Apple Mail Question - Delete Account?

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Meerkat1, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. Meerkat1

    Meerkat1 Guest

    I will be changing my ISP due to a move. So, I will be establishing some
    new email accounts.

    After reading up on the Apple Mail program (version 3.6) it is my
    understanding that if I delete an account, all the emails in that
    account are also deleted. I don't want to do that.

    But I will want to stop mail from polling the old accounts for new

    Will someone please tell me how to accomplish this? If I am thinking
    about this in the wrong way, or have my 'facts' wrong, I am open to

    Please be assured that I have tried google before posting here.

    Thank you
    Meerkat1, Apr 8, 2011
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  2. Yes, it can be confusing. What is perhaps unclear (at least it was to
    me) is that once you have saved the mail, it is no longer "in that
    account". It is just the stuff in your inbox that dissappears. I
    normally make it a habit to save the emails that I want to keep anyway.
    I only leave them in my inbox temporarily, mostly when they are serving
    as a reminder of something needing attention. I do know people who keep
    thousands of messages in their inbox. I've tried to break some friends
    of that habit when I was helping them with problems that the practice

    So my main recommendation is to move the messages out of your inbox,
    after which you can safely delete the old account.

    There is also an option to tell mail not to include an account when
    automatically checking for new mail. But that just stops the automatic
    check; it doesn't stop it from checking when you manually initiate a
    check by clicking "get new mail".

    I think I recall that you can mark an account as inactive. But if I
    recall correctly, that "hides" all the emails in it. It doesn't actually
    delete them, but you can't see them until you reactivate the account; at
    least that's the way I recall it working.
    Richard Maine, Apr 8, 2011
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  3. There are two things I know of that you could do which make sense.

    1) On the sidebar of the Mail window, drag your inbox (and anything
    else you need) to new folders in the "On My Mac" category.

    2) Mail Preferences -> Accounts -> Advanced
    then uncheck "Enable this account."
    Doug Anderson, Apr 8, 2011
  4. I think what you are saying is right in principle, but not always
    right in practice.

    For example, I can make mailboxes on my server (I use IMAP) that are
    not part of the inbox, but that are stored on my server and not on my

    Also, all my sentmail is not in my inbox, but is stored on my server.
    That would be me.
    What problems does it cause for your friends? It doesn't cause
    problems for me. But I've only got about 32000 mails in my inbox, and
    even fewer in my sent mail.
    Oh - I think you're right about that.
    Doug Anderson, Apr 8, 2011
  5. [about keeping all of their email in their inbox]
    I thought about elaborating, but decided it would be wandering a bit
    astray. Ok. Several problems, which might not be relevant to you.

    1. Just a human interface/organization problem. When I say they kept it
    all in their inbox, I mean it had no organization at all - just all the
    emails they had gotten over the last several years sitting there in the
    order of arrival, often without even deleting pure junk. These were
    accounts at work and didn't have a horrible amoung of spam, but there
    were zillions of the kind of boring messages that management liked to
    send out that nobody really ever cared about in the first place, much
    less wanted to keep.

    It was awfully hard for these people to actually find things that they
    might be looking for in this mess; might as well not have bothered to
    keep it if they couldn't make use of it. There were multiple cases of
    quite large attachments that they just had someone resend because they
    couldn't find the old one; it was there, but they couldn't find it. (No,
    spotlight wasn't a help. This was from before spotlight, and I'm having
    trouble recalling whether it was on a Mac or a Linux box anyway; we had
    both around.)

    Of course, someof these people had other organizational problems as
    well. One that I'm particularly thinking of shared an office with me for
    about a decade or so. Did some great work, but oh, what a mess he made!
    It was a challenge for me to keep any clear workspace in the office,
    because clear space didn't tend to stay that way for long.

