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How To Fix Mavericks Mac OS X 10.9.2 Gmail Bug

Update: Fixing Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite Gmail Bug In Mail App
Google Gmail LogoApple released Mavericks Mac OS X 10.9.2 update (security release note) on February 25, 2014. Beside other several improvements and additional features like making and receiving FaceTime audio calls, it mainly should enhance the performance of the native OS X mail app.

Especially, the Gmail bug should had been resolved. However, some users still report about Gmail issues and other mail performance problems. The Gmail bug is seemingly the most common one.

The mail app improvements of OS X 10.9.2 should be:

  • Includes general improvements to the stability and compatibility of Mail
  • Improves the accuracy of unread counts in Mail
  • Resolves an issue that prevented Mail from receiving new messages from certain providers
  • Improves compatibility with Gmail Archive mailboxes
  • Includes improvements to Gmail labels

There is an ‘old’ trick for Max OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, which was not working to fix the Gmail bug in the very first release of Mavericks anymore, but works again since the release of Mavericks Mac OS X 10.9.1: De-activating ‘Show in IMAP’ for ‘All Mail’ label. You can fix the bug for Google’s Gmail IMAP accounts following this work around.

How to fix Mavericks Mac OS X 10.9.2 Gmail bug:

The trick is to deactivate ‘Show in IMAP‘ for ‘All Mail‘, delete every single Gmail account in the native mail app in Mavericks, reactivate it and set up your Gmail accounts again without activating ‘Show in IMAP‘ for ‘All Mail‘ again (in contrast to my recommendation in ‘Fixing Gmail Bug On Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks Mail App‘ with the reactivating step):

The ‘old’ Mountain Lion trick to de-activate ‘Show in IMAP’ for ‘All Mail’ fixes the Mavericks Mac OS X 10.9.2 Gmail bug in native mail app on your Mac. If this fix is working for you, let us know and comment. If not, comment anyway to get further assistance!  

Stay tuned! 😉

67 thoughts on “How To Fix Mavericks Mac OS X 10.9.2 Gmail Bug”

    1. I was unable to add the Google account. The message is ‘There was a problem setting up the account. An unknown error occurred.’

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    3. YES! it worked, thank you. Finally. My Gmail-problems only started with Mavericks 10.9.2. I didn’t experience any problems in 10.9.1 oddly enough. On my old machine, a mid-2007 iMac, I also installed 10.9.2 but didn’t see the Gmail-prolems at all.

    4. Thanks for the tip; I’ve tried everything else suggested on the web and am up to date on 10.9.2 updates, and just gave your fix a try, painful as it is to start my accounts from scratch since they’re large. Unfortunately, Apple Mail has been “synchronizing with server” and “Updating cache directory” constantly for the past week so I’m leaning towards this not being a fix for me. I have 20GB of Gmail, but I should think that by now the account would have finished its initialization so my suspicion is that Apple Mail will just continue to try to synchronize forever. This leaves me with my initial problem still remaining: Apple Mail refreshes so slowly as to be useless anymore. Changes I make in Gmail’s interface (e.g. read/unread status, moving from inbox, archiving) are not reflected in Apple Mail for hours, if ever, and pressing Get Mail or Mailbox > Synchronize doesn’t change that. Sometimes Mailbox > Rebuild helps, but that’s not an actual solution. Any further tips appreciated! Otherwise will just abandon Apple Mail.

        1. Thanks, I didn’t see your reply for a while. I don’t think I want to go deleting all my caches per that post, since it would affect multiple applications.

            1. The post you suggested following says:
              “Go to finder and click on ‘Macintosh HD/library/caches‘. Drag all the contents of the folder to the trash.”

              and later, “Click on the finder, click ‘Go‘, hold the option key and click on ‘libraries‘ (will not appear if you don’t hold the option key). Go to the folder ‘Cashes‘ again and drag everything in the folder to the trash again.”

              It’s scary to advocate that to people, since it would delete caches for all applications.

              Not sure if I want to try it even if just limited to the mail cache, now that you’ve clarified.

                1. Thanks for the link, that is comforting. I deleted the mail-related caches per its instructions. Not certain yet, but I’d say synching is improved. Doesn’t seem “cured” completely, but too early to say that for sure.

                2. Regarding this fix:

                  Open the native mail app client in Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks.
                  Log in your Gmail account in the web browser.
                  Go to the settings wheel (right corner below your account image) and click on ‘Settings‘.
                  Click on ‘Labels’, deactivate ‘Show in IMAP‘ for ‘All Mail‘ and go to your inbox (change in settings will be saved).
                  Close the native mail app client in Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks.

