Mail has undone actions on some messages – Apple’s Mail Program

December 30, 2007

Errors, Mac, Tips and Tricks

In Leopard, when you go offline while using Apple’s Mail program with an IMAP account, you may get the following error message, or something similar:

“Some actions taken while the account “xxxxxxx” was offline could not be completed online.

Mail has undone actions on some messages so that you can redo the actions while online. Mail has saved other messages in mailbox “Apple Mail To Do” in “On My Mac” so that you can complete the actions while online.

Additional information: The IMAP command “APPEND” (to Apple Mail To Do) failed with server error: Invalid mailbox name..”

And if you click OK enough times, the program crashes.

There are two ways to correct this problem (both ways will preserve your mail settings (you will NOT have to reconfigure your Mail program) and your mail will appear in a few seconds after first opening the Mail program after performing the fix below):


1st Way (easier way)

1. Make sure your Mail program is closed
2. Open Macintosh HD (double-click on it)
3. Select your Home folder (it will be on left nav bar with the picture of a house)
4. On the right side of the window, double-click on the “Library” folder (to open the folder)
5. Double-click on the “Mail” folder
6. Remove (move to the trash) the “IMAP-youremailaddress@here.com” folder
7. Close everything and open Mail to confirm it has been fixed

2nd Way

Delete all entries in~/Library/Mail/IMAP-email_address@mailserver/.OfflineCache . The folder is actually only accessible in shell since its a hidden directory, so you will need to access it via Terminal. This is for advanced users only, so I won’t bother writing a step-by-step instruction, as those users will know how to do it.

About Ian Brown

Ian has been involved with computers since very young. He took his first computer class when he was just 8 years old. He always had an affinity for computers, but never really took it seriously. It was not until he graduated from college and experienced the real world for a while did he realize that computers may be where his talent and passion lie. He has since branched out into Internet marketing and LOVES it. He currently resides in Los Angeles where he services clients ranging from residential to small business to celebrities.

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82 Responses to “Mail has undone actions on some messages – Apple’s Mail Program”

  1. HFM Says:

    Thank you. You fixed an enormous headache for me.

  2. Rose Says:

    Thank you very, very much, Ian! Deleting the OfflineCache folder worked like a charm.

  3. Aloysius Says:

    Merry Christmas to me! It’s a tribute to my geekdom that I should be mucking about the internet on Christmas evening but that #*%& message came up one too many times and I found your solution online and in less time than it takes to unwrap a present my 6 month old problem has vanished with the Spirit of Christmas Past. It’s A Wonderful Life! God Bless us every one… and you especially Tiny Ian.

  4. Adam M. Erickson Says:

    It worked so painlessly.

    FYI: it worked for OSX 10.5.8, nothing to worry about it took me longer to post this thank you.

    Thank you.

  5. Aloysius Says:

    Slight problem: email boxes existed in the trashed folder that don’t exist in the reconstructed folder. I know there’s mail in them because I can see it and open it from the Finder. But reinstalling those folders into the newly created location doesn’t cause them to appear in Mail. I’ve tried “On My Mac” as well as their original email boxes and nothing brings ’em back. Ideas?

  6. Ian Brown Says:

    Thank you all for your kind comments. I really appreciate it. It’s always nice to hear how one’s work has helped better other people’s lives.

    Aloysius, LOL, very funny Xmas comment. Sorry, but I am short on time, as I am heading out for CES (Consumer Electronic Show) in Vegas right now (I’ll be posting on this blog live from CES, btw, so stay tuned!)

    Try posting your question on these two forums:

    http://macosx.com/forums/
    http://forums.macosxhints.com/

    They are very good over there and quick to respond. Good luck!

  7. matt nathanson music fan Says:

    Hey, I just wanted to drop a note and say nice post!

  8. Iven from Canada Says:

    In my case, just restarting my macbook worked. Try that too.

  9. Ian Brown Says:

    Thanks for the tip, Iven!

  10. Kevin Stancombe Says:

    Many thanks for this particular insightful post. Every now and then, the best wisdom come from the places one wouldn’t expect. Until now, I failed to give a whole lot of thought to commenting on blog entries and have left feedback even less. Viewing your powerful post, will help me to take action again.

  11. Ara Pehlivanian Says:

    You just saved my butt! Thanks man.

  12. timber flooring installation sydney Says:

    This is the most interesting web site I have seen on this matter. Lots to talk about. I’m going to show my friends. It will absolutely start a completely new area to talk about.

  13. Enjay Says:

    2nd way for me, worked perfectly. Boom.

  14. zofia Says:

    #2 worked for me, thx!!

  15. Ian Brown Says:

    Great to hear! Glad this post is helping all of you!

  16. how to use adsense Says:

    Please, can you PM me and tell me few more things about this, I really like blogs like yours…

  17. appilstore Says:

    GR8 Mate, Wish we had people like you in germany too, this is valuable content!

  18. Girishboi Says:

    Thanks a ton man. This really works

  19. alexandra Says:

    same problem as before and once again, you saved the day – BIG THANKS!

