Mail App Taking Over Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by moffett07, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. moffett07 macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2010
    I'm running into a problem with Mail on my Macbook Air- it's sucking my hard drive space dry. (9 GB at the writing of this message)

    I am totally fine with the UI and organization of Mail, but I was wondering if there were any alternative apps out there that were easily set up to remove messages from the desktop upon deletion, but moved the mail to an Archive folder on the Gmail servers?

    Normally, I know this could be solved using POP3 instead of IMAP, but because I'm accessing my email from multiple devices, I don't want to have to delete each message from each device when I'm through with it.

    It's important that I am able to keep copies of all of my messages and have them fairly easily searchable, as I'm a freelancer with an "inbox 0" kind of mentality.

    I'm sure I'm not the only one that has had a Mail-take over, so let me know if you've developed any solutions or have an alternative app out there that you use.
  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I don't think any app is going to change things for you. You are using IMAP with GMail, and IMAp by definition will mirror whatever is on the server.

    What you can do cut down on this is go to and under labels tab in settings uncheck "All Mail" where is says "Show in IMAP".

    If you leave that checked every single message you have on your Mac in GMail is duplicated in the All Mail local IMAP folder, thusly using double the space.

    So if you are using 9GB of space now, this should cut it in half. You don't need the all mail folder on your OS X Mail client.

    There are also some settings in the IMAP tab to reduce the number of messages IMAP pulls down per folder.

  3. moffett07 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2010
  4. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    If you don't mind not being able to read your mail offline you can tell the IMAP GMail account, in its settings, "don't keep copies of any messages" so that the mail header info will be the only thing downloaded. Only when you select a message will the message itself load, and then only temporarily.

    Other than that, yes...being selective about what folders are visible in IMAP is the best way.

    Another point...if you have multiple Gmail labels on a mail message, then under normal circumstances your Mac Mail will have a copy in every folder corresponding to those labels.
  5. lambretta macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2013
    I've just registered to specifically thanks you for pointing this out, it has been driving me MENTAL for months! I am now gleefully sitting back and watching space magically appear on my MacBook Air :D

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