need to delete thousands of Mail messages with no content: help

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by malch, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. malch macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    #1
    Hi there,
    Please save me from carpal tunnel.
    For reasons unknown (to me) I have thousands of extra copies of Mail messages in my Sent box. They have something in the 'To' field, and the 'Subject' field and they have a date, but they have no content.
    I've been going through, deleting them, but I'm getting sore hands...
    Is there an easier way to delete the lot of them?
    (I know I could leave them, but I'm trying to put all my 2009 Sent emails into a folder in Mail, and selecting a huge number of emails and dragging them over doesn't work if even one email is one of these bogus ones).
    thanks for any advice,
    malch
     
  2. AFPoster macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #2
    CMD+A will highlight them all and then hit the Delete or Trash button.
     
  3. malch thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    #3
    Command-A highlights every email in my Sent folder. I don't want to delete all of my emails. I just want to delete all the emails that have no content in the message field. These emails are one out of three in some months, and one out of five elsewhere.
    So the question is: is there a way to just select the messages with nothing in the content field?
    thanks,
    malch
     
  4. LaWally macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2012
    #4
    Could you use one of the "sort by ..." options to group them together?
     
  5. arogge macrumors 65816

    arogge

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2002
    Location:
    Tatooine
    #5
    Search for messages less than 1 KB in size, review the filtered list for false positives and deselect the messages that you want to keep, and delete the rest of the selected images.
     
  6. malch thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    #6
    arogge—such a good idea. But here's the crazy thing, and I know this doesn't make any sense.
    Even some of the emails that have 600-plus KB are empty, in the content field (i.e. no message; just 'To' and 'Subject' fields filled in).
    They are empty copies of real emails.
    In the attached screen shot, the first of the PSAC Pennies emails has content, the second one down is empty. The third one down has content, and the fourth one down is empty.
    Does this make any sense? How can it be empty if it's showing 603KB?
    malch
     

    Attached Files:

  7. malch thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    #7
    thanks LaWally, but 'Sort by' gave me nothing to work with, other than 'Size', which isn't helping in my case.
    All these copies of emails that I have... half of them empty (though claiming to be the same size as the real ones)... could it have happened when I upgraded from Leopard to Snow Leopard, or one of the big updates previous to that, I wonder?
    Maybe I should start by getting rid of all the duplicates.
    Is there an easy way in Mail to find duplicates? Or a small app that would help with this?
    thanks again,
    malch
     
  8. arogge macrumors 65816

    arogge

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2002
    Location:
    Tatooine
    #8
    It looks like those large e-mails have attachments, so they could have no message body and be that big.
     
  9. malch thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    #9
    Well, some of them have attachments, but many do not. What they are is copies of real emails, but—even though they claim to have anywhere from .7 to 600-plus KB—they have no visible content.
    If I could just drag all of my 2008, 2009 and 2010 emails out of my Sent box into a folder on the left ('Old emails'), I'd do it, just to get them out of my Sent box. But Mail won't let you drag and drop 'problem' emails like the ones I'm talking about ("An error occurred while moving messages" blah blah). So I have to go through and delete these contentless copies. And there are literally thousands and thousands to go through.
    Hence my hope of finding another way.
    So no one's heard of an app of some sort that would scan emails to see if there's content in the content field?
    Or... is there another way to get all of these emails out of my Sent box without getting this Mail error message? (by circumventing it somehow?)
    thanks for the advice
    malch
     
  10. andothfc macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #10
    Are they duplicates of other emails that have somehow materialised or are they actual emails that have lost their content?

    I fairly often get the latter, which is fixed by rebuilding the mailbox. I know that doesn't help you with the original question but I just wanted to make sure.
     
  11. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #11
    If I'm reading you correctly, you think that getting rid of all emails for those years might help solve the problem.

    Have you explored attacking the problem directly -- that is, by using Finder, going to your library, finding the .eml files, and dealing with them as nothing more than files?

    You might have to drill down fairly far to find the actual .eml files, but they're down there somewhere.

    You could move them somewhere else.

    I'm using IMAP now, but when I was using POP it was very easy to find the .eml files.
     
  12. malch thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    #12
    You people are great, and I really appreciate the advice...

    andothfc: they are duplicates of other emails.
    In the attached screengrab, the top email from Alan has a message; the email below has NO message. The email below that has a message, and the one below that has NO message. My whole Sent box is like this.

    Monokakata: I did, in fact, go looking in Finder, and found thousands of these .emlx files. But nothing about them tells me whether they're good .emlx files, or bad (duplicate, no-content) .emlx files.

    By the way... I see that (for whatever reason; maybe I wanted to make sure I didn't lose any emails when I upgraded once upon a time), I have a second POP folder in my Documents folder. I wouldn't think that this is interfering with the one in my home/Library/Mail folder, but maybe it is.
    The Messages folder in the POP folder in Documents contains much smaller numbers in front of the .emlx (eg., in this 'Sent' folder, file numbers go from 36629.emlx to 63538.emlx)
    In the 'Sent' folder in my proper POP folder (in Library/Mail), the numbers go from 81917.emlx to 136082.emlx).

    Hoping that by scattering these chicken entrails on the ground, someone will be able to see what's wrong!
    regards,
    malch
     

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