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Fixing Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite Mail Not Responding

Update: ‘Fixing Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite Mail Not Responding’ also applies to Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan and macOS 10.12 Sierra!
Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite Mail icon 1024x1024Fix Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite Mail not responding (“Application not responding”) by removing the container folder ‘com.apple.mail.savedState’. Mac OS X saves window locations and open documents of most programs to restore them when the program is launched again after quit. Sometimes after upgrading Mac OS X to the latest version, there can be some handling issues with the prior saved state of Mail which could lead to Yosemite Mail is not responding and crashing.

Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite Mail: 'Application Not Responding'

Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite Mail: ‘Application Not Responding’

It seems that Mail cannot properly manage the prior saved state. Hence, this could be the reason for Mail crashing, especially for the ‘Yosemite Mail not responding’ crash. The solution is to remove Mail’ prior saved state and then re-launch Mail.

How to remove Mail saved state:

  1. Force quit of Mail app (‘Application not responding‘ issue!).
  2. Go to the Finder.
  3. Hold the Option key and then select ‘Library‘ from the ‘Go‘ menu.
  4. Go to the folder ‘Containers > com.apple.mail > Data > Library > Saved Application State‘ and move the folder called ‘com.apple.mail.savedState‘ to the trash.
  5. Empty trash.
  6. Restart your Mac.
  7. Re-launch Mail.

Note: Leave the window ‘Internet Accounts‘ in ‘System preferences‘ open. Now, when I restart the Mac or it starts up automatically in the AM, Mail launches correctly, but with the ‘System Preferences‘ window open (Kudos to Ron Mac for this tweak!).

If this fix doesn’t work, the reason for your Mail app is crashing is another one, e.g. ‘Mail quit unexpectedly‘ . Try the following fixes to resolve Mail crashing:

I was faced with the problem of Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite Mail not responding on my MacBook Pro 13” retina (End 2013). I was able to resolve this problem by removing the container folder ‘com.apple.mail.savedState’. Did this fix solve your Mail problem, too? Let us know and comment!

Stay tuned! 😉

136 thoughts on “Fixing Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite Mail Not Responding”

    1. Wonderful to find your fix for my Mail account not responding. I have 5 email addresses: 2 Yahoo ones, 3 Gmail ones, and one iCloud. I think the problem occurs when I travel and don’t take my Macbook Air with me, but instead read all my mail from my iPad and iPhone. When I come home after a week, the MacBook Air just doesn’t want to catch up with the 100’s of emails I have read, deleted, replied to, etc.

  1. Hi, I am running osx 10.7.5 and my mail has been causing me a couple of problems. Firstly I have had trouble deleting mail as they keep returning leading to a ridiculous number of emails in my inbox. Secondly and more importantly for the last couple of weeks mail is failing to respond. I have looked in the container file and can only find my iPhoto related library – none related to mail it seems to be missing completely. Could it be somewhere else?? I access my email with no problem on my iPad and iPhone (albeit too many!) so it is not urgent but I would like to fix both of these problems. Thanks.

  2. I have been having a big problem with my mac mail…. I have tried almost everything in the book! My mac mail gets booted up and within a couple of minutes the fan comes on and mac mail stops responding and I have to force quit it to continue to use my macbook pro 2010 edition. I updated to Yosemite right away when it became available and I have had nothing but problems. I did as you stated above and it is still doing the same thing…. I am currently erasing my current free space to try and get it off my macbook. I have also deleted my gmail account from mac mail and just keeping my me.com email on it. PLEASE HELP!

    1. Hi Hank,

      does the fan comes on within a couple of minutes only when you have started Mac mail? Or does this also happen with other apps? If it is the later, I got a similar issues with my old MacBook pro 13” (non retina). It was a failure in the hardware. The mother board was defekt. It was replaced. Have you already made a hardware check at the Apple Store? I recommend this.

      Gee Are

    2. Yes!
      You first delete the “Saved Application State” files and restart Mail as described above. If you don’t want to have to redo that every day or multiple times a week, you leave the account window open. This has worked for me for over a week now. Weirdest working solution I ever implemented. Thank you so much for the share. This second step should be listed with the solution at the top of the page for those of us having the recurring problem.

  3. Tried a bazillion other “fixes” and nothing worked. Deleted the ‘com.apple.mail.savedState’, rebooted and Bingo! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I now have access to my 12,000+ messages = Happy Camper 🙂

  4. Wow – this is a GOOD solution. I was stuck with Frozen Mail. I researched some ideas for 2 hours but tried yours and it worked – Well done and thanks Nick

  5. My problem with Mail on Yosemite has been the same on three different Macs; new iMac with Retina display, new MacBook Pro with Retina display, and older iMac. Same issue. Half the time or more Mail freezes up upon launch, which required a Force Quit. Upon restarting, most of the time Mail would function OK, but occasionally hang again, always with the same error– Application Not Responding. I’ve tried every fix on this thread and other website threads to get it fixed with nothing working.

