Mail App Keeps Crashing Mac? Try These Fixes

An exciting time for Apple users is when Apple releases software updates for their devices. If you own a Mac, you probably eagerly wait for the new macOS software to come out, so you can explore all the new features, and commands. However, software updates are not perfect and can actually sometimes cause problems on your Mac.

While this may seem counterproductive, it’s completely normal. Luckily, Apple is constantly releasing subsequent updates in order to fix the mistakes and bugs on prior updates. This is why it’s essential to always keep your software up to date. This is often seen as a chore that users ignore, however, this is a grave mistake.

You’ll end up solving problems you didn’t even know you had by updating the software on your device. This goes for any device you own, whether that be a Mac, iPhone, or iPad. If you recently installed a software update on your Mac, you may notice that your Mail application keeps on crashing.

The application may be closing without being prompted, not opening at all, or may be running at slower speeds. While frustrating, this is a commonly reported problem amongst Mac users, especially those who just recently updated their software.

This problem has occurred frequently on the masOS El Capitan upgrade, the macOS High Sierra upgrade, and even on minor upgrades afterwards. However, there are a few ways to solve this problem. Usually when an application repeatedly crashes on a Mac, it means there’s a problem with the preference files, otherwise known as the .plist files of that application.

Therefore, in order to solve this problem, you should delete the aforementioned files and see if that resolves the issue. In the specific case of the Mail application, there are also Envelope files which may be causing the problem. If this is the case, those files should be refreshed in order to prevent the application from crashing once again. Please follow the instructions below on how to delete the .pfiles and refresh envelope files.

Before going into a deep dive of the .pfiles, as stated above, it’s imperative that you’ve installed the latest version of macOS on your device. If you’re sure that you already have the latest software update installed, feel free to skip this method. However, if you’re not sure if you’ve the latest version of macOS installed on your Mac, follow the instructions below.

Remove Envelope files

If the Mail app is crashing on your Mac, the first and best thing to do is to remove the envelope files and allow your Mac to rebuild them. Removing the envelope and allowing your Mac to rebuild them can stop the Mail app from crashing.

1. Close the Mail app if it is running.

2. In the Finder, press and hold the Option key > click Go > Library.

3. Open the Mail folder.

4. Open the V7 folder. This folder can also be the V5, V6, V7, V8, etc. This all depends on your macOS version

5. Open the MailData folder and locate the following files: Envelope Index, Envelope Index-shm, Envelope Index-wal.

6. Move these files to your desktop.

7. Open the Mail app and waiting for it to rebuild the new Envelope index files. This will take quite some time.

8. Once your Mac is no longer crashing, you can delete the envelop files from the desktop.

Update Your macOS Software

1. Launch the App Store.

2. Click on the Updates tab towards the top right.

3. Take note of any macOS updates. If there’s an update available, click on Update towards the right.

Please note that it will take some time for the macOS update to download and install on your Mac. Please be patient. You may have noticed that there are other updates available for the applications you have installed on your Mac. If you wish to update these applications as well, while updating the software on your device, click on the Update All button towards the top right.

After you’ve updated the macOS software on your Mac, try using your Mail application and check to see if the problem has resolved.

Delete the .pfiles on Your Mac for the Mail App

If updating the software on your device hasn’t solved the problem, follow the instructions below.

option + command

1. Make sure that you are not currently using the Mail application. If the application is unresponsive or refuses to close, force quit the application. Note: In order to force quit an application click the Apple Menu in the upper left corner of your screen and select Force Quit. Alternatively, you can press the keys option + command and esc at the same time, as a shortcut.

Open Finder

2. Open Finder. In the top menu bar, click on Go. A drop-down menu will appear, and towards the bottom you will see a Go to Folder option. Click on this option.


3. A window will pop up, and prompt you to Enter a path, indicating which folder you would like to access. In the area provided, type in ~/Library/Preferences and click Go in the lower right corner.

4. Once redirected, locate the following two files: and

5. Drag and drop the two files to the Trash, or right click on the files, and select the Move to Trash option. Note: If you do not wish to delete these files, you may isolate them by moving them to the Desktop.

6. Restart your computer, and launch the Mail application once again. Check to see if the problem has resolved.

IF the problem has now been resolved, feel free to delete the files that you may have isolated on your desktop. However, if the problem has not been resolved, you should also remove your envelope files. In order to remove your envelope files, follow the instructions below,

  1. If your Mail application is opened, close it. Force Quit, if necessary as seen in step #1 above.
  2. As seen above, once again open Finder and on the menu bar at the top, click Go. From the drop-down menu that appears, click Go to Folder.

/Users/zainabdandia/Desktop/Screen Shot 2019-07-23 at 7.00.44 PM.png

  1. A window will pop up prompting you to Enter a path. Type in ~/Library/Mail/V5/MailData. Click Go in the lower right corner.

/Users/zainabdandia/Desktop/Screen Shot 2019-07-23 at 7.05.25 PM.png

  1. Depending on your current version, you may not see V5, and will instead see V6 and above, or V4 and below. Open this folder. You will then see a MailData folder. Open this folder, and you will see a list of files,s as seen below.
  2. Delete all the files that have Envelope in them, by dragging and dropping them into the Trash, or right clicking and selecting the Move to Trash option. Note: If you do not wish to delete these files, you may isolate them by moving them to the Desktop.
  3. Now restart your computer, and launch the Mail application once again. Check to see if the issue has resolved.

Once the issue has resolved, you may remove the files to isolated to the Desktop into the Trash.