Fixed: Mac Mail Won’t Quit & Keeps Interrupting Shut Down

Nicholas Russell
By Nicholas Russell 9 Min Read
9 Min Read

Hey there! Have you ever had trouble with your MacBook, especially with the Mail app? I sure have. It’s like this little problem that keeps popping up, and it’s all about Apple Mail, an app I use every day.

So, here’s what happened: I was trying to shut down my MacBook, but guess what? The Mail app just wouldn’t close. It kept showing me this annoying error message saying, “Mail won’t quit.” It’s super weird, right?

I’m leaning towards the idea that it’s a problem with the Mail app. Why? Because I’ve run into other issues with it too. Like, sometimes it takes forever to send or receive emails. Ever tried to send an email and it just gets stuck on “sending”? I sure have. I always end up double-checking the sent box to make sure my email actually went through. And guess what? Apple even mentions this issue in this support article.

There was also this time when iPhone and iPad users updated to iOS 11 and faced some hiccups with the Mail app. Apple and Microsoft had to team up to sort out these problems. You can read more about that in this report from MacRumors.

Okay, let’s circle back to our main topic: that stubborn Mail app that just won’t quit. Let’s dive in and figure out what’s going on!

The “Imperfect” Fix Solution

Alright, so we’ve got this annoying problem with the Mail app not closing, right? But don’t worry, I’ve found a couple of ways to fix it. They’re pretty simple, so let’s check them out!

Method 1: Using Force Quit

  • Force Quit through the Apple Menu
    • Click on the Apple logo at the top left corner of your screen.
    • Choose Force Quit from the menu.
  • Shutting Down the Mail App
    • In the list that pops up, find the Mail app.
    • Click on it and then hit Force Quit.
    • Voila! Now your Mac should shut down without any fuss.

Method 2: Using Activity Monitor

If the first method doesn’t do the trick, try this one:

  • Opening Activity Monitor
    • Go to Applications and look for Activity Monitor. You can also use Spotlight search (that magnifying glass icon at the top right corner of your screen) to find it quickly.
  • Finding the Mail App
    • Once Activity Monitor is open, find the Mail app in the list.
  • Force Quitting Mail
    • Click on the Mail app, then press the “x” icon at the top.
    • Choose Force Quit in the dialogue box that appears.

And there you go! These steps should help you get that stubborn Mail app to close so you can shut down your MacBook without any more headaches.

Mac Still Won’t Shut Down?

Okay, let’s say you’ve tried everything to close the Mail app, but your Mac is still being stubborn and won’t shut down. Don’t worry, there’s one more thing you can try: a force shutdown. It’s like the last resort when nothing else works.

How to Force Shut Down Your Mac

  • The Power Button is Your Friend
    • Simply press and hold the Power button on your Mac for about 5 seconds.
    • Your Mac should start shutting down within a few seconds after that.

Where’s the Power Button?

  • For MacBook Users:
    • You’ll find the Power button on the far right side of your keyboard. It’s easy to spot.
  • For iMac Users:
    • The Power button is a bit more hidden on iMacs. Look behind the lower left side of your iMac’s screen, and you’ll find it there.

Remember, force shutting down is a bit like telling your Mac, “Okay, time to sleep, no more arguing!” It’s a handy trick to know, especially when your Mac decides to be a little tricky.

Why It’s an Imperfect Solution?

Okay, so we’ve talked about how to force your Mac to shut down, but I have to tell you, it’s not the ideal solution. Why? Because there’s a bit of a risk involved, especially with your email files.

The Risk of Data Loss

  • The Potential Problem:
    • When you force quit the Mail app, there’s a chance that your email files could get corrupted. This means you might lose some important data. If you’re someone who uses Mac Mail all the time, you probably have a ton of email files, right?

Using Force Quit Wisely

  • Be Careful:
    • So, remember to use the Force Quit method only when you really need to. It’s like an emergency tool, not something you should use all the time.
  • Backup is Your Best Friend:
    • Also, it’s super important to back up your emails regularly. Think of it as your safety net. That way, even if something goes wrong, you won’t lose all your important emails.

And there you have it! I hope this post helps you out if you’re ever stuck with a Mail app that won’t close. It’s not the best situation, but now you’ve got some tricks up your sleeve to deal with it.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the folks over at Apple Mail get this bug sorted out soon. Until then, stay backed up and ready for anything!


In this journey through the quirks of Apple Mail on MacBooks and iMacs, we’ve explored some handy fixes for when the Mail app decides to be a little rebellious and refuses to close. While the methods like Force Quit through the Apple menu and using Activity Monitor offer quick solutions, they’re not without risks, particularly the potential for email file corruption.

The key takeaway here is to use these methods with caution. They’re like your emergency toolkit – great to have, but best used sparingly. And don’t forget the golden rule: always back up your emails. Regular backups are your safety net against data loss, ensuring that your important communications and information remain secure.

We all hope for a future update where these bugs are just a memory, but until then, these tips should help you keep your Apple Mail in check and your MacBook running smoothly. Stay informed, stay backed up, and you’ll navigate these tech challenges like a pro!


What can I do if my Apple Mail app won’t close on my MacBook?

This article discusses two primary methods: using the Force Quit option from the Apple menu and quitting the Mail app via Activity Monitor.

Is there a risk associated with force quitting the Mail app on my Mac?

Yes, force quitting the Mail app might lead to corruption of email files and potential data loss. It’s advised to use this method cautiously.

How can I ensure my emails are safe if I need to force quit Apple Mail?

Regularly backing up your emails is crucial. This ensures that even if something goes wrong, your important emails are not lost.

What should I do if my MacBook still won’t shut down after trying to close the Mail app?

As a last resort, you can force shut down your MacBook by holding the Power button for about 5 seconds.

Are there known issues with Apple Mail after updating to iOS 11?

Yes, there were problems reported with the Mail app after updating to iOS 11, particularly involving iPhone and iPad users.

Where can I find the Power button on my MacBook or iMac?

For MacBook, it’s on the far right side of the keyboard. For iMac, it’s located behind the lower left side of the screen.

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