    Here’s what I did to fix it.

    I left the Mail Preferences window open to Accounts. That’s it. Now, when I restart the Mac or it starts up automatically in the AM, Mail launches as per normal, but with the Preferences window open to Accounts. No problems since. None. Zero.

    I have over a dozen email accounts, all IMAP, ranging from Apple’s iCloud to Gmail to standard IMAP accounts, personal and business. Obviously, there’s a bug somewhere. I came upon the fix by disabling all email accounts, re-enabling each, one-by-one, then doing a shutdown and startup. About five re-boots in I inadvertently left the Preferences window open to Accounts. No freeze on the next reboot. When I close Preferences, the freeze begins again.

    It’s a cheap fix but it took a long time to get to it.

    1. You solution works for me. I tried all the tricks that helped… until I restarted the computer.
      Thanks for this tip, it’s not convenient but it works!

    2. I tried the moving the folder in Containers etc. to the trash. Worked once. Now back to the same old Freeze. Ron Mac mentioned the Mail Preferences: I left the Mail Preferences window open to Accounts. That’s it. Now, when I restart the Mac or it starts up automatically in the AM, Mail launches as per normal, but with the Preferences window open to Accounts. No problems since. None. Zero.

      Where do I find Mail Preferences? Couldn’t find in Systems Preferences. Please advise.

    3. savestate deletion didn’t help me but leaving system accounts window open did?!?! cheers ron … mail in yosemite is a dog, but I cant upgrade because of other software I need to use, and changing OS every year means apple can negate fixing yosemite bugs.

  6. i had a similar problem of macmail not opening on a Retina so i backed up the unit and then ran a clean OS installation.

  7. Your page is a potential life-saver – thanks! BUT I have tried your solution, and now at point 6, Mail still hangs and I now don’t have com.apple.mail.savedState to even delete. Any ideas? I have done a clean install of the system plus your tip, but no good.

    1. Hi Ben,

      thanks for your Feedback! I’ll recommend to check this alternate option: https://miapple.me/fixing-mac-os-x-10-10-yosemite-app-crashes/.
      Please, keep in mind the possibility that another app is crashing, too. Meaning that this second app is the orogin of the problem. I got this with dropbox. Close all apps ru nning in the background and check if your crashing still occurs. Then activate one by one for identifying the second crashing app.

      Gee Are

      1. Thanks to your help I revived Mail but now it works but I have lost all my emails, rules, mailboxes etc. Any ideas what I can do to recover them?

        1. Hi Ben,

          do you have a Time Capsule Backup? There it should be possible to restore rules.

          Check your email in your web email client. Are they still there? They should be if you have used IMAP.

          Gee Are

  8. Hi Gee Are,

    I tried what you suggest (removing apps in the background, as well as removing all log in items) but it still won’t respond. I THINK I removed all of them, including Dropbox, but the problem remains. Most curious. I also tried what you suggest on that linked page, but no dice. I think I’ll go over all that you suggest again to check I haven’t missed anything, unless you think of something else I could try.

    Thank you,

    1. Sorry, I put this on the wrong thread:

      Thanks to your help I revived Mail but now it works but I have lost all my emails, rules, mailboxes etc. Any ideas what I can do to recover them?


  9. Wow thanks for the fix! I thought gmail was the issue.. Have you posted on apple forum or support? If not, you should 🙂 I used to “take all accounts offline” before quitting Mail. Every time I launch Mail, then “take all accounts online” I almost gave up but glad I found your fix!!

    1. Hi Cash,

      Mann thanks for your feedback!

      In regard to your suggestion to post this in the Apple forum: I’m not allowed to do this. However, if somebody else will do this, he could do it. 😉

      Gee Are

  10. Thank you for this fix. I have tried lots of various fixes and this one finally worked. You have saved me numerous hours of reinstalling and fixes. Thanks again!

  11. Hi there,
    unfortunately this has not worked for me. I am on OS X Yosemite Version 10.10.4 MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch
    and mail is still not responding. Do you have any further suggestions please?
    with thanks,

  12. Hi Gee Are,

    I think I owe you a BIG THANK since I had tried almost everything to solve this issue (Apple Mail Not Responding..). I even upgraded to El Capitan hoping that it will solve this issue. I went up to Public Beta 4 in El Capitan and then in the latest update the whole system crashed in a start up and I was only able to use it in Safe Mode! Then I downgraded back to OS Yosemite and after seeing again this problem. I came across your page and removed “Container Folder” as you have described.

