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[Solved] macOS - Apple Mail - Sort Mailbox folders alphabetically

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(@hans)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 2703
Topic starter  

So my good old neighbor, somehow had the order of the mailboxes in Apple Mail moved around and we had no clue how to get them back in alphabetical order. To be clear: we're talking about the folders in Apple Mail, and we're not talking about the actual messages in those folders!

Oddly enough, Apple Mail does not have a menu option, or a right click option, to sort folders in the Sidebar.
Note that by default those folders are alphabetically sorted!

So how we get them sorted again?

  1. Quit Apple Mail.
  2. From the Finder, Select Go > Library and scroll down to the Mail directory. (~/Library/Mail)
  3. Open the directory that starts with "V", followed by the highest number.
    It will be a number like "V9" or "V10" etc. (depends on the version of the Apple Mail application).
  4. Locate the right account directory ...

    In the "Vx" directory, there will be a series of other directories with long names, each representing a different email account.
    They kind-a look like this: AF7ABD7D-6FBF-72E7-AB73-3BC12C25FAA8

    Note:
       You may need to look inside each to see which one is the right account.
       Look in the sub-directories (that end with ".mbox") and see if you recognize folder names.
       Usually those are sub-directories of INBOX.mbox, or [Gmail].mbox.

  5. Once you are in the correct directory, press the following keystroke to reveal hidden files:
    Command + Shift + .   (Note: that last one is a period)
  6. Now locate the file ".mboxCache.plist" and delete it
    (you can of course also rename it, for example to ".mboxCache.plist.backup").

     

     

  7. Once you've remove (or renamed) the .mboxCache.plist files of the affected mailboxes, you can open up Mail again.

The folders of that account should now be sorted again.


   
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