Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Solving Gmail IMAP empty inbox in Apple Mail 5

Man! Took me a long evening and finally a portion of this morning to solve the following issue between my Google Apps Gmail Account synchronized with the Apple Mail 5 client over IMAP...

When creating the account, I had briefly seen my messages in my Google Apps account's inbox, but then the rest of the account folders were displaying the messages, I couldn't see the messages anymore neither in the account's inbox folder nor in the All accounts' combined inbox...

I had found several instructions how to setup the Gmail account and also others complaining about this issue, but nothing to solve it. Of course, start with the following instructions to setup Apple Mail 4, they are the same for the version 5. Nevertheless, if you cannot see the messages in the inbox, despite showing in your gmail account through your favorite browser, check this:


  1. Check in Apple Mail whether you have sub-folders below the inbox (you will have a small little triangle on the left of the inbox icon).
  2. If you have those sub-folders, go to gmail directly and check whether you have label's names which start with inbox/something.
  3. If that's the case, in many cases, they have been created out of previous migration from another client e.g. Outlook migrated to Gmail... they are considered as sub-folders in IMAP and it seems that Apple Mail is lost and cannot retrieve the inbox content in the such case.
  4. So from Gmail, select all related messages tagged with this label and move them to another folder.
  5. Once done, get back to Apple Mail, and select the menu Mailbox - Rebuild
  6. Your inbox should start displaying your messages and same for the combined inboxes
  7. Enjoy!

9 comments:

Richard Turner said...

You are my hero - had this problem with a colleague's iMac. Click / delete and now he has his inbox.

Thanks

renOC said...

Hey good advice. I just completed an old Exchange to Gmail migration and a couple of my users had nested inbox subfolders. In my case, the Apple mail clients would show thing briefly or until navigating off the folder selected at the time of sync and then all the messages just disappeared. I searched and found several suggested methods, but this was the most straightforward and it worked perfectly.

renOC said...

Hey good advice. I just completed an old Exchange to Gmail migration and a couple of my users had nested inbox subfolders. In my case, the Apple mail clients would show thing briefly or until navigating off the folder selected at the time of sync and then all the messages just disappeared. I searched and found several suggested methods, but this was the most straightforward and it worked perfectly.

Anonymous said...

Incredibly helpful - this worked perfectly for me!

Phil Ince said...

Thank you! In the settings, you can also deselect 'Show in IMAP' for the troublesome folder and this has the same effect.

Daveychan said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to post this incredibly helpful set of instructions. You saved me probably hours of deleting plists and creating test user accounts and saving the world. Warm regards!



Daveychan said...

Thank you so much for this incredibly helpful solution! You no doubt saved me hours of deleting plists and creating test user accounts. Warmest regards!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Just moved from exchange and it was only the Mac users that created subfolders on exchange that had the issue. This worked. Never would'a thunk it.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant! - you are a genius. Thanks a million