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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Applications > White 'no entry' sign on Mail app icon.

White 'no entry' sign on Mail app icon.
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Join Date: May 2013
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May 14, 2013, 12:01 PM
Hello there,

I am new to these forums and relatively new to Apple Macs. I hope this post is in the correct place.

Yesterday I fear I made a huge error when trying to attach a document into an email. My finger work on the track pad is none too good and somehow my Mail app and my Safari app appeared on my desktop. And sadly I panicked and moved them to trash misguidedly thinking that only the icon would be trashed. I then went to empty the trash and suddenly realised my error ..!
I then stopped the process and removed Safari to my desktop and then back into Applications where it now works OK. I tried doing the same with Mail, but when I put it back on the desktop, the icon was showing white with a white 'no entry' sign on it, even when I put it back into Applications it was still showing the same. I cannot open it. I immediately did a disk permissions repair and then rebooted, sadly all to no avail ..!
Three questions: Have I lost all my mail? Have I lost all my mail files? What should I be doing to restore Mail?
All help would gratefully received - thank you.

PS: I am using a 15" MacBook Pro running OS X 10.6.8
Join Date: Jun 2000
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May 14, 2013, 01:15 PM

Did you move the apps from the application folder to desktop, or accidentally copy them to the desktop? Maybe the system doesn't like having two copies?

I hope you get it sorted.
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May 14, 2013, 03:05 PM
Have I lost all my mail?
No, it is stored inside Your User folder > Library > Mail

Have I lost all my mail files?
No, you have just deleted the 'executable' file for the Mail app.

What should I be doing to restore Mail?
In case there are no backups whatsoever to rely on, I would put the Snow Leopard (10.6) DVD in your MacBook Pro DVD drive and once it is mounted (disc being shown) in the desktop, I would use Pacifist to extract the Mail.app from the installer package and copy it to your Applications folder.

If you are going this route, launch Pacifist, and choose (click on) "Open Apple Installers", once the content is shown, (it might easily take 4 minutes) navigate to the location of Mail.app as shown below, then clic on "Extract To…", choose any location you want (you should move it to the Apps folder afterwards) or extract it straight to the Applications folder.

( Last edited by angelmb; May 15, 2013 at 10:43 AM. Reason: URL no longer functional)
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May 14, 2013, 05:16 PM
Hi there,

Thank you andi*pandi - I am not sure if I copied them to my desktop, although when I realised my error, I checked in Applications and they had gone!
And thank you angelmb - it's a little late now so I will check your suggestion out tomorrow morning and report back to this forum!

Thanks again,

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May 15, 2013, 09:35 AM
Hi there,

An update.
angelmb, I followed your advice and downloaded Pacifist and then inserted the original dvd disk. Everything went well and I extracted the Mail app and saved it to my desktop. But when I tried to open it, I found that it was incompatible with my OS 10.5.8 - the original dvd is 10.5.6 and my running OS is 10.5.8! (I must apologise here for my earlier typo, my OS is NOT at the moment 10.6.8, although I will be upgrading to it shortly)
I moved the restored Mail app to Applications and replaced the 'newer' and faulty version.
In order to fix this 'incompatibility' problem I downloaded again the 10.5.8 combo update from the Apple site and I reinstalled it - and 'hey presto' everything is now back to normal and Mail is running OK!
Thank you both so very much - a lesson learned indeed!
( Last edited by BarleyFlax; May 15, 2013 at 09:46 AM. )
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