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Create a colorless top-level Mail folder Apps
If you create a new mailbox with a name such as: Mac OS X Hints/System, Mail will create a parent mailbox named Mac OS X Hints and a sub-mailbox called System. The newly created parent mailbox will also be coloured white, and it functions differently than the usual blue colour. First, you can only drag mail into a sub-mailbox and not into the white parent. And second, white folders cannot be selected when using Rules.

[robg adds: Mac Help has some information on this, though on my machine, it's not entirely true:
Mailboxes that contain both messages and other mailboxes are blue. Mailboxes that contain only other mailboxes are colorless.
On my machine, I have a top-level blue folder that contains only sub-folders. I also have a top-level white folder that only contains sub-folders, so I'm not sure why they're appearing differently. This hint, however, does explain how to create a white (colorless) folder, if you so desire...]
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Create a colorless top-level Mail folder | 14 comments | Create New Account
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Create a colorless top-level Mail folder
Authored by: PancakeMan on Feb 11, '04 12:04:06PM

I did this by accident. Now I would like to drop mail into that "colorless folder" and I can't. Is there an easy way to convert it to a blue folder that can hold messages? (Easier than recreating new folders and dragging the old stuff to the new, I mean.)



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Create a colorless top-level Mail folder
Authored by: adf on Feb 11, '04 12:54:04PM

As far as I can tell, a blue folder in mail.app has both a folder AND a .mbox file of that name in your mail folder in your user Library. The white folder only has a folder (no .mbox). That is why you can't put mail in it directly. There doesn't seem to be a good way to create an .mbox for an existing folder in mail.app.



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Will this work?
Authored by: jecwobble on Feb 11, '04 02:04:43PM
I'm not at my Mac right now to test this, but couldn't you just
  1. alter the name of the white folder
  2. create a new blue folder in the same level as the white one with the name you previously had for the white one
  3. drag all folders from the white folder to the blue folder


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Will this work?
Authored by: PancakeMan on Feb 11, '04 04:09:12PM

Yes, that will work, and that's exactly what I've done to solve my problem. But I still think the interface would be more intuitive and graceful if you could drop messages, or folders, into a white folder, thereby converting it into a blue one.



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Create a colorless top-level Mail folder
Authored by: jtratcliff on Feb 11, '04 04:31:42PM

not a problem.... First, quit Mail.app, then from your terminal of choice,
just create an mbox directory for your target mail folder.... e.g., for a
"white" folder named foo

% cd ~/Library/Mail/Mailboxes
% ls -al foo
drwxrwxrwx 12 You staff 408 1 Dec 12:35 foo
% mkdir foo.mbox


You might also want to change the permissions:

% chmod go-rwx foo.mbox
% ls -al foo.mbox
drwx------ 6 You staff 204 11 Feb 13:15 foo.mbox

Now re-launch Mail and you should be good to go... It takes a second for
Mail.app to recognize the new mbox, but after a brief pause, the icons
should change from white to blue.



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Create a colorless top-level Mail folder
Authored by: ikioi on Feb 11, '04 03:28:52PM

A better phrasing of the difference between blue and white folders is:

"Mailboxes that can contain both messages and other mailboxes are blue. Mailboxes that can contain only other mailboxes are colorless."

Basically what happens on the back side of many (IMAP for instance) mail stores is that a subfolder can exist even though the parent folder does not. For instance in Courier IMAP, the folders are stored as directories on the server with sub-folders delimited by dots. So ~/.cats.lions/ would be a subfolder of ~/.cats/ . But if ~/.cats didn't exist and ~/.cats.lions/ did, then in Mail, "cats" would be white while "cats->lions" would be blue. It would mean that you could drag messages or folders to "cats->lions", but you could only drag folders to "cats". So white folders are actually folder which don't exist but are show in Mail as an aid to the eyes.

So the way to make a white folder blue is to create it. So in this example, if you just told mail to create the folder "cats", then "cats" would turn from blue to white and then you would be allowed to store messages in cats. Similarly, if you delete a folder which has subfolders, then the folder you delete will go from blue to white and the subfolders will be left alone.

