noob mail question

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by BlackEdition, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. BlackEdition macrumors newbie

    May 27, 2009
    i just got a new white macbook (2.13ghz variety), and i was curious about mail. i would like to use mail on my macbook, but, i don't want it to store copies of my mails on my hard drive.

    my question is, if i set mail up to retrieve mails from my gmail account, does it store copies on my hard drive? i have a ton of mails, and i don't want them to clutter up my brand new macbook.

  2. jman240 macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    What you're looking for doesn't probably work the way you want.

    With Gmail you have 3 options.
    1. Use the browser. Nothing is stored on your hard drive.
    2. Use IMAP protocol. This is the best for use with mail. It will sync up between your Mail app and the Gmail server. This means if you delete a message in Mail it will also delete it on the server. If you delete a message on the server (via it will also get deleted when you next sync Mail app (get mail button).
    3. POP3 protocol which will download a copy of everything to your Mail app and anything you do in mail app will only affect whats in Mail app. This means if you delete a message on the server it will still exist in Mail app and if you delete a message on Mail app it will still exist on the server.

    Both options download at least a cache of your messages into Mail app. The only difference is whether or not your changes are pushed back to the server.
    If you are familiar with how Mobile Me works then the IMAP protocol isn't much different.

    The main reason I see people using POP3 is to create a local backup of their mail or because the service doesn't provide IMAP support.

    Here are instructions from Google and some tips

    I personally use IMAP on my work PC, my home PC, my Macbook, and my iPhone along with Gmail. It works great for me.
  3. macgrl macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2008
    Yes, it will store emails on your hard drive. The only way to get around this will be to access gmail via your web browser:)
  4. angemon89 macrumors 68000


    Feb 5, 2008
    The place where Apple designs stuff
    Why do you say that your emails will clutter up your MB? Its not like your emails get saved on your desktop. They are neatly tucked away nowhere to be found except for when you open up the mail app.

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