Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fixing an OS X Mail.app "updating cache directory" problem

Yesterday Emily's email stopped working.

She reads email on 10.5.6 OS X Mail (mail.app) which sync via IMAP to our Google Apps family domain Gmail service.

I could see things looked fine on the Google side, so I opened the Mail.app activity window and saw it was stuck on "updating cache directory" (Google search link).

It seems this is a fairly common OS X Mail.app bug, but everyone I read had a different "fix".

Mine was very simple. I assumed it was an OS X problem; Apple is notorious for cache issues. I did a "safe boot" (hold shift on restart). That clears out some caches and is the first thing I do for most OS X problems. I like to do a "safe boot" every few months anyway; it's a bit of superstition perhaps.

After the "safe boot" I restarted. I didn't login, I just restarted normally.

The problem was fixed.

3 comments:

Steve Dekorte said...

Unfortunately, this solution didn't work for me. (OSX 10.6 on MacBook Pro Core Duo 2)

The Harlesden Coypu said...

Did the trick for me!

Jon! said...

For me, I ultimately figured out that the problem was I had to many messages in my All Mail folder (12K+). What I did was use the Google Labs "Advanced IMAP Controls" to limit my All Mail folder to 5K messages. Presto. The unending caching has finally ended.