draft message crashes Mail

Mail 2_512x512

If you try to create a message with a corrupted or oversized attachment (suspect anything over 10MB), you might find that Mail keeps crashing every time you try to start it. This problem can be particularly annoying since you often can’t even get Mail open long enough to delete the problem message. Worse, even when you delete the problem message or attachment, it can just come straight back as soon as you try to refresh your messages from your web-based IMAP mail server. If this problem’s happening to you, here’s the solution.

First of all, disconnect from the internet and then quit Mail.
If you’re using 10.7 or later, click on Finder, choose ‘Go’ in the menubar and hold down the ‘option’ key. Choose ‘Library’ from the menu. For users of OS X 10.6 or earlier, navigate to

HOME > Library

in Finder.

Once you’ve found the user Library folder (note: this is not the same as the root or system library folder!), navigate to


In there you’ll see some folders called things like


for each email address you have. In each one there is a Drafts folder. Locate the correct one and delete the file.
Do NOT restart Mail, but open your internet connection, go to your web-based email through your browser and delete the draft from there too.
Now you can restart Mail. Choose ‘Rebuild’ from the Mailbox menu in the menubar.

Problem solved!🙂

featured picture: ‘Mail – flurry style’ by Lukeedee

About philastokes

Freelance Writer, Developer and Technical Communicator. Explaining the unexplainable with images, video and text. Scripting anything imaginable in Applescript, Bash, C, Objective C, Cocoa, Python and Xcode.

Posted on February 1, 2013, in Mail, Mountain Lion, OS X Lion, Snow Leopard and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Am able to receive emails but not send them. smtp address etc all correct. with the same details am able to send from windows pc but not macbook. pls guide. using mac os x 10.6.8

    • You need to do a diagnostic test to isolate the problem. First, create a new second user account in  > System Preferences > Accounts
      and set up the same email address in Mail.
      Does the same problem persist in the new user account?

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