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Delete stuck outbound messages from Mail Apps
I recently bought my parents a Mac mini, their first Mac. They like it, but unfortunately, only have access to the Internet over dial-up. They will often find that a message gets stuck in the outbox, and rather than wait for it to (eventually) send, they would rather just remove it. You can click on the message and hit the Delete button, but the message count for the outbox doesn't change. If you quit and restart Mail, the messages are still there. What does work is to remove the messages via the shell:
rm -f ~/Library/Mail/Mailboxes/Outbox.mbox/Messages/*.emlx
I wrote a simple AppleScript program that they can use to accomplish this, after first quitting Mail. It isn't perfect -- when Mail starts again, the Outbox count initially shows a count, but Mail must figure out that the messages no longer exist, because it soon resets the message count in the Outbox. Not perfect, but effective.

[robg adds: Note that the above command deletes all messages in the outbox.]
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Delete stuck outbound messages from Mail
Authored by: osxpounder on Feb 01, '08 10:49:22AM

You know your parents best, but I would probably not be alone in recommending that you urge them to just get used to the way the Mac works, rather than have you change things. That can be really confusing, for many reasons, with users who are new to computers, or new to a different kind of computer.

I'm glad your parents like the Mac so far. After years of supporting my father's series of Windows PCs, I was finally able to recommend a Mac to him with the advent of the Mac Mini. Given his needs, it was perfect -- the only thing he missed was the ability to play his old PC games -- and for several years now, his computing life [and mine] have been simpler, more reliable, and more enjoyable. It took about half a year for him to get used to the differences, but now, he is so pleased that he and I are chipping in to buy my niece a Mac Mini for her 13th birthday.



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Delete stuck outbound messages from Mail
Authored by: Fairly on Feb 02, '08 06:07:20PM

You got the command right but isn't scripting a bit of an overkill? As in trying to crush a caterpillar with a bulldozer or shooting a gnat with an AK-47?



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Delete stuck outbound messages from Mail
Authored by: doug148 on Feb 05, '08 10:24:59AM

I don't believe it is overkill. It is a very simple script, saved as an application, so it is now in the Dock.

The alternatives? Have my Dad fire up a terminal and type that command in? Have my Dad call me every time?

I think for him it gives him some control that he didn't have previously.



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