                  I have tried it, but how do you know when the process is complete? I’ve heard it takes days for everything to correct itself. I can’t tell if anything is happening in Mail, i.e. there is no progress bar, nothing. The only thing is on the left side under Mail Activity there will randomly appear a bar that always says something different. Right now it says Incoming Messages 313 out of 7106 but it disappears and reappears with different numbers. How do I know when this process is complete and I know either it’s fixed or not fixed and also when I can shut down my computer or put it on auto-sleep?

                  1. Hi,

                    the process is finished when the bar shows 7106 out of 7106 messages in your case. I think it will probably not matter, if you shut down your Mac in between. It will restart syncing after starting the Mac. But I would recommend to just let your Mac do the sync.

                    Gee Are

                3. I started using Mavericks 10.9.2 two weeks ago. After switching to this new OS, Apple Mail started downloading the spams that were nicely staying in the spam folder until then. Other than that I haven’t experienced major problem of sync. But although not quite disastrous, that one is rather annoying.

                  The most common answer in the diverse forums to this problem seems to be “uncheck the show in Imap box of the spam folder”. I did it, and yes the spam folder doesn’t show anymore in Mail but the spams are still downloaded in the inbox.

                  In fact I noticed that Mail is fetching these spams and bring it to my computer BEFORE they appear in the Gmail spam folder. Same thing for the spam with dangerous attachment that Gmail is supposed not to fetch from the diverse accounts. They now show in my Inbox and only later do I receive the gmail message saying that this mail was left on the server.

                  Could the fix you suggest take care of this problem?

                  1. Hi Gilles,

                    go to Mail app on Mavericks, click ‘Preferences’, ‘Junk Mail’ and select ‘Move it to the Junk Mailbox’.
                    I think you need not to “uncheck the show in Imap box of the spam folder” in this case.

                    Gee Are

                    1. Hi Gee Are,

                      thanks for the suggestion. But to do that one needs to enable the Mail junk filtering which is precisely what one is not supposed to do for the IMAP configuration as given by Gmail.

                      The problem I would like to correct now is that Mail is downloading even the spam mail that Gmail says it has left in the other server.

                      1. Hi Gilles,

                        who is saying that you need to deactivate it for Gmail configuration? Following the information in my post you do not need to do so. If you do so, it is obvious that Mail.app is fetching the junk mail because the junk is not allowed to go to the junk mailbox.

                        I suggest the following: Show junk mailbox in IMAP and make a filter rule ‘move to trash box’ for all mail in the junk mail box. If you want the rule universal, you need to do this in Gmail. If you only want to do it for your Mac, make the rule in Mac’s mail app.

                        Gee Are

                    2. Thanks for the advice, Gee Are.
                      I’ve done what you suggested and it is now rebuilding my inbox in Apple Mail.
                      Now the problem is that Gmail can’t connect to the server – keeps saying outgoing server offline.
                      It also keeps asking me for my username and password – and I keep entering it, with no effect.
                      Please advise?

                      1. Hi Rudi,

                        how big is your Gmail mailbox? If it is very big, say some hundreds MB or more, then it could be that you received the sync limits of Gmail per day. Therefore, I wrote in my post that it could take “…some minutes, hours or days depending on the size of your Gmail mailboxes until the Gmail accounts work correctly again”.
                        Check your Gmail SMTP settings, that they are correct (Port 993, ‘Use SSL’ activated). Reboot your Mac and let Gmail sync again.

                        If your mailbox is not so big, I suggest to also check your Gmail SMTP settings, that they are correct (Port 993, ‘Use SSL’ activated). Reboot your Mac and let Gmail sync again.

                        Gee Are

                    3. Hi, how are you? Before reading your post, I unchecked the Show in IMAp for All Mail. I did not delete my gmail accounts (2 google apps for business and 1 gmail account). That was on Thursday night and it keeps syncing the biggest account (16GB+). I’m not sure if something is wrong. If I check the size of the mailbox in /Users/username/Library/Mail/V2, the size is almost 25GB now which is bigger than the actual mailbox. I noticed that it’s syncing all my folders over and over again. Your help would be highly appreciated.

                      Bets regards!

                      1. Hi Mauricio,

                        you,ve got a real big mail box! I would assume that it will take several days to due your big account and the Gmail limit in syncing items per day.
                        Additional, it seems that Gmail has some sync problem since some days. Since yesterday, I’m trying import a calendar into Gmail calendar and it fails importing it correctly all the time.
                        I suggest to keep cool, drink one to ten cups of coffee, wait and see and let the Mac and Gmail sync (take care that the Mac will not go in stand-by mode during syncing!)…

                        Normally, the inbox should be sync at first. Check that you got all items in your inbox. If so, everything will get ok.

                        Gee Are

                        1. Thanks for your reply, I’ll be patient. One question, I’m syncing 2 Macs at the same time, would you recommend to do it one at a time?


