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I’ve been using OS X 10.7 (Lion) on my MacBook Pro for a bit now, trying to see if/when I’ll be ready to move on to Lion on my desktop. I’m still waiting on 1Password to catch up in features, so it won’t be until then at the earliest. But I ran into a bit of a problem yesterday with Mail that I thought I’d relate so that you can avoid it.

I really like the new Mail program, mainly because of the “Conversations” feature. Turning this feature on groups emails with the same subject line together into a “conversation,” including those that you have sent out, giving you a single place to view the entire exchange. It’s come in very handy for me.

My problem was with a Smart Folder and my Inbox. I receive emails from three different sources that have daily newspaper comic strips. I’m a bit behind in reading them – about 10 months behind, actually (d’oh). So I set up a Smart Mailbox so they’d be easier to find.

Yesterday, I went into the mailbox during lunch to read a day’s strips – but only one of that day’s three emails was there. I scrolled around through a few month’s worth of files, and all I saw were files from the one source. Same thing in my Inbox. Fearing they somehow got trashed, I connected up to my home desktop and checked the Mail program there. Everything looked fine – all the mail was present and in the Smart Folder as well. So I knew I had a local problem (thank goodness for IMAP servers!).

I decided to try rebuilding my mailbox. I’ve had problems like this in the past where chunks of email just disappeared from one device, and rebuilding the mailbox always brought them back. It’s been a few years since that’s happened, though, so I was a bit surprised, but I don’t know how extensively Mail has been re-written, so I decided to give it a try (rebuild is an option on the Mailbox menu).

Of course, being at work, it took quite some time to rebuild over the Internet. When it was done – no change. Now what? I decided to try another rebuild when I got home on my local LAN.

So I got home and tried again. Being on the local LAN cut the time dramatically, but the results were the same – still no emails. Why wouldn’t Lion’s Mail show them?

What was also odd was I forwarded one of the emails from my desktop to myself – and when it arrived, not only did it show up, but Mail on Lion showed me in the conversation – the original email! So it knew it was there.

The light bulb finally went on. I did a search based on the sender in the smart mailbox, and got one hit. One hit, that is, with 250+ other emails gathered together into a single “conversation!”

The one comics provider I was seeing OK includes the date in the subject line of the emails. But the other two don’t – the subject is the same every day. So Mail lumped them all together with a current piece of mail in the Smart Mailbox (but not the most current, as it turned out, which is why I didn’t see it at either end of the Smart Mailbox – it seems the email in the past week has been coming from a new address, and the Smart Mailbox wasn’t picking that one up).

I went up to the “View” menu and unchecked the “conversation” option – and all my mail appeared as I expected, one day at a time.

So if you have a chunk of mail go missing in Lion, you might want to try making sure that they haven’t been grouped up into a “conversation.” Oddly enough, I have been using Lion for nearly a week, and this was the first day it decided to turn that on in the Smart Mailbox. I don’t know what I did to trigger it – or if I did (I probably did) but at least now I know one more thing to check.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkwJ-g0iJ6w

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  • Jeff

    Not sure what you are waiting for with 1Password. It has been doing great for me on Lion. Can you be more specific? I like the latest performance and cosmetic changes to 1Password.

    • I’m waiting for them to implement folders – I have my passwords segregated by Work and Personal. I also am waiting for the “remember this password?’ prompt to allow for updating an older password as an option instead of always creating a new entry that I then have to go back and resolve.

  • Jay

    I’ve done the same… installed on my MacBook Pro, but waited for our two desktops. My wife and I both use the Adobe Creative Suite, and I am hoping that those Adobe/Lion issues are more or less resolved soon.