Well, as much as I want to like and use Apple Mail it just doesn’t want to be liked. A few days ago I noticed some e-mail was gone. At first I figured it was probably user error (me) . But then I did some experimenting.
I like using IMAP for my mailboxes so generally stick to accounts that support it so I can see the same mail everywhere. These days it’s AOL myEAddress. I have a couple of e-mail addresses there, but when I have e-mail that I want to save I copy them all to one mailbox. In some cases I have a rule that just files the message away. It was these e-mails that were vanishing, those going from one mailbox to this central filing mailbox.
When I’d drag an e-mail from one mailbox to my eAddress folder in Apple Mail it would stay in the folder briefly and then go away. At first I figured Apple Mail or the eAddress server was deleting the message and replication was removing it from the other.
Then I fired up Thunderbird and set up a mailbox to try the same thing. But instead of vanishing I got a real live error message that the message couldn’t be copied and then it went back to it’s original location.
So, the problem seems to be the AOL my eAddress maibox. But, Apple Mail didn’t detect the error while copying and assumed it had been copied. This doesn’t give me a lot of confidence in Apple Mail’s error checking. While a search didn’t find anyone else with this exact problem, there seemed to be a lot of hits on Apple Mail eating e-mail messages.
I did luck out in that much of the e-mail was funneled through my GMail account, which keeps copies, so I did have most of the missing e-mail.
So I’m back to Thunderbird, at least for now. I do like the Apple Mail interface and some features better than Thunderbird but I prefer my e-mail to stick around until I delete it. While AOL my eAddress is giving me other problems at the moment even if it was the root cause, Apple Mail didn’t see the problem and Thunderbird did.