Jump to content


Photo

Mail eating up my RAM and CPU usage


  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 Daniel D

Daniel D

    Mac Geek Apprentice

  • Members
  • 30 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:United Kingdom

Posted 13 April 2008 - 05:20 PM

Hi,

Wondering if anyone can help with a problem that I've just started experiencing. The Mail app has suddenly started crashing on me fairly regularly, yet up until a day ago it was fine. Since this problem started, the system is VERY slow and unresponsive whenever I have Mail running, plus the internal hard disk seems to be getting constantly accessed.

So far, I've used the Activity Monitor to look at what's happening when I start Mail. I found that when I launch Mail, the CPU usage for Mail is sticking consistently at around 70 to 90%, even when it's finished loading and has checked for new mail. I also watched the system's 'Free Memory' count get sucked down from around 1.2GB (I have 1.5GB total RAM) all the way down to just 10MB. At the same time the 'Real Memory' count for Mail gradually climbed up to around 1.2GB. I haven't used Activity Monitor before to look at the resources Mail takes up, but this definitely seems excessive for an email app!

As an aside, whilst it seems to be Mail that is the problem, I've also noticed that Safari's CPU usage is hovering at around 40 - 50%, yet I only have 3 browser windows open, none of which are running any videos, animations etc... Does anyone know if this is usual?

I haven't installed any new apps or made any other changes to the system, and I've tried the basics like rebooting, checking the hard disk, and verifying permissions with Disk Utility. The only thing I did do prior to the problems beginning was to add a new RSS feed to Mail (first time I tried it). I seriously doubt this would have caused the problem, but as it's the only thing I could think of that I had 'changed' I removed the feed anyway and this has made no difference.

My mac is an iBook G4 1.33MHz running Leopard.

If anyone else is experiencing this problem or has some tips on how to fix it, I'd be very grateful for your advice.

Cheers,

Daniel

Edited by Daniel D, 13 April 2008 - 05:27 PM.


#2 Ignoracious

Ignoracious

    Alpha Mac Geek

  • Members
  • 951 posts
  • Location:Netherlands

Posted 13 April 2008 - 05:32 PM

Did you try restarting your Mac? Have you repaired Disk Permissions? Have you emptied the user cache? (Don't try these at the same time, but one after another, and see if the problem persists.)

#3 joshr

joshr

    Mac Geek God

  • Members
  • 2,813 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 13 April 2008 - 06:42 PM

Try running maintenance [from the makers of oynx]. One of the things it does is reset the mail database and that could help.

#4 TimB

TimB

    Mac Geek

  • Members
  • 79 posts

Posted 13 April 2008 - 06:49 PM

Do you have a lot of mail in your inbox?

-=Tim=-

#5 Daniel D

Daniel D

    Mac Geek Apprentice

  • Members
  • 30 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:United Kingdom

Posted 14 April 2008 - 10:08 PM

Thanks for all of your suggestions guys. Prior to posting my initial problem I had already tried rebooting the system and had also verified the mac's disk and disk permissions. I even decided to disable .mac syncing just in case that was somehow causing problems, but none of these things helped. Plus, I also did a full virus scan of the mac HD using ClamXav, just in case!

Then, after returning home from work today I verified the disk and disk permissions again, and now Mail appears to be running fine. Despite the fact that I don't really know what I did to 'fix' it?! The disk verification with Disk Utility showed no problems, however the verification of the disk permissions (each time I run it) is listing the following 2 lines:

-ACL found but not expected on "Library/Caches"
-ACL found but not expected on "Library"

I did check these 'errors' out briefly on the web, and it looks like they're nothing to worry about.
Doing a 'repair permissions' doesn't clear them out though.
Does anyone know what these warnings mean?

As for the amount of mail in my mailbox, I use .mac mail and have allocated 700MB for it.
Of this, I am only using around 150MB, the vast majority of which is used by approx 3000 messages saved in my sent messages folder. I don't know if this quantity of messages is likely to slow Mail down a great deal, given that they're all stored on the server? I guess I'll think about archiving a lot of them off. I do also have a few mail folders within the Mail app stored locally on my mac, in which I basically store received emails that I want to keep hold of. There are around 2000 messages in these folders.

Further to my claim above that the Mail app is working okay again, it just crashed once more! :-(
The crash occurred while I was trying to look at the 'quotas' on my mail folders.
So... it doesn't look like things are back to normal just yet.

Ignoracious -- how do I empty the user cache that you referred to?
Is that done using a tool like onyx that joshr mentioned?

Thanks again for your suggestions.

Daniel

#6 Ignoracious

Ignoracious

    Alpha Mac Geek

  • Members
  • 951 posts
  • Location:Netherlands

Posted 15 April 2008 - 07:51 AM

Ignoracious -- how do I empty the user cache that you referred to?
Is that done using a tool like onyx that joshr mentioned?

Yes, you need a special software tool for that. My personal favorite is Main Menu, but Onyx is fine too.

#7 Daniel D

Daniel D

    Mac Geek Apprentice

  • Members
  • 30 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:United Kingdom

Posted 23 April 2008 - 09:24 PM

I've tried using Onyx to clean the system and user caches, in addition to using many of its other maintenance options, but unfortunately the problem won't go away. Actually, it did seem to resolve itself 2 or 3 times during the process of trying out the different fixes in Onyx, but then upon restarting the Mail app the problem would resurface.

Does anyone have any further suggestions?

The one thing i've noticed that *might* be unusual is that when the app is launched and begins checking for new mail, the message 'registering syncing preferences...' is displayed in Mail's email activity window for a long time. I don't remember that message showing up for so long before.

#8 Daniel D

Daniel D

    Mac Geek Apprentice

  • Members
  • 30 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:United Kingdom

Posted 30 April 2008 - 08:51 PM

For the benefit of anyone who may be experiencing similar problems, it's worth taking a look in the ~/library/Mail folder to see if you can spot anything odd. I *think* i have now solved the issues i was having, and it turns out to have been a problem with the RSS feeds I was subscribed to in Mail. I noticed how after launching my Mail app there was a file being rapidly and continuously created/deleted in the above folder, whose name related to the RSS feeds. I then unsubscribed from my RSS feeds (only 2 of them!) in the Mail app, and deleted the 'Available Feeds' file and 'RSS" folder from ~/library/Mail. Since doing that, Mail has been working perfectly for me. I guess there was some kind of corruption or syncing issue with the feeds.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users