                          1. Hi Mauricio,

                            indeed, I suggest to sync one Mac after the other one, not parallel. I think this can confuse Gmail…
                            Put one Mac in stand-by mode and let the other one sync.

                            Gee Are

                            1. Hello again, at this point both Macs (one at a time) are still syncing. One Mac is syncing since last Thursday and the other one is syncing since Sunday. I noticed that they sync repetedly all my mailboxes. Not sure if I have waited enough time and there is something wrong. Any suggestions?

                              Thanks again for your help!

                              1. Hi Mauricio,

                                I suggest the following:
                                – repeat the entire process for both Macs, but one after the other.
                                – in Step 4 deactivate als “Deleted items” and “sent items” (normally these are the biggest folders)
                                – until Step 7 do this with both Macs, then shut down one Mac and go ahead with the other one.
                                – If the sync of the first one is finished, start the continue the process of the second mac with step 8.

                                Hope that helps,
                                Gee Are

                                1. Hi, my “Deleted Items” and “Sent Mail” are empty. I migrated from Office 365 to Google Apps 3 weeks ago so these folders were empty by then. I keep them empty by moving the sent items to folders through Mavericks mail and emptying the trash. Based on this, I’m not sure if it would deb worth to do it as you explained. Regards.

                                  1. Hi Mauricio,

                                    then choose other big labels/folders to reduce the amount for syncing.
                                    Later on, if the rest is synced OK, you can sync these labels, too.

                                    Gee Are

                                        1. Mauricio Plascencia

                                          Hi, it’s working but not as desired. All mailboxes have been downloaded to both Macs. Syncing between Macs and server stopped at some point but it started over after some minutes. If I stop it, it will eventually start again. Maybe this is how it works, I mean it syncs on a regular basis and and I have so many mailboxes that it takes long to complete. When it’s syncing, all the regular activities like sending, moving, trashing, etc behave really strange. I’m not sure if I should wait longer or if this is what it is. What do you think?

                                          Thanks by the way for sending the sync limits information!


                                            1. Mauricio Plascencia

                                              Hi, yes I’m able to send and receive emails, however when it’s syncing, these activities feel like laggy. Anyway, I’ll wait and see as you suggest. Thanks!

                                              1. Hi Mauricio,

                                                that’s good. You know, you’re allowed to download 2,5 GB per day. If your mailbox is 25 GB big, it will take 10 days!

                                                Gee Are

                                                1. Mauricio Plascencia

                                                  I think it has finished downloading everything. My question would be if after that it has to sync everything constantly or just on an occurrence basis?

                                                  1. Hello from Italy, I still have a problem about gmail calendar sync in icalendar.
                                                    I tried your advice and it works for email sync, but doesn’t for icalendar sync.
                                                    If I try to add calendar in “preferences”, it says to me “impossibile stabilire una connessione sicura”, in english I think “it’s impossible to establish a secure connection”.
                                                    I have mavericks 10.9.4.
                                                    Thank you for your attention!

                                                    1. Hi Umberto,

                                                      this fix is for Gmail mail only. To set up Google calendar go to ‘System preferences’, select ‘Internet Accounts’, then go to your Gmail account and select ‘Calendars’. This should work on Mavericks and Yosemite for your Google account. BTW, it is important that you chose IMAP on your Gmail account.

                                                      Gee Are

                                                      1. Hi Gee Are,
                                                        Thank you for your answer.
                                                        Mail works fine, but for some reason I cannot add calendar from my Google account in this mac (mavericks 10.9.4). That’s really strange!


                                                      2. Wow! Worked for me. I couldn’t even delete gmail before this. It just keeper freezing Preferences whenever I clicked on the gmail account.Thanks!

                                                      3. Similar problems with Yosemite !! Finally got it working … what worked was changing Gmail settings.
                                                        Gmail / Google > Account > Security > Account Permissions > Access for less secure apps > change from DISABLED (default) to ENABLED.

                                                      4. Hello… i repeated those steps 3 time with no success. can you help me?? when i set up again the accounts (2 accounts, 17GB and 1GB) in the Mavericks Preferences everithing start the syncroniztion correctly except the Mail.

                                                        1. Hi Francesco,

                                                          you’ve got at least one very huge mail account. Synchronisation will take a couples of days due to the daily sync limit of Gmail. How long have you already waited?

                                                          Gee Are

                                                      5. Hello everyone, i got the final solution for this tedious problem with Apple Mail.

                                                        With certain accounts only, you have to set a different IMAP and SMTP address: imap.googlemail.com (port 993) and smtp.googlemail.com (port 465)

                                                        If you can’t change it by the preferences you can manually edit the Accounts.plist file in the directory /Library/Mail/V2/MailData, change and replace imap.gmail.com and smtp.gmail.com with imap.googlemail.com and smtp.googlemail.com.

                                                        Hope it can help!


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