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Mail Is Now Up To 95Gb – How Do I Recover Space/slim It Down?

Mail on my Mac mini is growing way too fast and I’m running out of SSD space.

How can I slim it down and recover some SSD? In earlier version of OS X rebuilding indexes etc seemed to help but I think that’s been consigned to history, I also recall using an app to archive mail years ago but can’t recall what that was, is it effective these days?

Running Mail in 10.13.6, a/cs are mostly Google and iCloud (all IMAP). Any suggestions appreciated.
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Max

Comments: 16 Responses to “Mail Is Now Up To 95Gb – How Do I Recover Space/slim It Down?”

    4 months ago

    Mail can be in two places: local archived copies of your email on your local drive, or synced server messages (IMAP). If you have been moving messages from Gmail to a local mailbox, then you have local messages. Otherwise, you have mail that is simply being synced with your Gmail server.

    Gmail has some options on the server that allow you to select whether all of your IMAP email is downloaded, or just some of it. I have mine set to the last 5,000 messages, I believe. Otherwise, I would be in the same boat as you. All of my messages are on Google’s servers, but only the last 5,000 are on my drive.

    You’ll need to go into the Gmail website and look through the settings to change this. Then once you chance, it may be many painful hours as your Mail app re-syncs everything.

    The other option is to sort all of your email by size and then delete some of the largest attachments. Could it be that just a few attachments take up a large portion of that space?

    Max
    4 months ago

    Would that be Settings > IMAP Access > Forwarding & IMAP/POP Folder Size Limits?

    I just want to confirm this won’t purge/delete email from Gmail but only on my Mac if I set to 5,000?

    4 months ago

    Max: That’s it. I have mine set to 10,000 actually. So I can only access the latest 10,000 messages on my Mac. But I have more than 210,000 messages in All Mail when I look at the Gmail website. It will be painful as it updates, so do it at a time when you can afford to be away from your email for a few hours. Or, at least just use the web version of Gmail as your Mail App deals with this massive change. Here’s another source: https://www.lifewire.com/how-to-make-gmail-imap-faster-with-less-email-traffic-1171942

    Max
    4 months ago

    OK, here goes I’ll leave it to run overnight, fingers crossed….

    Max
    4 months ago

    Actually I reduced it to 2,000 and then forced a Rebuild on the two Gmail accounts so I could see it index the 2k of emails. That increased the size of Mail by 3Gb to 98Gb now.

    These two accounts have nothing like your 210k of content these are 11k and 8k respectively of emails.

    Max
    4 months ago

    No change overnight – any suggestions?

    4 months ago

    Max: What do you mean by no change? Do you still see more than the 2,000 messages? Or is the size still too big? Perhaps what is taking up space isn’t in those accounts, but in locally-stored messages? And how are you determining the size of your mail — what number are you looking at and exactly where?

    Max
    4 months ago

    I’ve taken the size from Daisy Disk.

    Update!! Hope this makes sense to you or anyone else reading this. I set up a support call with Apple and they talked me through deleting all Gmail a/cs via Internet A/cs in Sys Prefs and rebooting. No change.

    Then they referred to 2nd tier support and their explanation was it was a repository for all content downloaded from Gmail but they had no idea which a/c it was related to. I took a chance and deleted on their advice – fingers crossed!

    4 months ago

    What do you mean by “A/cs”? Account?
    So, where, exactly, is the space being used? Go to your user Library folder and look in Mail. Dig in there and see which folders and files are taking up space.

    Max
    4 months ago

    The space used was in Library>Containers>com.apple.mail>Data>Library>Logs>Mail – a file had grown to 79.8Gb and according to Apple was a log of all attachments downloaded from Gmail. BUT it couldn’t be identified as a single Gmail a/c (I use 3). Deleting is a shot in the dark, don’t know yet what the consequences will be.
    Curiously all those logs are plain text and opening that one gave no clue as to which Gmail a/c it was assoc. with esp. given that deleting all Gmail a/cs didn’t remove it?

    4 months ago

    Max: Ah, so it wasn’t even a mailbox that was using the space at all. It was some log file. Interestingly, my Library>Containers>com.apple.mail>Data>Library>Logs>Mail folder is empty. As in zero bytes, no files. So I’m wondering is something is wrong. Did you happen to notice the modified date of that file before you deleted it? I wonder if it was old.

    Max
    4 months ago

    I kept screenshots but the date was modified each time I looked – I suspect each time Mail polls Gmail?

    My Library>Containers>com.apple.mail>Data>Library>Logs>Mail folder has multiple entries e.g. one for each Gmail a/c (& me.com – iCloud? & yahoo etc) but because of Google’s naming it’s impossible to know which is which a/c except by guessing relative size of mailbox.

    4 months ago

    In the Mail app, go to Window, Connection Doctor. Look for the check box Log Connection Activity. Is it checked?

    max
    4 months ago

    It was, have now unchecked it. Does that mean it’s safe to delete all those log files? I can recover another ~10Gb if so.

    4 months ago

    max: I’m thinking that was your problem all along! Should be safe to delete those log files. Jut put them in the trash for now and delete them later as long as there are no problems. But since I have no such files I doubt they are used for anything other than the Connection Doctor.

    Max
    4 months ago

    Thanks for all your help.

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