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7.1.1.1   If the Apple Mail Plug-In Doesn’t Appear in the List or Doesn’t Stay Enabled

In rare cases, you may not be able to enable the SpamSieve plug-in in Mail because the plug-in is not listed in the Manage Plug-ins… sheet. Or you may click the checkbox to enable it, but it will not stay enabled when you restart Mail.

There are four different solutions to this problem. The one at the bottom should always work, but it is the most involved and may not be necessary. Start at the top of the list and continue until you find one that works for your situation:

A. Uninstall and Reinstall the Plug-In

Often, it helps to choose Uninstall Apple Mail Plug-In…, restart Mail, and then choose Install Apple Mail Plug-In. Mail maintains its own separate copy of installed plug-ins, and restarting after uninstalling can get it to clear out its damaged copy, whereas simply installing a fresh copy of the plug-in will not. You may want to temporarily uncheck your SpamSieve rules in Mail’s preferences before doing this, so that the uninstaller doesn’t offer to delete them, and so that Mail doesn’t move any messages to the Spam mailbox while the plug-in is uninstalled.

B. Check the Location of Mail’s Bundles

Check the location of Mail’s plug-ins folder:

/Users/<username>/Library/Mail/Bundles

This folder must be stored on the same volume as your home folder (and, ideally, on the boot volume) or Mail will not trust its contents. So you should not try to redirect the whole Mail folder to another location, e.g. using a symlink. If you really want your mail to be stored on a different volume, you can move just the V8 or V7 folder and replace it with a symlink, or use the Users & Groups preferences pane to move your entire home folder to a different volume.

C. Ask Mail to Reset the DataVaults

Mail stores its copy of your installed plug-ins in its DataVaults folder, and damage to this folder can prevent it from loading the plug-ins. In most cases, asking Mail to reset the DataVaults folder will to work. To do this:

  1. Quit Mail.

  2. Open the Terminal app in the Utilities folder.

  3. Enter this command:

    defaults delete com.apple.mail EnableBundles
    

    and press Return.

  4. Launch Mail and then quit it.

  5. Enter this command in Terminal:

    defaults write com.apple.mail EnableBundles -bool YES
    

    and press Return.

D. Delete the DataVaults Folder

If the above doesn’t work, you can delete the DataVaults folder without losing any important data, and then Mail will recreate it when you try to enable the SpamSieve plug-in, hopefully fixing the problem:

  1. You may want to print these instructions, write them down, or open them on another computer or device so that you have access to them while rebooting your Mac.

  2. Click on the Apple menu and choose Restart…. Hold down the Command and R keys so that your Mac will reboot in Recovery Mode. This will enable you to temporarily turn off System Integrity Protection (as instructed below) so that you have access to delete the protected DataVaults folder.

  3. From the Utilities menu, choose Terminal.

  4. Type csrutil disable and press Return. (This is what turns off SIP.)

  5. Click on the Apple menu and choose Restart.

  6. The folder:

    /Users/<username>/Library/Containers/com.apple.mail/Data/DataVaults/
    

    needs to be dragged to the trash. On macOS 11, the contents of the Containers folder are hidden, and on earlier versions of macOS the Library folder is hidden. So, to access this folder, click on Finder in the Dock and choose the Go to Folder… from the Go menu at the top of the screen. Enter:

    ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.mail/Data
    

    in the sheet and click the Go button. This will open the Data folder, and inside you should see that DataVaults folder that needs to be deleted.

    Note: It is important to type or paste exactly what’s shown above; if you press the Tab key for auto-completion, macOS 11 will change the path to one that doesn’t work.

  7. Launch Mail and click on Manage Plug-ins… to enable the SpamSieve plug-in.

  8. You can then repeat Steps 2–5, typing csrutil enable instead, in order to turn SIP back on.

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