What Mail.app folders can I toss?


macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 31, 2004
I use Mail.app for my email, and I've had to restore from backups before. Not knowing much about such things, I just copied my backup folders onto the hard drive, and restored what I could by just tinkering with mail to see if I could get my old messages back.

So now I'm reorganizing my stuff, and finding that I have three copies of practically every mailbox. One's in the normal place (Library/Mail/Mailboxes), one's in backup/Mail/Mailboxes, and one's in backup/backup/Mail/Mailboxes (!). The normal place one is the only one that's organized how Mail currently shows my organization. So my question is: is it safe to toss the old ones? (They're each at a half a gb...)

Thanks very much!

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
Adelaide, Australia
The other two are backups and are not being used by Mail. You can ditch them and still have Mail running normally.

Of course, if ever you're unsure about whether you can throw out a folder/file, drag it to the Trash and refrain from emptying. Restart the machine and run it for a while. OSX won't use files in the Trash so if it wasn't needed, then you won't notice any change. If it was needed, then you'll notice small problems or missing data in some programs. Putting the folder/file back where it was originally and restarting will usually remedy this though. :)