    Now 48 hours have gone by and the Apple Mail seems to be working as it is intended to be!

    Once again THANK YOU for sharing this with us.


  13. Pingback: Que hacer cuando Mail de OS X Yosemite tiene problemas? - jose • febus

  14. This is a good solution. BUT NOTE: If you have any open email windows, they will be closed upon next startup of Mail. This is because the savedState folder contains information about (naturally) the last saved state of the app, which includes what windows were open, what position on the screen they were, their order, etc. All superficial UI stuff, but could be important if you, like me, keep individual email windows open as a reminder to reply to them.

    Thanks Gee for posting this fix!

    1. For a number of users, the problem seems to lie not in this folder issue, but a change in Mail’s tolerances in relation to Microsoft Exchange. The recent upgrades to OS X seem to have had the effect of reducing Mail’s ability to cope with larger number of folders on Exchange.
      There is for example this thread: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/6815229?start=15&tstart=0
      I found that significantly reducing the number of folders and subfolders I have on Exchange caused Mail to stop hanging.

        1. No. what i mean is that the Mail program hangs or freezes, just as with the users who have benefited from your fix. But in this case it freezes because something about dealing with multiple folders on the exchange server is too much for Mail. By reducing the number of folders on the Exchange server, you stop Mail from frequently hanging.

      1. Unfortunately, this has not fixed unresponsive Apple mail in 10.10.5 – I have struggled with this issue for many months now. By resetting PRAM and restarting multiple times, I sometimes can manage to get it working but still no clear process for a permanent fix. Hope to see this resolved. Thanks for the great blog.

  15. Hi,

    This has not worked for me. I am on OS X Yosemite Version 10.10. 5
    MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch, Early 2015
    Mail is still not responding. Do you have any further suggestions please?

    Best Regard,

  16. Pingback: Mac OS X Mail Not Responding | Contrid

  17. Simple fix and it worked on OS X Yosemite vers. 10.10.2.
    Much obliged for the assistance.
    I’ve bookmarked your blog in case I have any further Mac problems.
    Many thanks.

    1. Mike,

      you’re welcome! Thank you very much for your great feedback! 🙂

      Don’t hesitate to ask me any question related to OS X, iOS or Windows. I’ll do my very best to help you and any other follower of miapple.me!

      Gee Are

  18. Worked @ first try! Thanks for the hint. ….. and I was so frustrated. Back to work now, smiling.
    Keep up the good work!
    Thanks again,

  19. Thanks Gee!!!

    It worked perfectly.

    The only think is that I had to shut down then only restart instead. The first two attempts only restarting the device didn’t work!

    Blog Marked and shared with my friends!


    Renan Monteiro

    Brazilian Living in Dubai, UAE.

    1. Hi Renan,

      cool! Thanks for your reply, bookmarking and sharing miapple.me – Tech.Blog! BTW, if you got some problems to solve, just contact me! And I’ll do my very best! 🙂

      Gee Are

  20. This didn’t solve my problem. Through trial and error I determined that deleting the file Library -> Mail -> V2 -> MailData -> SyncedSmartMailboxes.plist would make Mail.app not hang on startup, and instead display a dialog about choosing a mail account to add.

  21. So this worked for me – ONCE, but it appears Mail recreates this file and I have to keep deleting on every launch. How might we stop the creation of the file?

    I have figured out that I can launch by holding down the shift key and double clicking my Mail launch icon, and this seems to bypass previous preferences (I am assuming) and launches fine.

    Perhaps one of you fine smart folks might know a way to make that permanent and eliminate my workaround?

    1. First, let me thank all of you for great work and input. Secondly, I can say that I have had more trouble and experience than anyone here. I have over 60 e-mail accounts running in Mac Mail – and yes – one could argue that this is my biggest problem, but alas – not the case: After experiencing every possible issue (too long a list to report) incl. those I have found on the internet (all sites/complaints), my personal conclusion is that the only way I fixed EVERYTHING, was to stop using Mac Mail for the multiple Gmail accounts I have. Finally, after disabling all Gmail accounts, all the other 50+ accounts run smoothly. Hope this helps…

    2. Hi HigherRoad,

      for permanently disabling ‘Saved Application States’, open ‘System Preferences’ > ‘General’ and put a checkmark next to “Close windows when….”.

      Gee Are

    3. Hi HigherRoad,

      Check this tweak:
      Leave the window ‘Internet Accounts‘ in ‘System preferences‘ open. Now, when I restart the Mac or it starts up automatically in the AM, Mail launches correctly, but with the ‘System Preferences‘ window open (Kudos to Ron Mac for this tweak!).

