Make Gmail automatically delete email after 30 days
May 27, '08 07:30:00AM
Contributed by: mclbruce
This is for people who have a Gmail account, but prefer to get their mail in Mail or Entourage using a POP connection to Gmail. This will keep your Gmail from accumulating online forever. Instead, it will be deleted from Gmail online after 30 days. There are only two steps to this hint:
Step one is tricky and has major consequences. Change your POP client's user id settings from email@example.com to recent:myaccount@gmail. When you do this, all of the email from the last 30 days will be received by your email client. When I say all, I mean both sent and received mail, but not mail that is in the trash.
- Use the 'recent' option in your POP email client.
- Set up a filter in Gmail that deletes mail that is from your Gmail address.
The trick is to make sure "leave mail on server" is not activated in your email client's settings. This causes Gmail to throw the last 30 days of email in the trash! Once it is in the trash, it will be automatically deleted after 30 days.
Step two is straightforward but the reasoning is a bit hard to follow.
Go to Gmail on the web and add the following filter: If 'from' is firstname.lastname@example.org then 'delete it.' When you specify "delete it," your sent mail will be put in the trash. If you don't do step two, checking your email using POP with the receive: option will give you an extra copy of your sent mail. This filter prevents the online copy of your sent email from being sent back to you.
[robg adds: I haven't tested this one.]
- When you send and receive by POP, your email will be stored in Gmail's trash for 30 days, and then deleted.
- If you want to recover mail from Gmail and have it sent to your computer again, go to Gmail on the web and move the emails you want out of the trash. Now your POP client on the computer will receive those emails, and then put them back in the trash. This is because of what you did in step one.
- If you compose and send an email using Gmail on the web, the mail will be sent and then you will get an error message saying, "This mail is in the trash, it won't show up in Sent Mail." This is because of the filter you set up in step two. If you want the email you write using Gmail on the web to get to your computer, move it Sent Mail. It will be received by your POP client, and then put back in the trash.
- The other major consequence of this setup is when I check Gmail from my phone's POP client, I only receive recent emails that I haven't seen on my computer. The next time I check Gmail on the computer, it picks up the mail I received on the phone. This is surprisingly difficult to do with Gmail.
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