Since OS X Maverick’s launch last year, there have been complaints from users of the official Mac Mail app with Gmail accounts. Apple has fixed up many of the bugs in various patches, but one of the still recurring bugs prevents the Mail app from loading up new messages.

Instead of releasing another patch today, Apple has outlined a fix on its support website:


For some email providers, new email messages in Mail may only appear to arrive when Mail is first opened. No new email arrives until Mail is quit and reopened.


Quitting and reopening Mail forces t to re-establish a connection to the email server. You can use these steps to receive new mail messages without quitting Mail:

  1. Choose Mailbox > Take All Accounts Offline.
  2. Choose Mailbox > Get All New Mail.

As a shortcut, you can also add the Take All Accounts Offline and Get Mail buttons to your Mail toolbar.

  1. Choose View > Customize Toolbar.
  2. Drag the Take All Accounts Offline button to the Toolbar if it is not there already.
  3. Drag the Get Mail button to the Toolbar if it is not there already.
  4. Click Done

To receive new mail messages, click the Take Offline button, then click the Check Mail button.

So, essentially, Apple is providing a workaround that normally requires quitting and re-opening Mail. Hopefully OS X 10.9.2 does a little better than that.

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21 Responses to “Apple provides instructions for dealing with recurring OS X Mail ‘no new email’ bug”

  1. Why don’t they just release a patch. This is insane.


  2. godrifle says:

    As a small business owner and personal Apple user (I currently own six iPhones, two mac minis, six iMacs, a Mac Pro, three Apple TVs, three airport expresses and two Airport Extremes), and an AAPL shareholder, I’m in support of allocating some of the cash horde to fixing


  3. I don’t have this issue, but did have an issue where it wouldn’t send emails. Turns out my application password for Google didn’t sync through the Mail app. Took me months to realize because I had to go into advanced and find it. Crazy weird.


  4. Ryan says:

    Has anyone had the issue where read emails don’t sync across multiple macs? My iMac mail does not like to update new messages that have been read. Really strange. Any help?


    • I have the same problem — read status doesn’t sync between multiple Macs if both of them are running (though if I leave my MacBook Air closed and plugged in, with Power Nap on, it does sync changes I make on my work iMac). Also sometimes reading emails on my iPhone or iPad doesn’t mark them read on one or both Macs.

      All kind of frustrating.


    • Gan Babu says:

      mails using pop service, won’t sync (read/unread) with e-mail clients they will only download the new mails to the clients. Let me guess you are using hotmail or or email. this applies only to Mac. its a different story with iPhone (exchange active sync), everything syncs perfectly. FYI – Gmail offers both POP and IMAC… try gmail if you wanna.


      • Ryan says:

        Thanks Gan. It only does it with my gmail account which has imap switched on. Weird thing is it only does it with my iMac. I went ahead and disabled POP completely, we will see if that does anything…..but likely not. But Im not a complainer, still better than ANY other mail client I have used before. Outlook is not bad on a PC for work, but I hate it on my mac.


  5. Whoever is responsible for this in Mail needs to be reassigned, to the dustbin of history if necessary. Can anyone recommend other, properly native email clients?


  6. I am running 10.9.2 and have found that Mail does a better job except for a delay in fetching emails from an Exchange account. Specifically Office 365 account. Surprisingly, iPhone pushes emails from same Office 365 account almost immediately, but not OS X Mail. Strange.


    • I think that might be the Exchange protocol. Microsoft have built the protocol so that it can offer push mail to mobile clients but not to desktop clients and you have to license it from Microsoft so Apple can’t just cheat.

      You should therefore get emails on your iPhone and iPad as soon as they arrive at Office 365; they’ll turn up on your Mac only when it next thinks specifically to ask.


      • Thanks for the clarification. So configures Office 365 account as an Exchange account, it still sets it up as IMAP in terms of synchronising emails. How can we explicitly set to check Office 365 for new emails with custom frequency, such as 1 minute? Can we do that?


  7. Apart from the “no new mail” bug (using Exchange and an IMAP account), which has mostly improved since the fixes, I am now getting a problem with mail loosing focus. By this, I mean that I have a message selected, or have entered a search within mail, and then after about 15 seconds, the search is reset (although the search box is still completed) and the currently selected mail is unselected leaving a black preview pane… Getting this on both my iMac and Macbook Pro now… it’s really beginning to grind.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. computica says:

    Since 10.7, Mail has had problems. It couldn’t check two Exchange accounts without losing folders requiring a resync once or more per day. It STILL is not fixed. iOS can do it, why can Mail?


  9. Gmail stopped working a long time ago in Mavericks Mail for me and a whole lot of other Users. This does nothing. There are some fixes but it involves making an insecure connection. Not for me.


  10. sardonick says:

    WOW. All this supposed greatness and it still boils down to turning it off and on again. Brilliant. I’ve rebooted by $3200 piece of innovation 6 times since I bought it in January. I rebooted my 2011 iMac 1 time from 2011 to January 2013. I’m not impressed with Mavericks, let alone mail.


  11. Joel Reeves says:

    I had this problem until I turned off POP mail in Gmail settings (both POP and IMAP were active). I also suggest you open the activity window in Mail to keep an eye on what Mail is currently doing


    • Nick Brennan says:

      I think you have a point I did have this issue which seemed better of late but just tried that and it seems to completely solve it. As for pushing get new mail well I have been doing that for ages its hardly Apple giving a workaround considering its just a feature of Mail clients for 20 years.


  12. I’ve had the same problem since OS X 10.8. I now have 10.9.4 and still no fix. I did a clean install of Mavericks to ensure it wasn’t interference with another program. Nothing was installed, just pure, unadulterated Mavericks. Still had the problem. I then installed Office 2011, got the latest updates and tried Outlook. Same problem. I have both gmail and roadrunner accounts, sometimes it happens with one, sometimes the other, sometimes both. Trying to take all accounts offline/online doesn’t work, I have to quit Mail completely, wait at least 30 seconds (it never works if I quit/open immediately), then reopen. Mail will come in, go out, but that will only last for a few minutes to an hour or so, then everything is offline again. I NEVER had this problem before Mt Lion. I think Apple has inadvertently hired some moles from Google and/or Microsoft to sabotage them.