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How Do I Stop Mail Marking a Message As Read When Another Has Been Deleted?

Is there a way to stop Mail marking a message as Read just because it has the focus after an adjacent message has been deleted?

There is nothing in the Mail Preferences that seems relevant.

I like to skim through unread messages and delete those of no interest. However, this results in Mail marking other messages as Read (that I have not and want to read later) because of the deletions.

Comments: 7 Responses to “How Do I Stop Mail Marking a Message As Read When Another Has Been Deleted?”

    3 years ago

    There is is no way for Mail to know whether you are reading the email shown or not. But you have two options. The first is to choose Message, Mark as Unread. There is even a keyboard shortcut for that if you look in that menu. You can also Control+click on the message in the list and choose that.

    The other thing you can do is to ignore the read/unread feature since it isn't helping you. You don't need to use every feature of an app. The way I handle email is that anything in my Inbox is something I need to take an action on. If it is still in my inbox, then I haven't dealt with it yet. When I am finished with an email, I archive it. There is even a button, menu command and keyboard shortcut for "archive" and most email systems (iCloud, Gmail, etc) have an archive function.

    So when I get a new message, I deal with it. Maybe reading it is all I need to do. Or, maybe I can tell from the subject or the start of the message that I don't even need to read it. Or, maybe I need to respond, or set a Calendar even or Reminder. Or, maybe I need to take some other action. If I can't do that action now, I leave it in my Inbox until I can. Otherwise. I take the action and then archive the message.

    So the way you treat "unread" email is the same way I treat my whole inbox. What you are expecting from the "read" indicator, I do that by archiving the email. For me, "unread" simply means "this just came in."

    3 years ago

    Thanks Gary. I'll try your approach. I do archive mail from time to time but, in my case, messages that are still in my Inbox and satisfy a chosen date range. Perhaps I just need to use Automator to add a service to Mail that moves a messages to a nominated archive folder with a keyboard shortcut.

    3 years ago

    Eric: Not sure what you mean by a "nominated archive folder." Do you just mean a mailbox folder you created to hold specific types of messages, like receipts, work, personal, etc. I don't bother with those. Everything goes into the Archive folder. Everything. If I need something from the past, I just search for it. I don't have a hundred micro-decisions to be made every day about where an email goes when I'm done with it. I don't need to remember where I put an email if I need to find it. I just search the Archive folder.

    3 years ago

    So, my solution (under test) was to establish a named archive folder/mailbox and dragged it to the menu bar. Now I can just drag messages to that folder on the menu bar. [Unfortunately, there was no Automator Mail action to move a message to a folder. AppleScript might be able to done something with the general move action but that's for another day].

    Scott Draper
    3 years ago

    Other than 'learn to ignore if a message is marked as read or unread' - Did anyone actually come up with a real solution to prevent Mail from marking a message as read just because you highlighted the message?
    The is a fairly basic function in Windows and you can even select the amount of time its take for the highlighted message to appear as Read and even disable the 'auto mark message as read'.
    Surely there must be a solution to this?

    2 years ago

    As long as this logic isn't changed by Apple, I will not use "Mail", but stick with Gmail or Outlook.
    For me it' s super annoying a message is marked read unintentionally. It means I have to do extra steps in handling of these mail messages. Up to now keyboard commands of Gmail are the most friendly to me. I don' t want to switch back and forth to the mouse or touchpad from the keyboard.
    Although for use with iPhone I'd like to use "Mail" very much, because Gmail has no suitable widget on IOS.

    2 years ago

    It appears, like so many things Apple, there is no way to do this, making the entire experience and process of using the Mail app far less efficient and more frustrating that it needs to be. This is indeed a basic function/option/setting in pretty much all the other mail client players' products (i.e. Outlook.)
    Not having a way to turn off 'mark read on highlight/selection' makes for extra busy work that significantly reduces the user experience. C'mon Apple Mail team... Time to get in the 90s

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