Mac Mail is EATING up space on hard drive please help

improver

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 26, 2013
14
0
Hi Guys

The Mail program on my mac (running macOS Mojave version 10.14.6) is eating up ALOT of space on my hard drive.

Yesterday it was up to 277GB (my poor little macbook air only has a 500GB SSD so to lose this amount just to mail is high). So I went through deleting LOTS of emails and I also downloaded CleanMacX and used that to delete loads of attachments.

After doing that my mail was down to 240GB (still way more than I wanted) so I deliberatly kept mail closed so that if could not download anything else.

However the next morning when I checked my storage again it is now telling me MAIL is using 290GB os space! This is crazy as it has not even been opened so how is that even possible?

I have gone into all mail accounts in the mail settings and set them to NOT download attachments and that is how I have had it set for a very long time yet still it is chewing up space. I get a lot of emails but not enough to account for this maybe 30 to 60 per day.

I am now starting to think that either Mail is not fit for purpose or there is some kind of a fault.

I have searched the web and this forum for information about this I could not find anything on this forum but I found things on the other forums but I have already done everything they suggested. So I am hoping someone here can help.

Many thanks in advance
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,994
5,952
Here's what I'd do.

1. Get an external drive and CarbonCopyCloner. Make a cloned backup of the internal drive. This way any old emails that actually have value will be preserved.

2. Next, I'd NUKE the email accounts -- ALL of them. DELETE everything and "start over" by creating new email accounts.

3. Finally, I'd run MalwareBytes:
https://www.malwarebytes.com

IMPORTANT:
Select the "home" option.
It's a FREE download

IMPORTANT:
You DO NOT NEED TO BUY A SUBSCRIPTION to run MalwareBytes.
It will run FOREVER IN FREE MODE.

When you open it, IGNORE the button to "Upgrade Now".
Just click "Scan Now".
Again, you DO NOT have to buy the pay-for version!

And stop using Clean my Mac.
 

improver

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 26, 2013
14
0
Hi Fishrrman

Thank you so much for your clear reply, that is really helpful.

I have downloaded CarbonCopyCloner and am making a copy of my hard drive now so step 1 is now underway.

Step 2 "2. Next, I'd NUKE the email accounts -- ALL of them. DELETE everything and "start over" by creating new email accounts.
" Please do excuse my ignorance but how do I do that? If I open the mail program it will download everything else that is on the email servers wont it?

Step 3 seems straight forward enough so will do that once I have the first 2 steps out of the way.

Many thanks again in advance for your help.

Can I ask why you don't like Clean My Mac X (it is the one from macpaw)? It seems pretty good to me, but maybe I am missing somthing? I have bought a 12 month subscription of it so can simply not renew it in a years time.
 

HDFan

macrumors 68000
Jun 30, 2007
1,787
427
If I open the mail program it will download everything else that is on the email servers wont it?
Be careful. IMAP is sort of the standard these days, but if you have a POP server then you can lose your emails.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,994
5,952
HDFan wrote:
"Be careful. IMAP is sort of the standard these days, but if you have a POP server then you can lose your emails."

Yes.
I'm a POP user until POP doesn't work any more.
THAT'S why step #1 was, "back up your email accounts".
 

improver

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 26, 2013
14
0
I am sorry to keep asking but I need help to know how to do step 2 "2. Next, I'd NUKE the email accounts -- ALL of them. DELETE everything and "start over" by creating new email accounts."

How do I actually delete them all? I do not know how to do step 2 please can you supply idiot guide / click by click instructions?

When I look in the library folder it is showing only 63gb in the 'Mail' folder yet if I click on the apple icon> about this mac>storage it shows 296.11GB used on mail! That is a BIG difference.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,994
5,952
Look in
home/library

There should be two folders:
home/library/mail
home/library/mail downloads

On my Mac they measure (in size):
mail - 1.4gb
mail downloads - 0 bytes

What do YOURS measure?
 

improver

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 26, 2013
14
0
UPDATE: I deleted the 63gb (entire contents) of the 'Mail' folder in Library and that seems to have free'd up well over 200Gb of space so I now have over 330GB of free space on my hard drive. So that seems to have worked.

I have not tried putting the 63GB back from my back up yet as I am going to 'try' to work online with my emails instead of letting them download.

So thanks to Fishrrman for your advice, It did the trick.