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  1. #1
    E-mail Program Questions
    p_rod's Avatar
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    E-mail Program Questions
    OK, I'll admit it. I am getting old, just like my old iMac.

    It's a late 2009 model, nothing fancy, running version 10.11.6 El Capitan. Hell, I don't even know if this old Mac can take an OS upgrade, but that's another question for another time.

    My email question is this.

    I just noticed I have nearly 7500 emails in my inbox. I do have 3 accounts....one me.com that gets maybe 2 emails a month. A gmail account that I NEVER use, ever; and my OS Mail program.

    I know if I emptied the inbox, it would give me more memory, would probably run a little faster....but what is the BEST way to delete all these emails? There may be a handful (prolly less than 50) out of the 7500 I'd want to keep.

    I am thinking of just organizing them 'alphabetically" and then 'block deleting' dozens to hundreds at a time. But there may be one or two that I need to keep, but they'd be solo or singular emails....not any from AT&T or AmEx or any of the other sites that send me way too much email.

    Any ideas or suggestions? I'd love to just be able to Select All, then drag them to a thumb drive IF I ever needed any of them but I don't think that's possible.

    One more thing....I do not use 'the cloud'. Nothing of mine goes up there.... it's hackable as anything else out there so I still weekly use Carbon Copy Cloner and to a much lesser extent, Time Machine. I do that on this machine, my 2011 MBA and my newest iMac from hell (that has yet to ever see the internet-it's just for Photoshop and LightRoom, period).

    Thanks, everyone! :-)

    Cheers!

    Pat
    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.

    Albert Einstein

  2. #2
    E-mail Program Questions
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    I know if I emptied the inbox, it would give me more memory, would probably run a little faster....
    Nope and nope. You might have a bit more storage, but not more memory, and I doubt it would run faster as a computer at all, at least not so that you might know. Mail, unless you have huge attachments to a lot of messages, doesn't take that much room.

    However, if you want to clean up mail, you can sort in two different ways to get rid of "blocks" of them at a time. First is to sort by the "From" column and get rid of any that are from any account you know never sends anything you want to keep. Mark the top one then scroll to the bottom one, hold Shift and click to select all in between. Now right click on the bunch and delete. Another sort is by Subject and get rid of bunches with the same subject, particularly sales stuff. Same technique.

    However, once they are deleted they are still not erased and any space recovered. To do that, open the Trash and right click to select "Delete all" from the drop down menu.

    Finally, on the top bar, under "Mailbox" click "rebuild" and give it a while to compress out the empty space and rebuild the box. You will, I think, have to repeat that for each mailbox. Don't forget the "Sent" box, either, as there can be a lot of junk there.

    If you think you might one day want/need one of them back, if you do the File/Export as PDF you will end up with a PDF for each email, with a filename of the subject line. That export can also be a time-consuming task.

    Bear in mind that the largest amount of space in Mail is probably as attachments, not the messages themselves, so consider opting to delete the attachment with the messages. Note that the Export does not export attachments.

    Given you don't sync through the cloud, you'll have to repeat the process on every device with Mail.

    Or just ignore the whole thing. Mail is stored in ~/Library/Mail. You can do a "get info" on that folder to see how much storage is taken with mail.
    Jake

  3. #3
    E-mail Program Questions
    chscag's Avatar
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    This may not be practicable for you as it is me, but I archive old email that I like to keep to an external hard drive. I select the mail I want to move (highlight the first one and then shift select the rest) and then drag them to my drive. I have the external drive setup with folders according to subject. The mail gets copied to the drive in *.eml format. By double clicking on any one of the copied files will open your mail program and that allows you to read the mail.

    It can be quite a chore setting up the external drive as you want to make sure you can find a particular mail otherwise it will be hunt and peck.

    Make sure you move the mail in small amounts otherwise you may overload the system and freeze the drive. Deleting the unwanted mail is easy once you archive what you wish to keep and safely move it to the external drive.

  4. #4
    E-mail Program Questions
    p_rod's Avatar
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    Jake and chscag!

    A YUGE thank you to you both! I truly appreciate your suggestions.

    I have yet to tackle this chore, but one thing I have been doing the past couple of days is: 1) Unsubbing from dozens of sites that maybe I once did business with (ordered something) yet they think I need an email daily or several times a week when what I bought may last years; and 2) As soon as I read an email (say from a friend) I answer it but then delete the original as to not 'keep storing' emails I'll prolly never, ever need again.

    You two know what I'll be doing today! And yes, I will report back with the results.

    Cheers!

    Pat
    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.

    Albert Einstein

  5. #5
    E-mail Program Questions
    krs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    This may not be practicable for you as it is me, but I archive old email that I like to keep to an external hard drive. I select the mail I want to move (highlight the first one and then shift select the rest) and then drag them to my drive. I have the external drive setup with folders according to subject. The mail gets copied to the drive in *.eml format. By double clicking on any one of the copied files will open your mail program and that allows you to read the mail.
    I'm struggling with the amount of email as well.
    Right now the mail gets backed up along with the rest of the data on the Mac, but for the old mail that I want to keep - just in case - there is really no need to do that if it's archived,
    Two questions -
    Where/how do I check how much disk space all the mail is using (including all the folders I made in Apple Mail)
    And is there any reason why I could not back it up on a USB flash drive - they are so cheap nowadays and nice and small compared even to a portable external drive

  6. #6
    E-mail Program Questions
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    I think all the Mail is in ~/Library/Mail. You can do a "get info" on that folder and it will calculate the space taken.
    Jake

  7. #7
    E-mail Program Questions
    chscag's Avatar
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    And is there any reason why I could not back it up on a USB flash drive - they are so cheap nowadays and nice and small compared even to a portable external drive
    Backing up to a flash drive will work. Make sure though that you purchase a reliable flash drive and not a cheap brand.

  8. #8
    E-mail Program Questions
    krs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
    I think all the Mail is in ~/Library/Mail. You can do a "get info" on that folder and it will calculate the space taken.
    Thanks, found it

    24GB...Yikes - I assume that includes all the attachments

  9. #9
    E-mail Program Questions
    krs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    Backing up to a flash drive will work. Make sure though that you purchase a reliable flash drive and not a cheap brand.
    That brings up another topic - reliability of an SSD vs a flash drive.

    Based on the little bit of reading I have done, there seems to be no difference.
    At least as far as the technology is concerned.
    SSD may have faster transfer rates than a flash drive, but for backup that doesn't really matter.
    For my purposes I could even use a USB 2.0 flash drive, but I see 32GB, USB 3.1 drives for $US8.00
    Access Denied

    How cheap can they get????

    PS: I see the link says "Access denied", but the link does work - for me at least.
    It points to a Kingston Traveller 32GB USB 3.1 drive sold by Dell for $US7.99

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