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Apple Mail Housekeeping

There are certain things you can do to protect yourself in case of problems with Apple Mail.

Inside the folder /username/Library/Preferences/ is a file named "". This file is written to frequently each time you use Apple Mail, rather like Window's "Registry" file. It is the "Achilles Heel" of Apple Mail and is more prone to corruption than any other file. Problems can often be solved by deleting it then recreating all your email accounts (which will be lost).

I would stress, however, that deleting the file "" will lose all your custom settings AND all your email accounts AND any messages belonging to those accounts in your "inbox".

For this reason, it's a good idea to FILE incoming messages in folders ASAP (don't leave them in the "inbox"). Also to make a copy of "" by going to /username/Library/Preferences/ folder and highlighting "". Pressing [cmd][d] will cause a duplicate file to be created. (Obviously you should do this when Mail is working and not when you have a problem!)

This file " copy.plist" can be labelled in yellow to make it easy to find, later. It will sit, untouched, in your Preferences folder until you need it. Be sure to make a fresh copy each time you create a new email account, or delete or change one.

If you ever do have a problem, simply drag "" to the trash then rename " copy.plist" to replace it. Problem solved without having to recreate accounts, preferences or losing any messages!

Plug-ins can also cause problems if, for example, Apple Mail gets updated to a later version. For this reason, you should make sure that, if you have installed any plug-ins, you update them to the latest version before allowing Apple Mail to update.

Address Book can cause problems because it is tightly linked with Apple Mail. If its database gets corrupted, Mail will not be able to look up an email address and will show signs of distress!

So make sure that you keep a copy of the folder /username/Library/Application Support/AddressBook

If you suspect a problem with Address Book, simply replace the "AddressBook" folder with your copy. Again, you can simply highlight it and press [cmd][d] to make a duplicate.

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Copyright ©2010 Glodark
Updated August 26, 2010
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