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Apple Mail very SLOW



I've been using Mail for a long time and one thing that's always bothered me is its glacial slowness. Once it starts up it gets and displays the last message that was selected in my inbox (this sometimes takes awhile if the message is long or has graphics/pictures), then it goes about "gathering children," and then (finally) retrieves mail from my accounts. Also, if I've had it open a while, it takes forever to quit. I've been testing out Thunderbird and it is far, far quicker. It's blisteringly quick on start up and downloading new messages is almost instantaneous, easily 75% faster than Mail. But Thunderbird has some quirks of its own. So does anyone know if all of these gyrations Mail goes through are absolutely necesary and/or is there any way to get around them or, in general, speed things up?

Mail version is 1.3.9 (v619/619.2)


I know what you're talking about. I think mail is my most hated mac program. I personally have found no way of speeding the thing up. There are other mail programs out there. Some people like entourage (i don't, but some do) and ya know, there's others too. If you ever find of a way to speed it up, let me know.


Retired Staff
Jan 4, 2005
Reaction score
Modesto, Ca.
Your Mac's Specs
iMac late 2012 21.5 i5 10:14. iMac 2010 27"QuadI7 OS10.13, MBPLate2011, iPad Pro10.5", iPhone7
I was going to recomend Thunderbird also. It seems like a solid application.

I really don't have any problems with mail. It seems pretty fast. Faster than Incredimail on my P4 in fact. What Mac are you running it on?


Thanks to both of you for your responses. My mac can't even be described as having speed anymore (Pismo PowerBook, 400MHz). I only briefly thought it relevant because of the very, very, good speed of Thunderbird. But perhaps there is something about Mail that needs the additional speed, although I haven't seen anything special about it. I haven't found anything Mail does that Thunderbird doesn't, BUT, I'm not exactly a power user. My mail needs are minimal in terms of organization, searching, etc. So perhaps there are things Mail does that I don't recognize/need which requires a more updated system.

BTW, I've been using Thunderbird for about 3 weeks now. Very solid, and VERY fast, but some quirks. I can't get iPhoto to select it for directly mailing photos (I started a thread on this recently but it ran out of steam rather quickly) and when receiving photos, Thunderbird displays them too large/wide (requiring horizontal scroll bars). Mail displays them to fit the horizontal size of the mail window, which makes viewing within the program a lot easier. But this is a bit off thread so if you guys have any ideas on this perhaps we should move over to "E-mailing from iPhoto" last posted to by myself on April 1.

Don't want to get slapped for starting a cross-post!!