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Question: Mail message delete preferences don't work and all the messages about this are 12 years old. I have to delete messages manually from both my junk and trash folders.

I use Apple Mail and POP3 Mail server. I have set my preferences so that Mail should remove items from the junk folder after one day and from the trash folder after one week. THIS DOESN'T HAPPEN. I have to remove the messages manually, which does work, thankfully.


All the help about this same problem I could find took place in 2006 so I don't trust any of the solutions offered.


I am using the latest version of OSX.


How can I (or Apple?) fix this problem

iMac, macOS High Sierra (10.13.3)

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Mar 14, 2018 2:35 PM in response to Kevin Weidenbaum In response to Kevin Weidenbaum

Might be a corrupt .plist.


Do a backup, preferably 2 backups on 2 separate drives.


Quit the application.


Go to Finder and select your user/home folder. With that Finder window as the front window, either select Finder/View/Show View options or go command - J. When the View options opens, check ’Show Library Folder’. That should make your user library folder visible in your user/home folder. Select Library. Then go to Preferences/com.apple.mail.plist. Move the .plist to your desktop.


Restart the computer, open the application, and test. If it works okay, delete the plist from the desktop.


If the application is the same, return the .plist to where you got it from, overwriting the newer one.


Thanks to leonie for some information contained in this.

Mar 14, 2018 2:35 PM

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Apr 2, 2018 7:51 AM in response to Kevin Weidenbaum In response to Kevin Weidenbaum

See these articles https://support.postbox-inc.com/hc/en-us/articles/202200580-Delete-Behavior-for- Gmail-Accounts

How does Gmail POP work? - G Suite Administrator Help

See this apple article Mail Mailbox Behaviors preferences on Mac - Apple Support

In the screen shot check the boxes shown with arrow and scroll down in the window and click on save , this is an example for Gmail pop account .

User uploaded file

Apr 2, 2018 7:51 AM

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Apr 2, 2018 10:47 AM in response to tygb In response to tygb

I use POP mail on a local ISP. I do NOT use Gmail. I have my preferences set so that junk mail should be removed after a day and trash mail after a week. But these actions do NOT take place.


I would think that by now Apple would improve the legacy program Mail. But I also have problems with Safari which Apple has never fixed.


So it goes.

Apr 2, 2018 10:47 AM

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Apr 2, 2018 11:01 AM in response to Kevin Weidenbaum In response to Kevin Weidenbaum

It depends upon the internet service provider , how to treat / delete the mails from their server end , the time limits have been set by them , however you do the settings at specified time to delete the mails in the IMAP account .

Apr 2, 2018 11:01 AM

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User profile for user: Kevin Weidenbaum

Question: Mail message delete preferences don't work and all the messages about this are 12 years old. I have to delete messages manually from both my junk and trash folders.