How can I permanently delete emails from Mail on my MacBook Pro?

ula May 19, 2011

I have tried and tried to delete the old mail from Mail on my MacBook Pro. It just keeps showing up. Empty trash doesn’t work.

  1. Mike
    May 19, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    While I do recommend to configure what Bakari said it won't solve your problem. 
    Basically it will prevent your "Mail Downloads" folder filling up with clutter, that is attachments you opened directly within Mail.

    Your problem sounds a lot like the Trash folder is bugged. The easiest method is to manually remove it:

    1. quit Apple Mail (cmd + Q)

    2. navigate to /Users/yourname/Library/Mail
    If you don't have one yet it is a good time to backup your entire Mail folder or even better [assuming you have enough storage somewhere] the entire /Users/yourname/ folder.

    3. delete all "Deleted Messages.mbox" folders you can find~/Library/Mail/POP-.../Deleted Messages.mbox~/Library/Mail/IMAP-.../Deleted Messages.mbox~/Library/Mail/Mailboxes/Deleted Messages.mbox

    If you open Apple Mail after you deleted all of them your Trash folder should be empty.

    • Mike
      May 19, 2011 at 5:28 pm

      wow... could someone from MUO please look into why Disqus keeps removing all spaces and line breaks?

      • Tina
        May 19, 2011 at 7:04 pm


        I edited your question. This being Disqus, we don't have any control over how it handles formatting. If I find out why this is happening though, I will let you know.

        • Mike
          May 19, 2011 at 9:09 pm

          thanks, nvm then... probably didn't notice it somewhere else because I rarely use things like code or blockquote on those which seem to be the reason for this

  2. Bakari
    May 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm

     Ula, check in the Preferences of Mail> General, and make sure the “Remove unedited downloads: drop-down button is set to “After Message is Deleted” instead of “Never.” Let me know if that works.