  20. June Says:

    Hello , please please, i need help !!!!
    i couldn’t find the answer in this page. So i’m asking, and hope the answer was not before =
    I have a HUGE probleme in Entourage 2008.
    I’v just re-install it and download all my message from my server (gmail).
    But i’v limited the message with 20K, it was quicker this way, and i thought to clic on “get the entire message” later would work perfectly.
    But today the message “get entire message” disappear from every message box. the only way to see them is to go on gmail… But i don’t want that i want them all on my entourage… WHAT SHOULD I DO TO HAVE THE “GET ENTIRE MESSAGE” BACK?? THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP !!!
    (am french and hope my english was not too bad) Thanks.

  21. Ian Brown Says:

    Glad this fix worked for you guys!

    Hi June,

    I’m quite busy now and have not run into that issue before. So I suggest you go over and ask some experts at the following forums:

    http://www.officeformac.com/ProductForums/Entourage/ (this is the first forum I would try, because it is the support forum for the program that has the issue you are dealing with)
    http://discussions.apple.com/index.jspa
    http://macosx.com/forums/
    http://hintsforums.macworld.com/
    http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/
    http://forums.macrumors.com/

    They are all free to register and ask your question. Post your question on a few of them or all of them so you will get your answer quicker. And if you wouldn’t mind posting the answer back here, I’d appreciate it. Thanks and good luck!

  22. Internet Affiliate Says:

    Thanks, Ian.
    This really works.
    Glad this post is helping all of you!

  23. Chris Says:

    Thanks, this was a big, big help!

  24. Ian Brown Says:

    You bet!

  25. Whitney Says:

    I’m having this issue as well… updated to Lion, and suddenly things are crazy with one of my email addresses. I tried the first steps, but the only folder that I found in ~/Library/Mail/ was “AccountTypes” and there is nothing in this directory.

    Sadly, I’m not an advanced user so I would need more instructions to try Method 2. Is anyone willing to email me & walk me through it? Thanks!

  26. Ian Brown Says:

    Hey Whitney,

    Do this (make sure your Apple Mail program is closed before you do this):

    1. Go to http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/26729/houdini and download Houdini
    2. It will be a zip file, so once you download it to your desktop, double-click “Houdini.zip” to extract the program
    3. The icon of the program will look like a faded folder; drag the program into your Applications folder
    4. Double-click the program (Houdini) inside the Applications folder after you move it into there to start the program
    5. In the window that pops up, click on “Toggle File Visibility”
    6. If you have any Finder windows up, they will go away for a quick second and then come back
    7. Navigate to the following folder: Home folder (the icon is a pic of a house; it is most likely named your name if it’s your computer)> Library > Mail > IMAP-youremailaddress (replace youremailaddress with your actual email address that you’re having his issue with) > .OfflineCache
    8. Erase the content of that folder (the folder named “.OfflineCache”; btw, any folder with a “.” before the name of it is a hidden folder, and you will not see this folder unless you do what you just did above with Houdini)
    9. Close that window after you delete the contents of that folder
    10. Open your Apple Mail program and see if the issue is fixed
    11. If it is, then go back to Houdini and click on “Toggle File Visibility” again to hide your hidden folders again. It’s best to have them hidden so nothing gets messed up in your operating system by mistake.
    12. Done!

    Post back here with your results.

    Nice avatar, btw. ;p

  27. Whitney Says:

    Thanks for the clues, but unfortunately, there still isn’t a folder in Home > Library > Mail called “IMAP-anything” Here’s a screenshot of what I see in that folder: http://whitneyclaire.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Screen-Shot-2011-08-02-at-10.23.33-AM.png

    Any suggestions?

  28. Ian Brown Says:

    Hey Whitney,

    For some reason, my comment that I posted a couple of days ago with my iPhone didn’t show up. I just noticed that. Sorry about that. I’m talking with some other techs about it.

    In the meantime, any Apple Store will look at your computer for free, even if it is out of warranty. And they’ll either fix it for you, or tell you how much it will cost. But don’t pay anything. We’ll fix it. I just figured if you need to get it fixed asap, that’s an option for you. But again, I am in talks with some techs and will get back to you. If you do happen to go to the Apple Store and they fix it, I’d appreciate it if you could post the fix here. Thanks! I’ll let you know when we have a possible solution for you.

    By the way, when in Mail, if you go to MAIL>PREFERENCES>Click on the ACCOUNTS tab at the top of the window that popped up>Click on the email account in question listed on the left>click on the MAIL BEHAVIORS tab on the right>are any of the boxes checked to store the messages on the server?

  29. Brigitte Says:

    Ian,
    my mail crashed nine days ago and I tried everything. I finally came across a post on Big Resource.com where someone sent me to your link on how to fix the mail problem the easy way. thank you so much. all my mail came in but I still see exclamation marks. Should I be worried?

  30. Ian Brown Says:

    Hi Brigitte,

    Where are the exclamation marks?

  31. E Wilson Says:

    THANK YOU.

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