iMail Sent Mail problems


A friend of mine describes her problem with iMail below (OSX). I am not sure where to start to try to remdedy it for her. She "rebuilds" in iMail sometimes but it seems to get rid of what she had? I am assuming the iMail works like a database.

Any help or procedures are appreciated. I am very technically inclined (more so on the Windows side) so not sure where to begin. Are we talking about a new profile here? Is there a way to remove iMail and reinstall? Etc.


The emails in my "sent" folder have been erased and I have been trying to get them back but can't seem to find the solution on how to do that.

Furthermore, not only do I have all my emails in my sent folder missing but the the couple of new emails I have sent out in the past hour -- they are there -- but are not viewable. When I click on the sent folder I can see to who, to when and what the subject line of the email was but I could not view its contents. Ex.: The message of what I wrote to the recipient is not there. I get the following error:

The message from <> concerning “SBA Express Brochure” has not been downloaded from the server. You need to take this account online in order to download it.

I have had this problem in the past and it has only been temporarily repaired.


Chmod 760
Staff member
The sent messages in this case are not stored in the local account (at her mac). If she is not online, she can not see the content of the messages, is what the error message is saying.

iMail?? Do you mean the Mail application that came with the mac, or is this a third party application?


Thanks for the response. Yes, I am referring the mail application that comes with Mac OSX. I am pretty sure it is called iMail.

I really dont understand how she could not be "online" in the application since she is on a network that has constant internet access and she is sending/recieving all day. Receiving messages is not a problem in her case.

Are you saying that according to the system message her email is not being stored locally, but rather at her ISP's mail system? How do I go about changing that in the application? Where do you go to be "online" again as opposed to "offline"??



the problem seems to be with the size of the mail mbox file. its over 2gb. Anyone know how to split it up into smaller chunks so I can remimport just the Sent Items? That's the folder I need the most. There used to be a script that would do this, but cannot find it anywhere.


Staff member
It's called or Mail, not iMail. Splitting the mbox file up is possible. Basically, they're text files. You could create a 1.8 GB sized "SentArchive" file and only leave the 200 MB left in the Sent Items. However, opening a 2 GB file in a text editor might be a bit, well... Let's say it takes a while to process and scroll through. ;)

I didn't know it had the 2 GB limitation, though. :/

Tiger, btw., uses single files for each E-Mail message instead of one big mbox-file. That might solve the problem, although I'm not sure Tiger would cleanly import a 2GB+ mbox-file...


I tried something similar by trying to import the mbox file into the Mozilla Thunderbird email client with no success. The imported "folder" looked empty.

This is very frustrating becuase from my research, this has been an issue for a long time and apple even has a tech support docuemnt on it. Mind you the document just says to do a rebuild and start Mail again. Not much of a help. In addition they state that it can happen at anytime, not just if you reach the 2gb limit. Supposedly with the new updates to the OS, the 2GB limit has been removed, but this issue still continues.

In terms of splitting up the file, if it a plain text file, how od these contain the attachments?