Stop Mail from downloading all Gmail messages

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by GGJstudios, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I have Mail checking my address. I want to use Mail to also check my Gmail account. No problem in setting that up... done already. Here's the issue: I have more than 1.1GB of mail in my Gmail account, including file backups on Gspace. I don't want Mail to download all those messages... only the past week or so, then move forward with Mail downloading new Gmail messages only. Is there a way to tell Mail NOT to download my entire Gmail history?
  2. italiano40 macrumors 65816


    Oct 7, 2007
    I would use pop3 message server, because then you can dowload all the gmail messages at first, but then you can delete them, then it will only download the new message unlike the imap server
  3. GGJstudios thread starter macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    My point is I'm trying to avoid downloading 1.1GB of messages in the first place. I already know I can delete them after they're downloaded and leave a copy on the Gmail server.
  4. pjrobertson macrumors 6502a

    Nov 14, 2007
    I thought that the great thing about IMAP is that it only downloads the titles of your emails as opposed to the whole messages and their content / attachments.

    You could try going into preferences -> accounts -> advanced and telling mail never to download any messages. It should just get the title of each email them.
  5. GGJstudios thread starter macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Thanks for the idea, but the Gmail account is a POP account and besides, I want to download messages, not just the titles. I just don't want to start by downloading over 1GB of messages over the past 2 years. I wanted to start from this day forward, without downloading all the history. Since I didn't find an answer, I'm going through that painful process anyway. It would be a simple checkbox to add, "Don't download messages received before this date ...."
  6. DoNoHarm macrumors 65816


    Oct 8, 2008
    Anyone know how to do this?

    Hey does anyone know how to do this?
  7. cellocello macrumors 68000


    Jul 31, 2008
    Toronto, ON
    Yeah ... this surprised me too. It downloaded A LOT (but not everything, I noticed).

    In any case ... I just let it do it's thing. Now I have all my email and attachments, and honestly ... it's pretty convenient! Managing attachments in gmail is pretty obnoxious.
  8. mmdj macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2008

    I have the exact same question... i set up my account to be IMAP based, but Mail just keeps downloading every single email i got on the server :( So is there no way to prevent doing that?

  9. gbsiano macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2009
    Seriously - there is no way to stop this? I just got a new Mac Mail since I did a erase and install to clean up and upgrade my OS. Now that I have opened the newer version of Mail, it is trying to grab the 40,000+ messages on Yahoo's server from back to 2006. I like keeping it there as a backup of things, but don't really need it all to trickle into Mail. I would think Yahoo could tell it had been 'grabbed' before? Same thing.. would like to just have an idiot box that says "only fetch mail from (date) and beyond". What a pain in the A$$.
  10. BaldiMac macrumors 604


    Jan 24, 2008
    If you set it up as an IMAP account, you can specify in Gmail what folders you want to show up in Mail. You can select only the Inbox and specific folders that you use for current mail.
  11. BaldiMac macrumors 604


    Jan 24, 2008
    If you insist on using POP, there is a option in the Gmail setting under "Forwarding and POP/IMAP" to only download "mail that arrives from now on". It won't get you the last week, but it would prevent you from downloading the whole enchilada.
  12. Ames macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2008
    In the settings turn in IMAP.

    In the labs turn on the advanced IMAP features.

    Then in the settings there will be a tab for selecting only certain labels to sync. Don't sync all mail, spam, maybe trash and others...

    As to what they download it's up to the mail application. Some can be set to download only headers; it won't get the message body or attachments so it's fast regardless of how much mail you have. The last thing I used IMAP with Gmail on was Outlook and it had folder (label) level controls. So the inbox could do full downloads and trash could do just the headers.
  13. hodgeheg macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2008
    Firstly, unless there's something odd about your gmail account (they have been known to vary in when they get features but this has been out for aaaages now) you *can* use imap.

    One very important thing is that if you have Apple Mail's junk filtering turned on, it will download ALL imap messages in order to assess whether they're junk or not. So if you don't want it doing that you'll have to disable junk mail filtering for that account. Or so say the instructions for setting up my work mail account with Apple Mail and IMAP.

