Previous 1 2 Next 17 Replies Latest reply: Sep 1, 2012 2:46 PM by Doc_
Gnarlodious Level 4 Level 4 (3,220 points)
In Apple Mail, I thought I was deleting emails but now I go to the GMail webmail and discover all those deleted files are really in the "All Mail" folder. What a bummer, I will have to sort through months of emails. how do I make Apple mail ACTUALLY delete the mails?

2.4 MBP, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (28,435 points)
    Do you have this set up as an IMAP or POP account?

    If it is IMAP, all emails remain on the server (Gmail) and you will have to delete them there and check if there are settings you can choose (I don't have an IMAP account, so I don't know if/what the settings would be).

    If it is POP, you can set up when emails should get deleted by going to Preferences - Accounts - Advanced. However, some servers still keep emails for a certain amount of time and you will need to check the Gmail settings (in my case, Comcast's default setting is 30 days, but that can be changed).
  • Gnarlodious Level 4 Level 4 (3,220 points)
    Yes, it is IMAP so I can also delete them from iPhone. Maybe I should just disable IMAP and try POP to see if it acts like I want.
  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (28,435 points)
    As I said, the main difference is that IMAP will always keep emails on the server - you just "temporarily" download them to your Mail, whereas POP downloads emails permanently and they will be deleted at a specified time.

    It's your choice...
  • AnaMusic Level 9 Level 9 (57,085 points)

    I too noticed this Not Deleting but Archiving into the All Mail Folder.

    There may be a Setting in Gmail that allows you to change this function, but I haven't looked for it.

    What I do is put the emails I want to delete into the +Gmail Trash+ on my iMac, where after 30 days they are automatically deleted from the Gmail Server,

    If I want to get rid of them sooner, I simply empty the Trash when next using Mail on the iPhone.

    Seems to work...

  • nachdenki Level 3 Level 3 (635 points)
    barbara, while you are right that imap keeps mails on the server, you are wrong in saying you need to delete them on the server (well, of course you do, but not manually)

    the whole point of IMAP is that your local copy of mails (you download them like you do with POP!) will be synced with the mail server so both are the same and therefore all your mails are the same on all devices. so if you delete things in mail, they will also be deleted on the google server.

    if you delete a message, it is moved to the trash, and it shouldn't show up in "all messages" after that. if it still does, go to your mail preferences -> accounts -> select your account on the left -> mailbox behaviour. make sure "move deleted messages to the trash mailbox" and "store deleted messages on the server" is checked. after that, see if the trash shows up on the left side of mail under "GMail -> Google Mail" if it does, select it, then select mailbox -> use this mailbox for -> trash from the menubar.

    after that, everything should be working
  • Gnarlodious Level 4 Level 4 (3,220 points)
    No, your extensive instructions don't work. Closest I have been able to get is to mark all inbox emails with stars, then go to All Mail and select all unstarred. Then I can delete all selected mails. Sure seems like it should be easier.
  • nachdenki Level 3 Level 3 (635 points)
    if my instructions don't work, you might wanna delete the account and re-add it, because they should
  • William Kucharski Level 6 Level 6 (14,940 points)
    This is an artifact of how GMail works, it's not Mail's fault.

    No other mail service works that way.
  • Gnarlodious Level 4 Level 4 (3,220 points)
    I have tried all kinds of settings over the last several days and cannot get GMail to delete deleted mails.
  • devonhub Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    fwiw, I too have tried various incantations of preferences to try and get Apple Mail (on the desktop and iOS devices) to really delete gmail messages. I grew tired of messing with it and switched to gmail POP. (personally, I don't like the thought of all my email messages sitting on gmail's servers for very long to be searched/indexed/etc/etc anyway; but that's another topic entirely.)

    IMO, it's a combination of a non-standard mail server implementation (for both imap and pop) on Google's part, and Apple's inconsistent mailbox handling across their mail clients. Maybe if Apple Mail on the desktop let you choose which folders (local or on server) are to be used for Drafts, Sent, Deleted like the iOS mail clients do, Apple Mail would be putting messages in folders on the gmail server where gmail actually expects them to be. Apple Mail's 'Move deleted messages to the Trash mailbox' and 'Store deleted messages on the server' are two of the most confusing and counter intuitive checkboxes in an Apple app. If the second checkbox actually said and meant, 'Store trash mailbox on the server' it would make sense. Some unix geek created those checkboxes back in NeXT days and they've stuck around ever since.

    But I digress, sorry. The fact that Mac users have to struggle with Apple mail clients to work google's 'All Mail', 'Deleted Messages' vs 'Trash', etc is ridiculous.

