HELP! Deleted mailbox. Recoverable?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by marekkurlmann, Nov 8, 2007.

  1. marekkurlmann macrumors regular

    Mar 6, 2007
    I was changing some e-mail settings today in Apple Mail, running on 10.4.10, getting rid of an e-mail address I no longer use. I clicked on the "minus" icon to delete the account, thinking that I was only telling Mail not to check the account anymore. I didn't realize that I was also deleting all of the messages on the account. I know, I should have read the warning. No one to blame but myself.

    I don't see the deleted mailbox anywhere on the computer. Is it possible to recover the mailbox in any way possible - either through accessing some hidden-away file, or if I have to, buying recovery software.

    I'm kicking myself because Leopard, with Time Machine is going to arrive at my doorstep any day now.

    Any help at all is most welcome. I hope you don't know what it feels like to lose years' worth of your e-mails.

    Thanks a lot.
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    It sounds like you only removed the settings for Mail to access that e-mail in the Accounts tab.

    If you rebuild those settings it'll just pull the mail from the server again. You never really deleted any mail...
  3. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
    Check the trash and here /Users/username/Library/Mail you might be able to find them.

    What type of account was it do you still have access because you could setup mail again to check and it should redownload the old email.
  4. psonice macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
  5. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Jan 8, 2005
    He's not using Windows!
  6. marekkurlmann thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 6, 2007
    The files aren't in the trash, and they're not in the username/Library/Mail folder either. Am I looking at having to get a data recovery program? Will it do me any good?

    Some more information: I actually deleted two accounts: a standard POP e-mail account, and a Gmail account set up to run POP.

    I deleted both because I wanted to change from POP to IMAP. I moved the standard POP account, let's call it to Gmail's sever (via the Google Apps for your domain) and set up that account as IMAP account. All of the old messages from the account are nowhere I can find them.

    The second account, let's call it, I also deleted. This had been set up to be checked via POP, but I changed it to IMAP. I deleted the POP account, and then added the IMAP account. All of the POP messages were deleted, and because I have more than 8,000 messages (3 years' worth) on that account, Mail keeps crashing when trying to download them.

    My strategy now is to undo the damage done and get back to where I was before I tried to switch to IMAP.

    Thanks so much for your help.

    That's what I thought I was doing - just removing the settings for Mail to access the accounts. I think I'm wrong.

    Mail won't be able to pull the mail from the server again - I had two accounts:

    1. A Gmail account ( formerly accessed via POP, which I deleted because I wanted to switch to IMAP

    2. An account with a domain I control (, which today I transfered to a new server (incidentally Google's Gmail Apps for Your Domain) which I also deleted and then set up a new IMAP account.

    Some messages might be able to be pulled from the severs - a few weeks' worth - but I deleted years' worth of messages. I'm pulling my hair out of my head. Can clicking the "minus" button and then "OK" really send thousands of e-mails unrecoverable into thin air?

    Do you still think if I simply recreate the old account settings the old messages will appear from somewhere? At this point, I'm willing to try anything...

    Thanks for the help...

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