stop from downloading messages to my harddrive?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Benz63amg, May 20, 2011.

  1. Benz63amg macrumors 68020


    Oct 17, 2010
    New York, NY
    hey guys, i have a gmail account and i want to use the osx's mail app as my email client but i have alot of message in my gmail account and i dont want to download ANY messages to my harddrive at all, i just want to view them using the mail app without downloading any data to my harddrive, how do i do it?
  2. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    You don't. It doesn't work that way. If you don't want to download the messages, you'll have to use a browser to access your mail. Mail is designed to be an offline client, and there's nothing you can do to prevent it from ever downloading mail to your computer.

    If you want to simply cut back, though, you can enable the Advanced IMAP Controls in Gmail's Labs features, and then uncheck All Mail and any other labels you don't want to show up. Just remember that if you uncheck them, you won't be able to see them in Mail at all, so don't uncheck the Inbox, Sent, or Trash folders.

  3. spsmyth, Oct 20, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011

    spsmyth macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2008
    Wrong. Set up your GMail account in Mail normally, then go to Preferences --> Accounts --> Advanced tab and select "Don't keep copies of any messages". Make sure while on this tab to check the IDLE command so it will push email while online. Now, you have turned Mail into the ultimate GMail browser. The only problems are you need to be connected to the 'Net all the time and you can't search in the bodies of messages. If you can live with these restrictions, fine. If not, then change it back.

    I do it at work and it's made Mail a hell of a lot faster and more usable. The reasons; to make search work, Mail downloads, stores and caches every message from every label in GMail and stores all of that in a database on your Mac. This makes it too slow for everyday use. I have thousands of messages archived. Also, I have lots of labels in GMail that I can't get Growl notifications from Mailplane for (I can specify one label to index). Since Mail can detect when new messages come into labels and display unread counts, GrowlMail can report on every new message that comes in.

    Whenever I need to search, I go to the browser and do it :mad:. I am waiting for someone to write a plugin for mail that will allow search while doing this.

  4. negro napoleon macrumors member

    Dec 19, 2011
    Does this mean that every time you log out, it has to re-download new messages? Are you saying it doesn't take up ANY HD space?

    I wish there was just a client that allows you to be connected to the internet, but doesn't take up HD space...kinda like the Twitter for Mac client.

    Do you know if Sparrow does this for example?
  5. spsmyth macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2008
    No, Mail will now only cache the headers and will keep them from session to session. All other restrictions as I have laid out above still apply. Also, I don't use Sparrow so I don't know. It is IMAP only and AFAIK only works while online as I don't see anywhere on their site a mention of offline capability.


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