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Help! Mailbox rebuild creates zombie emails...

by Jondb1 / April 20, 2015 6:27 PM PDT

I have a problem with Mail 5.3 (on OSX 10.7.5) that's baffling me.

I tried a rebuild on the sent box of a POP3 account. Although I manually delete mails on a regular basis, when I started the rebuild, the sent mailbox began to fill up with much older mails, dating back to 2010.

This used up a whopping 45GB on my HD.

I've tried deleting these mails, dumping them in batches into the Mail trash then emptying the trash, but they keep coming back like zombies.

In Mail preferences > accounts > advanced, I have it set to remove copies from the server after one week. This appears to apply to incoming mail. I rebuilt the inbox earlier without any problem.

In preferences > accounts > mailbox behaviours, I have 'Delete sent messages' set to 'Never'. I had assumed this refers to the mailbox on my HD, from which I prefer to delete manually.

On checking my 'sent' mailbox on the server via a webmail client I find there are only a couple of hundred mails, so they don't appear to be accumulating there.

Where is Mail getting all these old mails from when I ask it to rebuild?

Why does it keep replacing the ones I delete?

Any help in explaining this would be hugely appreciated. My HD is stuffed and I can't work on anything else until I get this cleared up.

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All Answers

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For me I had to clean up on the server.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 21, 2015 1:23 AM PDT

And I had to do that with my ISP's Web Mail interface. I can't write that using any Mail application would work for this.

Crummy, slow work but now it's clean.

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Yes, but...
by Jondb1 / April 21, 2015 4:18 AM PDT

Thanks for that, Bob.

I'd be happy to do that if it would solve the problem. Trouble is, the sent box on my server appears to have only a couple of hundred emails (ie one month's worth). This is why I can't figure out where Mail is finding the rest of them!

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That would be a question for your ISP and their Web mail.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 21, 2015 4:48 AM PDT
In reply to: Yes, but...

Not all Web mail works that well. At least Gmail worked well enough for me to clear this up.

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