Apple "not responding"

This morning, my mail server was rebooted by my ISP. This is not extraordinary in itself, but somehow it caused my mail client (Apple's some confusion. It thought the IMAP server was offline (which it was for half an hour or so), and would not reconnect.

When I restarted Mail, it froze. "Application not responding". Force quit worked to kill it, but it always froze on restart (even after a reboot). Other IMAP clients (I also use the excellent Mutt in conjunction with offlineimap, and when really desperate, Thunderbird) were working just fine.

I found this article on macosxhints, but its suggestion:

% cd ~/Library/Mail
% find . -name '.index.ready' -delete
% find . -name 'content_index' -delete
% find . -name 'table_of_contents' -delete

did not work. (Well, it obviously worked, the files were deleted, but it didn't help the symptoms.)

I noticed another indexy cachey looking file in my mailbox directories: .mboxCache.plist. Deleting all of these:

find . -name '.mboxCache.plist' -delete

seemed to fix for me.

NOTE I have no idea what this file is for, or what the implications of deleting it might be. It appears to have Worked For Me(tm), but it could also cause all your email to fall out of the back of your computer and make a nasty stain on your carpet.


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