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Troubleshooting Apple Mail - Using Apple Mail's Troubleshooting Tools

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Troubleshooting Apple Mail - Using Apple Mail's Connection Doctor
Troubleshooting Apple Mail - Using Apple Mail's Connection Doctor

The Connection Doctor can reveal problems you may have when trying to connect to a mail service.

Apple's Connection Doctor can help you diagnose problems you're having with Mail.

The Connection Doctor will confirm that you're connected to the Internet and then check each mail account to ensure you can connect to receive mail, as well as connect to send mail. The status for each account is then displayed in the Connection Doctor window. If you're unable to connect to the Internet, the Connection Doctor will offer to run Network Diagnostics to track down the cause of the problem.

Most Mail issues are likely to be account related rather than Internet connection related, however. To help troubleshoot account issues, the Connection Doctor offers both an overview for each account and a detailed log of each attempt to connect to the appropriate email server.

Running Connection Doctor

  1. Select Connection Doctor from the Window menu of the Mail program.

  2. Connection Doctor will automatically start the checking process and display the results for each account. Connection Doctor first checks each account's ability to receive mail, and then checks each account's ability to send mail, so there will be two status listings for each mail account.

  3. Any account marked in red has some type of connection issue. Connection Doctor will include a brief summary of the issue, such as incorrect account name or password. To find out more about the account issues, you'll want to have the Connection Doctor display the details (logs) of each connection.

View Log Details in the Connection Doctor

  1. In the Connection Doctor window, click the 'Show Detail' button.

  2. A tray will slide out from the bottom of the window. When they're available, this tray will display the contents of the logs. Click the 'Check Again" button to rerun the Connection Doctor and display the logs in the tray.

You can scroll though the logs to find any errors and see a more detailed reason for any problems. The one problem with the detail display in the Connection Doctor is that the text can't be searched, at least from within the Connection Doctor window. If you have multiple accounts, scrolling through the logs can be cumbersome. You could of course copy/paste the logs to a text editor and then try to search for specific account data, but there is another option: the Mail logs themselves, which your system keeps tabs on.

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