An interesting artifact of all of this is that sometimes it's possible to trick Mail into having a white folder with no subfolders. (This is useless to do, but you can do it.) You can do this by making "cats" then making "cats->lions" then deleting "cats" then deleting "cats->lions". This is a minor bug in Mail, and you can get rid of the "non-existent" ghost folder, "cats" by deleting it again, even though it actually doesn't exist.

Hopefully that's clearer than mud. :)



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Create a colorless top-level Mail folder
Authored by: miles_thatsme on Feb 11, '04 10:55:41PM

I initially thought this wasn't a particularly useful tip, either. Until I realized that I could prevent my IMAP server from automatically respawning an email called ".lastlogin" in a folder by a similar name. The message would respawn every mail check, which meant that with MailEnhancer, my unread mail count almost always read "1". I had tried simply locking the local file, but that crashed Mail. Creating a new white .lastlogin folder seems to be working.



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Create a colorless top-level Mail folder
Authored by: ikioi on Feb 11, '04 03:40:19PM
One other detail worth mentioning, is that the only reason the hint works the way it does with "Mac OS X Hints/System" is because the folder delimiter for that mail store is '/' . Since in some IMAP servers the delimiter is '.', making "Mac OS X Hints.System" would be the way to get the same effect on those mail stores. So basically you're creating
"Mac OS X Hints->System" without creating the parent folder, "Mac OS X Hints".

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Create a colorless top-level Mail folder
Authored by: Vizspring on Feb 11, '04 10:37:46PM

You can actually create colorless folders without this pseudo-hack as well. Just create a new (standard blue) mailbox. Then drag another mailbox under the mailbox (so you have two nested mailboxes).

If you use Mail to delete the top mailbox, it fades to white instead of disappearing (because it still contains the child mailbox).

(In short, all you have to do is delete a mailbox that contains other mailboxes - careful though, you lose any real "mail" in the top mailbox.)

I haven't found a good way to "restore" the mailbox to full functionality though. The only real way, as someone hinted at above, is to create a new mailbox and just move over all of the contents.



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Create a colorless top-level Mail folder
Authored by: ikioi on Feb 12, '04 10:31:08AM
Previous poster said:

I haven't found a good way to "restore" the mailbox to full functionality though. The only real way, as someone hinted at above, is to create a new mailbox and just move over all of the contents.

You can turn a white mailbox blue, by literally just creating a mailbox in exactly the same place with exactly the same name as the white one. White mailboxes are mailboxes that don't really exist... the ghosts of departed mailboxes. So creating them makes them blue. :)



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Problems with "In" box
Authored by: jason mark on Feb 12, '04 07:46:10PM

I have a POP account, and for some reason I can't move mail messages into my "In" box. This machine is a replacement for one that died, and I believe that my original machine could do this without a problem.

Any thoughts?



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Create a colorless top-level Mail folder
Authored by: fnordle on Mar 15, '04 11:53:01PM

Actually, I've found the easiest way to create colorless folders, and folders within folders, etc., is to simply open $home/Library/Mail/Mailboxes/. Make as many new folders/folder hierarchies as you like- when you open Mail, they'll show up as the "colorless" boxes. By creating a folder and naming it "folderName.mbox", it turns into a regular blue folder. Removing the ".mbox" extension restores it to white box status. Also, appending ".mbox" to a colorless folder, you will restore it to it's former "blue" status. Hope this helps! :)



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Create a colorless top-level Mail folder
Authored by: muxlow on Jul 12, '06 11:19:29AM

Found an easy way in Tiger Mail: Just Create a new Mailbox with the same name and in the same directory as the white mailbox and it'll magically turn blue.

So far, I haven't noticed anything bad happening, but back your stuff up before trying this!

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__________________________________________________________________
jason muxlow | multimedia designer | www.muxlow.org | jason@muxlow.org



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Create a colorless top-level Mail folder
Authored by: muxlow on Jul 12, '06 11:20:57AM

ARgh. I only saw the 1st 3 comments before I posted.
No news here...move along, everybody :(

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__________________________________________________________________
jason muxlow | multimedia designer | www.muxlow.org | jason@muxlow.org



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