 16:38
  • Already in the "off" position.
    – Jagra
    Apr 22 at 19:11

You must log in to answer this question.

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