March 14, 2018

What to Do When Mail App is Slow on Mac (3 Ways to Fix It)

Nothing much besides bills and magazines comes by snail mail these days, unlike your ever-overflowing email inbox.

But sometimes the world of electronic mail isn’t nearly as swift as we’ve come to expect it to be — and that creates problems when all you want to do is send that last email to your boss or professor so you can get on with your life.

Mail app running slow on a Mac machine is both unexpected and unwanted. After all, you want to be able to use Apple’s flagship laptops with their custom-built applications rather than trying to work with a secondhand program that doesn’t have the features you’re used to.

That’s why we’ve compiled this guide, which will point you to the easiest ways to get Mail running like it should in no time. All of them are fairly universal, and if one doesn’t seem to do the trick, you should be able to try another with ease.

1: Force Quit Mail

Has the pinwheel of death appeared on your screen? It’s a fate we all know too well — whether you just pressed send or didn’t have a chance after typing an extra long message, the loading wheel always seems to show up at the most inopportune time. If waiting it out doesn’t seem to be a possibility, it’s time to circumvent this technological curse.

First, navigate out of the Mail app (clicking Finder in the dock is a good bet). Then go the Apple Menu in the top left corner of your screen and choose ‘Force Quit’.

This will open a small window listing all of your open applications. You’ll want to select Mail (it may have the words “(not responding)” in red next to it, which is just an indicator that it has crashed. Once you’ve selected Mail, click the button that says “Force Quit”. You may be asked to confirm your action.

Give Mail a few moments to be terminated before you relaunch the app. However, once you reopen it everything should be back in working order. At worst, you’ll lose the draft of whatever message you were working on when you closed it, but beyond that, there should be no effect on functionality. In fact, you should see Mail run faster and more efficiently than before.

2: Rebuild the Message Index Database

Does Mail seem to be lagging on tasks that used to be completed in just a second or two? Especially if you have a lot of contacts in your address book or have stored a lot of messages, you can rebuild the Message Index Database to help Mail get back on its feet. This will take some time, but it will definitely be worth it.

Rebuilding the database essentially restructures the catalog of all your messages and contacts, which allows the app to access them more efficiently and thus reduce loading and other process times. For the best results, try and do this regularly rather than waiting until Mail is showing signs of needing it.

First, open the Mail App. Then in the menu bar navigate to MAILBOX > REBUILD.

You can quit Mail in the middle of the process without worrying about losing any messages or progress — the rebuilding process will simply pick up where it left off when Mail is reopened. Also, keep in mind this only rebuilds the current mailbox, so if you’re using more than one you’ll need to rebuild them each individually.

3: Speed up Mail with This App in One Click

CleanMyMac 3 is an app that we have referenced many times due to its amazing versatility and effectiveness. It once again comes in handy for the case of a painfully slow Mail app.

You’ll need to get a copy of the CleanMyMac app first. Once it’s installed and running, you’ll want to navigate to the Maintenance tab.

Once there, choose the “Speed Up Mail” option by checking the box and then clicking “run” at the bottom of the page. You can also select any additional processes you’d like to execute to speed things up at the same time by clicking the relevant checkboxes.

The program shouldn’t take too long to run, and you’ll see a brief loading screen while you wait. Once it’s over, you’ll be presented with a completion screen so that you know everything is done and Mail is ready for use again.

This is a super effective and simple way of making sure Mail doesn’t have any tricks up its sleeve, and it comes with the added benefit of dozens upon dozens of other tools. Not only will your emails load and send faster, but you can make your entire Mac operate a little speedier with everything from easy application uninstallation to everyday maintenance tasks that are difficult to do by hand.

Final Words

It’s never fun when Mail runs slow on your Mac. Whether you’re drafting an email to your boss or simply sorting through spam and old messages, the hindrance interferes with your productivity and can derail your work.

Additionally, it’s nice to be able to use the programs Apple intended for the computers rather than resorting to checking your mail in an ad-ridden browser window or with a less effective third-party application.

We hope the tactics included in this guide help prevent this from happening in the future and solve any problems you may currently have.

Do you have your own way of speeding up Mail when it starts to slow? Feel free to tell us about it in the comments below!

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