    This may not be a complete reply - sorry - I'm not an expert, but this is the sort of bit of trivia that could help make sense when all the other settings look correct, so hope it helps.

    P.S. No idea if the same applies to pop.
  14. GGJstudios thread starter macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    For those that insist on reviving old threads, I've long since set up IMAP and have no problems with Mail. I started this thread 8 months ago.... don't know why it got revived, but it's been answered for a LONG time!
  15. thepete macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2009
    I insist on reviving old threads!

    Why? Because the problem still persists.

    See, I don't think I should have to tweak my gmail settings to tell Apple Mail not to download ALL of my mail. Even if it's just headers, I don't want it to. I'm using mail for an automator program--I'm not using it for actual email so I don't need to sync it to my gmail.

    It's absolutely absurd that there are so many people willing to live with Apple's backasswards decisions. "Nothing's wrong with Apple! It's Gmail's fault!"

    I have to tweak a setting in gmail so that Apple Mail doesn't download years of email *I've already read??* Where is the logic in that?? Nowhere.

    How about this feature: "Download **unread** mail ONLY."

    Yeah, that would make sense. Too bad we ain't got one o' those.

    Hm, I wonder what would happen if I just let Mail download all of my email and then delete it all myself. Do you think it would try to download it again? I bet it would. Just because that's the way Apple works. 90% is great and awesome and 10% is Pure WTF?
  16. Ashka macrumors 6502a


    Aug 9, 2008
    New Zealand
    When setting up Gmail POP3 in Apples mail the option to set a date when it was to start down loading mail was available when I set mine up.

    As you missed the option: Just go to Gmail settings > Forwarding and POP/IMAP and just select Enable POP for mail that arrives from now on or one of the other options.
    Check the other setting while you are there.

    You are using Gmail, set it up in Gmail.
  17. zippinglou macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2009
  18. kulimer macrumors 6502

    Aug 30, 2011
    so, the set up is on the Gmail side, not the Mac side? that's weird, but ok.
  19. bp1000 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2011
    I've also been looking for an answer to this

    I dont like POP as it doesn't synchronise well.

    Shame you can't just get mac mail to only download last 4 weeks worth.

    My personal and work email have been on gmail since gmail first launched so i have a ridiculous volume for email and i just can't be bother to wait for it to download.
  20. smidola macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2011
    Not quite what you were after but...

    There is now an option (not sure when it was added - sorry) in gmail to limit the number of messages which are downloaded over IMAP.

    Go to the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab in the Settings page. The second heading from the bottom is entitled Folder Size Limits, you can limit IMAP clients to downloading only the most recent 1000 messages. Not quite the last week only, although I suppose you might get more emails than I do! :)
  21. tbc macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2012
    Thank you!

    IT WORKED! Thank you so much, this was driving me crazy not to mention preventing me from working. I thank the Gods every day for the generous people giving solutions in forums like this. :)
  22. pat park macrumors 6502a

    Nov 29, 2011
    So say we all!

    I was having the same issues and adjusting the imp a folders as described above helped so much.
  23. dylesid macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2010
    Maybe I didn't understand well, but I had similar problem. What i Did, i just moved all aod emails in gemail to new folder, and then in tthe Apple Mail app I marked on the bottom (becouse you can see exactely the same folder in Mail like in Gmail), and just click on this folder and choose "mark all messages as read"


  24. haidary.faridoon macrumors newbie


    Feb 7, 2017
    I was searching for the same problem I had when I set up IMAP on my outlook 2013, but I found out the solution in the configuration dialogue box of outlook. When you setup your email in outlook using IMAP, there is slidebar 'Mails to keep offline'. In this slidebar you can choose the duration from which you want your previous emails to be downloaded. You can choose a minimum of one month period here. Hope this solution is helpful for others facing this issue.
  25. GGJstudios thread starter macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Thanks for posting, but your solution didn't exist 9 years ago, when this thread was created. A lot has changed since that time.

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25 June 10, 2008