How to Fix “Import Failed” Mail Error on Mac
Rarely, Mac users encounter an “Import Failed” error message when trying to open the Mail app in Mac OS, with a brief Message Import splash screen. The import failure prevents the Mail app from opening any further, and therefore renders the Mail app and inboxes unusable. This can happen on any version of Mail for Mac, sometimes at random, or sometimes after updating system software, if user accounts have been migrated, or in many other situations, including if the Mac hard drive is too full without available disk space.
The full error is usually encountered immediately upon launch of Mail app on the Mac, stating “The import failed – An error occurred during import. Make sure you have available space in your home folder and try again.” However, the problem is often unrelated to disk space, and can often be resolved by performing some other steps.
It’s a good idea to backup the Mac before beginning this process.
Fix “Import Failed – Error Occurred During Import” in Mail for Mac
First, you’ll want to make sure your Mac has plenty of hard disk space available, but as stated earlier this error often shows up unrelated to the amount of storage available despite what the error message says. Assuming you have sufficient disk space, proceed with the following:
- Quit out of Mail app if it’s still open
- Open the Finder in MacOS, then pull down the “Go” menu and choose “Go To Folder”
- Enter the following path, then click Go
- Locate the latest V# folder (V8, V7, V6, etc), select it, then choose “Get Info” from the File menu
- Click the Lock icon and authenticate, then make sure your Name (Me) has “Read & Write” privileges, and then click on the Gear icon and choose “Apply to enclosed items” and confirm
- Open the latest V# folder (V8, V5, V6, V7, etc) and then do either of the following, depending on the situation:
- If the “MailData” folder exists, open that and then move any files that start with “Envelope Index” to the Desktop
- If the “MailData” item is an alias, move the alias out of the V# folder and onto the desktop
Once you’re in the Mail app, you might want to rebuild the mail inboxes if there are any issues with searching, finding email messages, or performance.
Solution 2: Safe Mode Mail Import
Another solution to resolve the “Import Failed” error in Mail on Mac has been offered in our comments, which some users are having success with as well. Here are the steps for this particular troubleshooting method:
- Reboot the Mac into Safe Mode by restarting and holding down the SHIFT key
- Once the Mac has booted into Safe Mode, open Mail app
- Perform the Import while Mail app is in Safe Mode with Mail app > File > Import Mailboxes (some users do not need to perform any import, simply opening Mail app in Safe Mode has been sufficient)
- Quit Mail app, reboot Mac as usual
- Re-open Mail app in MacOS and it should work again as expected and without errors
You can find a ton of additional Mail app tips and tricks here if you’re interested.
Did this resolve the “Import Failed – Error Occurred During Import” error in Mail for Mac for you? Did you find another solution that worked? Let us know in the comments.