#2408 new
Angelo Machils

Lagginess/Slowness in r5655 and r5656

Reported by Angelo Machils | October 15th, 2019 @ 04:57 AM

After a while of not using a Mac, I just got a secondhand MB Air (2015) and of course installed MailMate. I have had a (very) similar machine before, but I can’t really remember if MailMate was so slow on that as well. For example, if I click the reply button or type COM-R, it takes about 3-4 seconds for the window to show, sometimes I even see the spinning ball. 3-4 Seconds don’t seem that long but with the stock Mail application, the window appears instantly.
Also, when typing with MD preview, I actually type faster than the characters appear on the screen, also in the text window. Something I haven’t seen since the days of a serial terminal :) None of my other applications seems so slow/sluggish.

I understand my system is far from being a powerhouse, but I never considered MM to be a ‘heavy’ application.

My email number is quite limited (about 2000 in total across 3 different G Suite/Gmail accounts). I have set everything now to ‘plain text’, so no MD preview and the reply just plain text, but alas, no change. Even without the preview, I type faster than I’m seeing the characters appear. It’s also not like the message I’m replying to is so large. It’s not like it’s unworkable, but it’s also far from pleasant :)
Updating to the latest beta release (5656) from the latest stable (5655 I think) also doesn’t change anything.

It seems to be linked to HTML/MD support. I found a few more settings, disabling all HTML/MD/preview support and then everything I noticed as lagging/slow is now ‘snappy’. Not ideal, but at least more useable.

OS: macOS Mojave and Catalina (issue also present after a fresh install of Catalina)

Comments and changes to this ticket

  • benny

    benny October 15th, 2019 @ 10:22 AM

    I think there are multiple things at play here, but it's all related to MailMate using external scripts to do various things related to message generation. Some things are bugs, some things are inefficiencies, and then there's some unknown factor which makes it particularly slow for some users. This last factor appears to be a problem for more users on Catalina -- although it might just be because Spotlight is re-indexing or some other “recent system update” side-effect.

    In any case, I'll look into the issues I do understand and then maybe it'll somehow also reveal something about the problem I don't understand :)

    Sorry about the inconvenience of this issue. I'll update this ticket with news on the issue.

  • Kennon Bickhart

    Kennon Bickhart October 18th, 2019 @ 12:07 PM

    I figured I'd throw my .02c in here as well. I'm experiencing the exact same behavior that Angelo mentions. The only setting I had to disable to bring composing an email message back up to pre-Catalina speed, was to completely disable the HTML Preview pane in the Settings. Once I did that, composing is lightning fast. I still see a 3-4 second pause when replying or forwarding a message, etc... but that's less of an issue.

    If you need any additional information from my system, let me know.


  • benny

    benny October 18th, 2019 @ 03:08 PM

    • State changed from “new” to “reproduced”

    I've been looking into this issue today (all day) and I think I have found the main problem now: Notarization. When MailMate generates an email then it uses various external scripts which are created dynamically with temporary paths. It turns out that such scripts are checked when executed (notarization check) and this is a bit “slow” on a regular internet connection, but it's very slow on a slow internet connection (seconds).

    Therefore, while I figure out how to fix this (next week) then a workaround might be to take the machine offline...

    A non-recommended workaround is to disable macOS System Integrity Protection.

    For anyone else interested in this issue, the “Network Link Conditioner” preferences pane supplied by Apple to developers as an additional download, is a good way to reproduce this issue since it can provide you with a “Very Bad Network” (as they have named it).

  • benny

    benny October 18th, 2019 @ 03:10 PM

    (@Kennon: Disabling HTML generation/preview in general has the side effect of these scripts not being needed quite as often and that is why this is also a workaround.)

  • Angelo Machils

    Angelo Machils October 19th, 2019 @ 06:00 AM


    I just tried to turn on everything (HTML/MD/Preview) etc again and disconnect the machine from the internet. In that scenario, as I understand it, it shouldn’t be so ‘sluggish’. But it is, it is the same offline as it is online.
    I don't doubt that you're seeing the same effect while trying with the Network Line Conditioner, but it seems to me that the reason is different.
    Besides that, I don’t really think my internet connection is that slow. Another point to note perhaps, I’ve tried it on three different networks, my home, my phone 4G network and at my office, all with decent enough speeds. In all three scenarios I see the same. Later on I will disable SIP, just to test if that makes a difference.


    Angelo Machils

  • Angelo Machils

    Angelo Machils October 19th, 2019 @ 07:02 AM

    Hello (again),

    I have made a test with SIP disabled and it is a bit faster/more responsive then, but not by much.


