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A small timesaving trick when emptying Mail's Trash
Authored by: davidduff on Feb 18, '10 09:51:00AM
i think this is an interesting topic that i haven't seen talked about much anywhere.

to help clarify the hint - this applies when you have one or more of your accounts set to move deleted messages to a trash folder (in preferences>accounts>mailbox behaviors. the trash is a "holding area" for messages that have been designated for deletion. to my knowledge, mail.app only supports and documents a single all-at-once action for "expunging" messages from the trash, namely by selecting "mailbox>erase deleted messages" menu item (either for an individual mailbox for for all mailboxes at once). i personally find this to be a silly limitation. it means that as soon as you do this, you lose access to all previously deleted messages, including both old ones and ones you might have deleted a few seconds ago. in the 5+ years i've been using mail.app, i typically let mail accumulate in the trash and then every once in a while i go in and delete only the oldest couple of months' messages from my trash folder.

i wonder: does everybody already do this?

this deletion is done by sorting by date, selecting a group (often quite large) and hitting delete. i have observed that as the hint indicates, i usually have to do this 2-3 times to actually get the messages to all go away - if i select, say, 2000 messages for deletion, maybe only half of them get deleted on the first pass.

so that is the specfic benefit of this hint: whatever option-delete does (and i don't see it documented anywhere, nor is it visible in the mail.app menus, afaik), it prevents having to repeated tell mail.app to delete messages.

i personally think it is a silly limitation of mail.app that this feature is not better supported and better documented. if there is value in having a trash mailbox in the first place (and i firmly believe that there is) then there is certainly value in providing more flexibility in how to expunge messages.

as an aside, i also think that there should be a separate "delete now" command (vs. the existing move-to-trash command). it would be useful specifically when you end up with multiple copies of a doc with a huge attachment, or when you go through your spam folder and clear mail for deletion. in these situations, you definitely don't want to go through the extra overhead of moving (copying) such messages or keeping them around for review. if delete-now were a documented command, it could be used both for doing an immediate delete of messages from random mailboxes and for the "selective expunge" function described above when used on messages in Trash.

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That Feature Exists
Authored by: barko192 on Feb 18, '10 12:12:13PM

If you look in Mail preferences, under the "Accounts" tab, select "Mailbox Behaviors". There you will find a preference for how old you want messages in your trash to be before they're automatically deleted. For me, the standard setting of a month works great.



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That Feature Exists
Authored by: sr105 on Feb 19, '10 08:33:05AM

Agreed. I can think of special exceptions, but why would you want to manually manage the Trash folder? Plus, Mac Mail is so incredibly slow at processing large folders of messages that just clicking on the Trash folder is painful.



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That Feature Exists
Authored by: pauljlucas on Feb 24, '10 11:32:49AM
Questions:
  1. I currently have the "Move deleted messages to the Trash mailbox" checkbox checked. What does it mean if it were unchecked?
  2. I have the "Permanently erase deletes messages when:" pop-up set to "Quitting Mail" and yet, when I quit and relaunch Mail, the messages are still in the trash. Why?
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- Paul


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