6 Replies Latest reply: Mar 4, 2007 8:53 PM by surfmonk
asfuller Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Deleted messages return to my inbox every few months, usually after Mail app won't quit and I have to force quit. When this happens, I run the rebuild mailbox command within the app.

It's been awhile since this happened, but it's happened again, and after rebuilding the mailbox, deleted messages continue to reappear in my inbox.

I've search in this discussion, and tried steps recommended in similar threads. So far I have: backed up the home>Library>Mail and rebuilt the mailbox. I've tried the Apple article about deleting old 10.3 mail files in the mboxes. And I've tried deleting messages in Mail app, quiting Mail app, and moving all .emix files in Deleted Messages.mbox to the desktop trash. Afte this last process, I can't empty the desktop trash, so I ran Onyx to force emptying trash. Then restarted.

Deleted messages have returned to my Inbox.

What the **** can I do next?!

G4, Mac OS X (10.4.3)
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,370 points)
    With the Mail.app quit and using the Finder go to Home > Library > Mail. Copy the Mail folder and place the copy on the Desktop for backup purposes.

    Using the Finder, go to Home > Library > Mail > Envelope Index.

    Move the Envelope Index file to the Desktop.

    Launch Mail and you will be prompted to import all mailboxes. Select OK and allow this import process to complete. This isn't actually importing anything but replacing the Envelope Index file and re-indexing all mailboxes/messages.
  • David Gimeno Gost Level 7 Level 7 (20,775 points)
    Verify/repair the startup disk (not just permissions), as described here:

    The Repair functions of Disk Utility: what's it all about?

    You may be able to get rid of those messages in Mail doing Edit > Cut (⌘X) (for best results do it with one message or just a few at a time), but you may need to remove them from the server first. Does this account allow web access?

    You may find the Account Info window useful to solve this problem -- choose Get Info (⌘I) from the Action menu (gear icon) located below the mailboxes list in the main Mail window.
  • asfuller Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I forgot to mention, I also tried deleting the Envelope file. Tried it a few times, actually.

    Cutting the messages seems to disappear them for now... but I don't trust where they are going.

    I want to understand why the delete button doesn't function as it should. It moves them to Trash, and I set my trash to delete after 1 day... but these residual files from weeks ago keep coming back. I check my server too, and purged the trash there, which is set not to keep anything.
  • David Gimeno Gost Level 7 Level 7 (20,775 points)
    > Cutting the messages seems to disappear them for now...
    but I don't trust where they are going.


    What do you mean? They don’t go anywhere (well, they go to a temporary storage area so that you can paste them). That’s precisely why it works.

    I want to understand why the delete button doesn't function as it should.


    Probably because there is something wrong with the messages themselves that prevents Mail from being able to handle them properly in general and from moving them to any other mailbox in particular. If Edit > Cut didn’t work (and sometimes it doesn’t), you’d have to manually get rid of the associated *.emlx files and re-create the index afterwards.
  • Mcduff Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    We just had the same thing happen today at my office. Only this time all emails from back in July 2006 through this month came back into the in box. This time over 50,000 emails. Mail.app will not let us delete anything manually, and mail seems to be not responding. I decided to give it an over night to work itself out (as sometimes it does) and if not, I think I will try your method first thing in the morning!

    I have already reset permission and tried to rebuild the mail etc... Restarted with the shift key down, logged in and restarted again to clear the cache.

    I did go into the mail folders in the library and removed all the old .emlx files that were in the trash. (physically, and those are now empty) But the old mail still shows up in the program. Hopefully the method you described by moving folders will work! I'll let you know.
  • surfmonk Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Edit > Cut (⌘X) worked for me. Deleted persistent msgs. permanently.
    Thanks for the tip