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How to Delete Mail on Mac (Mails, Attachments, the App)

By Carrie Murray, Monday, December 03, 2018

If you use Apple Mail on Mac, the received emails and attachments may pile up on your Mac over time. You may notice that the Mail storage grows bigger on the storage space. So how to delete emails and even the Mail app itself to reclaim Mac storage? This article is to introduce how to delete emails on Mac, including deleting multiple and even all emails on Mail app, as well as how to clear mail storage and delete Mail app on mac. Hope it might be helpful for you.

Mail Storage on Mac

1. How to Delete Emails on Mac

It is easy to delete one email on Mac, however, there seems no way to delete multiple emails all altogether. And by clicking the Delete button, the deleted emails still remain on your Mac storage. You have to erase the deleted emails to permanently delete them from your Mac to regain the storage space.

How to delete multiple emails on Mac

Open the Mail app on your iMac/MacBook, press and hold the Shift key and select the emails you want to delete. After selecting all the emails you want to delete, click the Delete button, then all the selected messages will be deleted.

Delete Multiple Mails on Mac

It you want to delete multiple emails from the same person, type the name of the sender in the search bar to find all the emails from the sender. If you would like to delete multiple emails received or sent on a specific date, enter the date, for example, entering "Date: 11/13/18-11/14/18" in the search bar.

Sort Out Emails on Mail App

How to delete all mail on Mac

If you want to remove all emails on Mac, here is a quick way to do it.

Step 1 In the Mail app on your Mac, select the mailbox you want to delete all emails.

Step 2 Click Edit > Select All. All emails in the mailbox will be selected.

Step 3 Click the Delete button to remove all emails from Mac.

Delete All Mails on Mac

Or you can select a mailbox to delete it. Then all emails in the mailbox will be deleted. However, the inbox cannot be deleted.

Delete Mailbox on Mac

Reminder

If you delete a Smart Mailbox, the messages it displayed remain in their original locations.


How to permanently delete emails from Mac Mail

To release Mail storage, you have to permanently delete emails from your Mac storage.

Step 1 On the Mail app on your Mac, select a mailbox, for example Inbox. 

Step 2 Click Mailbox > Erase Deleted Items. All deleted emails in Inbox will be removed permanently. You can also control-click a mailbox and select Erase Deleted Items.


2. How to Delete Mail Storage on Mac

Some users find that the memory occupied by Mail is particularly large on About this Mac > Storage.

Mail Storage is mainly composed of Mail caches and attachment. You can delete the mail attachments one by one. If you find it too inconvenient to do so, there is an easier solution.

It is recommended to use FonePaw MacMaster to clean up Mail storage. It is a great Mac cleaner that lets you clean mail cache generated when you open the mail attachments as well as unwanted downloaded mail attachments in one click. In addition, deleting downloaded attachments with MacMaster won't remove the files from mail server, which means you can redownload the files anytime you want.

Here are the steps of using FonePaw MacMaster.

Step 1 Download FonePaw MacMaster on your Mac.

Download

Step 2 Choose Mail Trash and click Scan.

Step 3 When scanning is done, tick Mail Junk or Mail Attachments to view the unwanted junk files on Mail.

Step 4 Choose the old mail junk and attachments that you would like to remove and click Clean.

Clean Mail Storage on Mac

You will find the Mail storage will be significantly reduced after the cleanup with FonePaw MacMaster. You can also use the software to clean more, such as system caches, application cache, large old files, and so on.


3. How to Delete Mail App on Mac

Some users don't use Apple's own Mail app, which takes up space in the Mac hard drive, so they want to delete the app. However, Mail app is a default application on Mac system, which Apple doesn't allow you to remove. When you try to move Mail app to Trash, you will get this message that the Mail app can't be deleted. 

Mail Can't Be Moved to Trash

Even so, there is a way to delete the default Mail app on iMac/MacBook.

Step 1 Disable System Integrity Protection

If your Mac is running on macOS 10.12 and above, you need to disable System Intergrity Protection first before you are unable to remove a system app like Mail app.

Boot your Mac into recovery mode. Click Utilities > Terminal. Type: csrutil disable. And click Enter key.

Your System Integrity Protection is disabled. Restart your Mac.

Disable System Integrity Protection

Step 2 Delete Mail App with Terminal Command

Sign in your Mac with your admin account. Then launch Termail. Type in: cd /Applications/ and hit Enter, which will show the application directory. Type in: sudo rm -rf Mail.app/ and hit Enter, which will delete the Mail app.

Delete Mail App on Mac

You can also use the sudo rm -rf command to delete other default apps on Mac, such as Safari, FaceTime.

After deleting Mail app, you should enter Recovery Mode again to enable the System Integrity Protection. How to Enable System Integrity Protection.

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