    Obviously, Steve Jobs has never had to fight with his mailboxes or these kinds of things wouldn't be a struggle for the rest of us.
  • devonhub Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Ok, toyed with my gmail [imap] account across the Mac desktop and my iPhone and seem to have found a combination that actually works. (This is with Apple Mail from 10.6.4)

    *In Apple Mail on desktop:*
    - gmail IMAP account, Mailbox Behaviors pref panel:
    - uncheck 'Move deleted messages to Trash mailbox'. This will disable the second checkbox, 'Store deleted messages on server', which is what we want.
    - gmail account, Advanced pref panel
    - IMAP Path Prefix: '[Gmail]' (enter what's between the single quotes)

    *In Mail on iPhone:*
    - gmail IMAP account, Advanced settings:
    - Drafts Mailbox, set to 'Drafts' on the server.
    - Deleted Mailbox, set to 'Trash' on the server.
    - IMAP Path Prefix: '[Gmail]' (enter what's between the single quotes)

    *With Apple Mail on desktop:*
    When you deleted something in Apple Mail on the desktop for the gmail account, it gets moved to the 'Trash' in gmail. Can then be deleted for good from the 'Trash' folder under the top level Gmail account listed on the left hand side.
    The 'All Mail' folder stops showing your deleted mail. It really goes to gmail's Trash.

    IMPORTANT: The 'Mailbox > Trash' hierarchy in Apple Mail will not show the gmail account's Trash folder. The gmail Trash folder only appears under the Gmail account listed separately in the left hand list in Apple Mail. I think this is an Apple Mail bug, but there's already so many inconsistencies about server/client folders in Apple Mail it's not worth complaining about. Live with it.

    *With Apple Mail on an iPhone:*
    When you deleted something in Apple Mail on the desktop for the gmail account, it gets moved to the 'Trash' in gmail. Can then be deleted for good from the 'Trash' in your gmail account on your iPhone.

    *With Gmail via the web:*
    The Trash folder correctly shows items moved to the trash from Apple Mail on the desktop or on the iPhone.


    Message was edited by: devonhub
  • Mark_B_UK Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    This is the most elegant solution to the 'finding All Mail which has no label' problem: 807/

    I've never got the Apple Mail delete to work consistently - I think I MAY have got it working on one machine, but didn't really know for sure how, and then mis-configured a second machine which only screwed things up further.

    From all my wanderings there does not seem to be a 'definitive' solution to this which can be simply documented... at least I've never found it!
  • Csound1 Level 8 Level 8 (45,310 points)
    Gmail DOES NOT DELETE mail, it archives them by removing the label 'inbox' leaving them accessible in 'all mail'

    You can choose to hide the 'all mail' mailbox if you wish.

    And nachdenki's instructions were absolutely correct, either your account or your following of his directions need remedial work

    Message was edited by: Csound1

    Message was edited by: Csound1
  • JB757 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I don't know if you are still having trouble with this but this has been bugging me for some time too. On my iPhone, I can get it to do exactly what I want. I tap the trash can button and it deletes the email and then if I were to log on to Gmail via the web, then the message has been MOVED to the Trash and is not in the inbox view and not in archived the All Mail folder (provided you turn off Archive Messages as shown here


    However, as you note, using the OS X Mail, when you click delete, it may remove it from the Gmail inbox on the web but it is still archived in the All Mail folder (ie it just removes the inbox label).


    Here is what I figured out. In your Mail preferences under Mailbox Behaviors, do not check either box under Trash options. Now when you are using Mail on OS X, rather than hitting the delete key or clicking the trash can, drag and drop the message to the "Trash" sub folder under [Gmail]. This will move the message to the trash in Mail as well as iOS Mail AND also on the Gmail server if you were to log in using a web browser. It still leaves the "inbox" label on it and if you are playing around and testing it out as you do it, you will see the message still in the inbox view on the web for anywhere from a few seconds to maybe several mins (must be some delay). But eventually the deleted message will be removed from the inbox view and will only appear in the Trash (and not All Mail) just as if you had deleted it normally while using a web browser.


    Also any sent messages that are not grouped/threaded will probably need to be deleted the same way, drag and drop it to the trash.


    Hope that helps. I sent Apple feedback suggesting that they enhance the OS X Mail protocols to mimic that of iOS since iOS seems to actually be a little more advanced - like maybe build in that off/on toggle for archiving mail like the iOS proeferences. Right iOS is just better for managing/organizing IMAP Gmail as it seems to work just like using the web browser.

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