      Gee Are

  22. Pingback: Apple:Mail App keeps hanging (not crashing) on Yosemite 10.10.3 – Apple Questions

  23. Thank you for your contribution! I have been fighting for several hourd to get rid of this problem, until I was lucky to find your solution. The fix was quick and easy, thank you!

  24. Hi Gee,

    I have performed this task exactly as directed and while it solved the problem for a small time it did come back. I have been through the post several times to see what else I can implement and still have the same issue reoccurring after a few days. Do you know if this works on OSX X El Capitan 10.11.2 or is this just a fix for Yosemite?

    1. Hi Petey,

      thanks for your feedback, Yes, it works also on El Capitan. But maybe the problem you’re facing is another one. Have you already tried one of the three other options mentioned in this post (see the links in the post).

      Gee Are

  25. Hello,

    Thanks a lot for this solution.

    It works but once I shut the computer down at the end of the day the problem arises again at the next start up. Is there a permanent solution to this issue.



  26. Hi there, I am one of those whose just can’t press a delete button! I was so nervous to follow your directions, but it worked! Thanks so much

  27. Pingback: 4 Years Of Blogging: miApple.me - Tech.Blog's 4th Anniversary - miapple.me

  28. Thank you so much. I was pulling my hair out. You should have Apple post this quick and easy fix on their site!

  29. Thanks! That worked for me with my MacBookPro in 10.11.4. If the problem repeats, I’ll try your suggestion with the System Preferences.

  30. My Mail.app was freezing when I tried to quit it (forcing me to force quit it) and it was also not letting me select folders (it just showed the same partial list of my email). I tried your mail state deletion fix to no avail. Believe it or not, what finally worked was:

    1) force quit Mail.app
    2) turn of Airport so my Mac was disconnected from the internet
    3) relaunch mail
    4) quit Mail.app again (this time it worked)
    5) relaunch Mail.app
    6) turn Airport back on again

    From that point on, Mail.app worked normally. I think the issue was actually that it was trying to check or sync mail in one of my accounts and getting stuck. The key step was probably #4, because if Mail.app could quit, then it was no longer caught in whatever infinite loop it was trying to do.

    Incidentally, I went to Window->Connection Doctor and discovered an old SMTP server that was spinning forever. I deleted it in Mail->Preferences->Accounts->Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP)->Edit SMTP Server List… then clicking on the bad server and clicking the [-] minus button on the left. I don’t think it was being used, but it’s a good idea to not let those hang around, because Apple’s interface for dealing with SMTP always made things very confusing.

  31. I had the same problem and unfortunately your fix didn’t fix my problem (at least not by itself).

    I ended up doing the following that did make it work:

    * Made sure Mail isn’t running (Force quit if need be)
    * Open Internet Accounts in System Preferences
    * Uncheck Mail in all the Internet Accounts
    * Start Mail
    * Go back to Internet Accounts in System Preferences and reenable (check enable) all the Mail accounts

    It worked after that!


  32. I accidentally deleted the entire ‘Saved Application State’ folder. Still have the same problem… How can I reverse/resolve this?

  33. Pingback: 5 Years Of Blogging: miapple.me - Tech.Blog's 5th Anniversary - miapple.me

  34. ***** SOLUTION *****

    So, I’ve spent the last several hours digging into why Mail would download several messages, then hang.

    As it turns out, turning on debugging and watching the IMAP streams revealed something very interesting. Namely that the Mail application is doing everything just find in regards to IMAP (I wrote a custom set of tools to verify this from the debugging logs, and it’s jives with the IMAP protocol 100%).

    What DIDN’T make sense until I started running packet traces on what was coming out of the machine was the hanging on seemingly random messages. Once I started tracing the outbound connections, I found something interesting. Every time the Mail application would “hang”, it would request a URL (picture or document in most cases) and then just never come back. Well, actually it did come back in some cases, but some domains that were in my e-mails had since been purchased by domain brokers. Domain brokers often “blackhole” domains they are “parking” until the sell. This means that Mail was trying to get someone’s snazy signature company logo from a company that had gone out of business and subsequently become a black hole for URLs attempting to get things from them.

    If that’s all too technical, the upshot of this is that you need to turn off the automatic download of images / documents from the Internet when you are downloading your mail, if this is happening to you.

    Un-check the box at:
    Mail > Preferences > Viewing >Uncheck Display remote images in HTML messages.

    That let me finish downloading my email and stopped Mail from being a locked up App.

    Good Luck,

    (Cross posted to Apple Forums in the hopes that no one else suffers from blackhole-ing domain parking parasites.)

  35. Please help! I followed your steps and unfortunately it didn’t work. Now I’m worried that I’ve deleted com.apple.mail.savedState for nothing. Is it ok that it’s gone?

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