    Angelo Machils

  • benny

    benny October 20th, 2019 @ 10:26 AM

    @Angelo: You can wait until I've fixed the issue I can reproduce and if that doesn't help in your case then we'll see if we can figure out what the problem is on your setup. But I agree that your issue is likely related to something else being slow in general. (MailMate uses an external script to inline CSS in HTML and I've had reports about this being very slow for some users in the past. There are 2 settings for inlining in the Composer preferences pane. You can try changing these to see if that makes a difference.)

  • benny

    benny October 20th, 2019 @ 10:28 AM

    @Angelo: I missed your SIP update to the ticket. That confirms that your issue is not the one I'm currently working on fixing.

  • benny

    benny October 21st, 2019 @ 11:05 AM

    There's a new test release ready. Hold down ⌥ when clicking “Check Now” in the Software Update preferences pane to try it out. I've actually changed quite a lot with respect to how external scripts are executed and therefore there's also a risk of new bugs. The slowness experienced by some users on Catalina should be fixed, but the issue seen by @Angelo is unlikely to have been fixed by these changes.

  • Angelo Machils

    Angelo Machils October 21st, 2019 @ 11:09 AM


    @Benny, as you suspected, the new beta release doesn't fix the issue in my case. I will just keep running MM with all the HTML/MD/inline CSS/etc. turned off.

    BTISHW: I have the impression that the biggest change in responsiveness is gained by changing 'Inline CSS (with premailer)' to 'Scoped Stylesheet'.


    Angelo Machils

  • Kennon Bickhart

    Kennon Bickhart October 21st, 2019 @ 02:02 PM

    This seems to for sure fix my editing issues. I no longer see a delay while typing out my messages with the Preview window open.

  • Andrey

    Andrey October 22nd, 2019 @ 04:23 AM

    The same problem, it seems to be better after update, but there are lags while editing text in message and subject field.

  • benny

    benny October 23rd, 2019 @ 06:22 AM

    There's another update available now. I've also fixed the Premailer bundle (used for inlining CSS) since it didn't work at all on Catalina (at least not for me). This might actually make replying/composing slower for some users, but I'm continuing to look into performance issues related to external scripts.

  • René Pirringer

    René Pirringer October 30th, 2019 @ 06:58 AM

    I also have lags e.g. when composing a new mail with r5655. I found this thread and I updated to the latest test release r5662 and it is much better now. After a short test my impression is that the performance problems are gone now. (I'm running MailMate on a MBP 2017 with the latest MacOS 10.15 Catalina)

  • Angelo Machils

    Angelo Machils November 19th, 2019 @ 07:52 AM

    Sorry for the late update. The latest release (r5665) seem to have fixed some lagginess issues for me, but not all.


  • benny

    benny November 22nd, 2019 @ 12:03 PM

    The latest few test releases include a lot of changes related to the display of messages. Most of these changes are not enabled yet (they are part of a completely new message view), but they will certainly make some things much faster.

    Eventually, these changes are also going to be part of the Composer window (and its preview). This should, at least in theory, make it possible to improve the performance of the composer while also allowing me to fix some long standing issues/bugs. The bad news is that this is going to take some time since implementing a new message view is a huge task.

    Let me know if any reproducible lags make MailMate unusable and I'll look into if there is something that can be done sooner. It's a known issue that replying/forwarding HTML emails can be slow because of the external CSS inliner. (There's no quick fix for this other than disabling it.)

    I'll note to update this ticket when I believe things have improved.

  • Angelo Machils

    Angelo Machils March 22nd, 2020 @ 04:59 AM


    It's been a while since this ticket was updated and I don't see any improvement. The new 'message view/layout' introduces even more lagginess (granted, it's still experimental :) ). Can I inquire about the status of this ticket?

    Thank you in advance.

    With regards,

    Angelo Machils

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  • Pierre Igot

    Pierre Igot June 11th, 2020 @ 12:04 PM

    • Tag set to input, lag, plaintext, responsiveness, text

    Just wanted to chime in and report that I too am experiencing lags and lack of responsiveness while typing text when composing a message. The lags are not a deal-breaker, but they are certainly very unpleasant. I have a very fast Mac Pro and I expect my letters to appear instantly when I type them anywhere I do text input in macOS, including in an email client that is plain-text oriented, like MailMate.

    I am using MailMate r6146 right now but I have seen this in all versions of MM that I've used since switching from Mail to MM in Catalina.

  • Pierre Igot

    Pierre Igot August 6th, 2020 @ 09:12 PM

    Another update: I recently installed the macOS 10.15.6 update, and it seems to have made a difference in MailMate r6146. I no longer notice any significant lags while typing text when composing a message. So it might be that the problem was solved by the update, or just by updating. Who knows? Let's hope it stays that way.

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