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Deleting Gmail messages in Mail.app. Apps
When you use Mail, or another email client, together with a Gmail account you will surely know that clicking on a message and pressing the delete key does remove that message from Inbox folder but leaves a copy of it in the 'All Mail' folder on the Gmail server. Effectively the message has not been deleted. This is the default Gmail behavior.

While I like using Mail.app with Gmail I don't like the 'All Mail' folder. Here's how to configure Mail so a deleted message ends up in the Trash folder on the Gmail server.

In Mail.app, under Preferences click the Accounts icon. Select your Gmail account. In the Trash section check the box 'Move deleted messages to the Trash mailbox' and check the box 'Store deleted messages on the server'. Close the Mail.app Preferences.

On the left side where the Mailboxes are located, expand the Gmail folder, and click on the Trash folder. Next, from the Mail.app menu select Mailbox » Use this Mailbox For » Trash.

Now messages you delete in Mail.app will from now on be moved to the Trash folder where you can permanently delete them by selecting them and pressing the Delete button on your keyboard or by enabling the automatically delete after x number days setting in Mail.app preferences.

I hope you find this hint useful. It's tested on Mac OS 10.7.2 Mail 5.1.

[crarko adds: It looks to me that these options are available in 10.6.8 Mail as well, although I haven't verified that it works the same.]
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Deleting Gmail messages in Mail.app. | 7 comments | Create New Account
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Same on 10.6.8 Mail
Authored by: doctype on Oct 31, '11 07:53:58AM

Re: 10.6.8 Mail Yes, it works the same on 10.6.8. I have it this way for a long time, even before 10.6.

Also, Gmail itself will do the "deleting permanently" (emptying trash bin) automatically after 30 days anyway, so your preferences in Mail.app ("Delete after x days") will be ignored if they are set to "Never delete".

Edited on Oct 31, '11 07:57:47AM by doctype



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Deleting Gmail messages in Mail.app.
Authored by: aca on Oct 31, '11 08:06:34AM

Thanks, this works! It seems simple enough, but I had never managed to figure it how to make this work out on my own.



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Deleting Gmail messages in Mail.app.
Authored by: j.norris on Oct 31, '11 11:59:23AM

Gmail's "Forwarding and POP/IMAP" settings let you delete messages permanently, at will.

"When a message is marked as deleted and expunged from the last visible IMAP folder" can be set to "Immediately delete the message forever". Other choices in that category include archiving (no, thanks) and moving to Trash (where it's autodeleted later).

When combined with the option "Auto-Expunge on", this removes messages from Gmail immediately.

For those who like a little safety net, "Auto-Expunge off" takes advantage of Mail's ability to mark messages as deleted, then expunge them later (Preferences > Accounts > Mailbox Behaviors > Store deleted messages on the server). A keyboard shortcut to Mailbox > Erase Deleted Items > In Selected Mailbox is a handy way to give yourself a second look at deleted items before expunging them.

Note that Mail doesn't display deleted-but-unexpunged items by default: To see them, you must choose View > Show Deleted Messages (cmd-L).



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Deleting Gmail messages in Mail.app.
Authored by: xplora on Oct 31, '11 01:03:13PM

Works in 10.5, 10.4, 10.3, and probably earlier, as well as any IMAP based email client that will let you map the Trash/Deleted Items folders to the correct gmail Trash/Bin or whatever the folder is called based on your gmail language settings.



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Deleting Gmail messages in Mail.app.
Authored by: gxw on Oct 31, '11 05:23:47PM

Thank you!
This behavior has been driving me nuts for a while.



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Deleting Gmail messages in Mail.app.
Authored by: Havner on Nov 22, '11 08:06:37AM

This one I figured out ;-)

Anybody knows how to do the same in iOS Mail.app with google account connected using Exchange protocol?



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Deleting Gmail messages in Mail.app.
Authored by: aluehrmann on May 12, '12 01:17:47PM

I made all the suggested changes, but they did not fix the main problem I'm having with the Mail app and my new Gmail account. In Mail, each incoming message appears twice, and I have to delete the same message in both places. The first location is under MAILBOXES (in the GMail inbox or the Junk mailbox). The second location is under GMAIL (in the All Mail folder). Also, reading a message in one location leaves the message marked "unread" in the other place. What to do?



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