Previous 1 2 Next 19 Replies Latest reply: May 17, 2008 9:20 PM by Kent Diprose
TheDave413 Level 4 (1,000 points)
If I try to delete messages from my inbox, they are still listed, but greyed out and won't display. The re-circle "delete" button changes to "undelete" but when I restart Mail, the're still there! How can I get these messages out of there and into the Trash?

MacBook Pro - 15.4" - 2.2GHz Core2Duo - 2GB RAM - 250GB HDD, Mac OS X (10.5.1), 5th Gen iPod Video - Black - 30gb
  • TheDave413 Level 4 (1,000 points)
  • SheldonLendrum Level 1 (0 points)
    I have the same Issue, Running Leopard, I want to delete a lot of old emails form my laptop as I have them all on my desktop, ( Check from both as I travel a lot ).

    I delete them, but they just reappear ?
  • Harry Edwards Level 2 (255 points)
    Mine just started acting up now. My mail doesn't delete when I hit the delete key or when I press the delete button in the toolbar. I restarted the machine and it still didn't fix it. Help.
  • HappyMacNH Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi! Just had this same problem on a client's machine and here is what I did that seems to have fixed it.

    1. While in Mail, create a new mail folder (let call it "TEMP INBOX") and move the entire contents of the Inbox into that new folder (TEMP INBOX).

    2. Exit mail

    3. Go to the following folder in *your user account*: /Library/Mail/

    4. Locate/open the folder for the mail account(s) that are not behaving properly and then drag the "inbox" and "Deleted messages" folders out to the desktop. (You could delete them, but leaving them temporarily on the desktop gives you a way to back out if you want).

    5. Relaunch The Mail program should regenerate the respective "missing" inbox and deleted messages boxes, and they should now behave properly... at least they did for me.

    6. If everything works okay, delete the old mailbox folders your dragged to the desktop in step #4.

    FWIW, in trying to solve this problem I found a work around as well, which is to simply file the emails you want to delete in another folder, and then delete them from there as normal. This is what clued me in to the fact that there was a problem with the Inbox itself. Strangely, simply "rebuilding" the original "Inbox" didn't help me, which is what lead me to look for another solution.

    Hope this works for you too, and any others experiencing this problem.


  • HappyMacNH Level 1 (0 points)
    Oops! meant to ADD a step:

    #7 Move all the mail in "TEMP INBOX" back into the newly generated "Inbox".

  • mtatmc Level 1 (80 points)
    Any of you using File Vault? This problem sounds as if it might be related to File Vault's problem with plist corruption.
  • HappyMacNH Level 1 (0 points)
    FileVault was not a factor in the affected machine I was working with, since it wasn't being used.
  • Harry Edwards Level 2 (255 points)
    I found a solution that worked for me.

    Step 1: Select the mailbox on the left you're having problems with.
    Step 2: Go to Mailbox on the menu and select Rebuild.

    That's it. If the problem is like mine, you'll be able to delete once again.
  • MacDenney Level 1 (0 points)
    Dear Harry Edwards;

    Thanks so much for your post. Rebuilding did the trick!
    I'm still curious as to why it happened in the first place!

    Thanks God for the discussion boards; it has solved more than
    one issue for me.

    Thanks again
  • JustHenry Level 1 (0 points)
    You have to rebuild the sent messages folder to the left and the problem its Solved!
    Thanks Harry!!!!!!!!
  • greatfinewine Level 1 (0 points)
    I have a similar problem, see this thread here
  • mac_evangelist Level 1 (5 points)
    I have a similar problem on my iMac, but neither solution is working for me. The rebuild option is greyed out no matter what I do, and following the longer, seven step process achieved nothing on my machine.

    When I click delete, the listing in the inbox goes grey and is not moved to the trash as all the others have done before and since. Clicking on another mailbox and back to the inbox returns the listing from grey to the regular "read" font. The message itself has been empty since the first delete; it is a listing without contents. Double-clicking on it brings up an empty window with only the title on the window's toolbar. It is not in my way, but it is extremely annoying.
  • Ernie Stamper Level 8 (37,545 points)
    Do you have more than one account? If so, you must reveal the Inbox (or other mailbox) for one account only, before Rebuild is available.

    To delete some messages, it is sometimes necessary to highlight, choose Edit, then choose Cut, to remove the message. This bypasses trying the move the message to the trash mailbox.

    More info, please.

  • mac_evangelist Level 1 (5 points)
    Yes, I do have more than one account. Highlighting the individual account's inbox allowed a rebuild and the rebuild removed the listing. Thank you.
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