    2. Performance/reliability problems that probably don't apply to the
    current Mac Mail, but have applied to past versions and to some other
    mail readers. As noted above, I forget whether this was a Mac or Unix
    system (both have had mailers with the property), but the entire inbox
    was stored in a single file. The file was huge (well, maybe not by
    todays standards, but by the relevant standards of the time). It took
    forever to just open the mail reader because it needed to read all the
    way through the file to find the headers to display. Lots of operations
    were slow for the same kind of reason.

    Everything being in one file also impacted reliability because it meant
    that the file was continually being modified. One glitch and you could
    easily loose everything (well, I did at least enforce backups, but
    recovering from them would definitely be a bother). Mail readers are
    more prone than many apps to some kinds of glitches because of potential
    conflicts with multiple processes that could be trying to modify the
    file at the same time (in some configurations). There are protocols to
    handle such multiple access, but they aren't alwasy as robust as one
    might hope.

    That's the two that I particularly recall. The "feature" that's the
    subject of this thread, wherebf Apple mail deletes everything from the
    inbox when you delete the account is another current one perhaps more
    likely to be relevant.

    P.S. Yes, I had simplified some things in my prior post. In particular,
    yes, I know that I shortchanged mention of IMAP, which is pretty
    different in many ways.
    Richard Maine, Apr 8, 2011
  6. Meerkat1

    JF Mezei Guest

    If you use POP with the old account, then your messages would be stored
    localy. You could create a new "local" (akaL: "on my mac") folder to
    contain all your messages from the old ISP. This local folder isn'T
    attached to any "account".

    Once you've copied all your mail from the opld ISP to a "on my mac"
    folder, then you can delete the old account.

    If you use IMAP on the old account, then you really must do this because
    you would still have many emails that are stored on the remote server
    and you'll lose access to that.
    JF Mezei, Apr 8, 2011
  7. Meerkat1

    Suze Guest

    Maybe this might work:
    If the mail is downloaded and on your mac why not just disable those old
    accounts from downloading mail and leave the mail right where it is?
    Then just set up the new accounts and make them functional. That way, I
    think all of your old mail will still be right there in
    Suze, Apr 8, 2011
  8. Meerkat1

    Meerkat1 Guest

    Thank you all.

    I believe I have enough new insight to solve my problem.

    I plan to set up several new folders in 'on my mac', then sort through
    the old emails, saving those worth saving. Then I will disable the old
    account (without deleting it). This should make the old account
    disappear from the side bar, but still be retrievable.

    Am I correct in assuming that all my old email is also retrievable from
    my time machine backup?

    Thanks again...
    Meerkat1, Apr 8, 2011
  9. Meerkat1

    JF Mezei Guest

    The term is "assume".

    I would not count on your old emails being available from time machine.
    And I certaintly would not count on them being available in the long term.
    JF Mezei, Apr 8, 2011
  10. That would be fine if there actually were such a thing as "disable those
    old accounts from downloading", but there isn't. See posts elsethread.
    There are 2 things that you might be thinking of, but neither of them do
    that. Both are in the "advanced" tab. I quote the descriptions exactly

    1. "Enable this account."

    Unchecking that does indeed disable it from downloading, but it also
    disables it from everything else including being able to see amy of the

    2. "Include when automatically checking for new messages."

    That's closer, but note the word "automatically". This does not disable
    the account from downloading. It just means that the downloading won;t
    happen when Mail automaticaly checks for new messages every hour (or how
    often you configure Mail to do that, if at all). It will still try to
    download that account when you click "get mail".
    Richard Maine, Apr 9, 2011
  11. Meerkat1

    Paul Sture Guest

    What I did a couple of years ago was essentially the same.

    1) I created some local folders and moved all relevant mails to those.
    I took the opportunity to create folders by subject and cleared a
    whole pile out of my Inbox.

    2) I created corresponding IMAP folders and simply dragged from the
    local folders to the IMAP ones. This meant I could access everything
    from either of my Macs, and when I acquired another system, they were
    instantly available from that.
    Paul Sture, Apr 10, 2011
  12. Meerkat1

    Paul Sture Guest

    Lotus Notes had a nice feature here. You could search for all emails
    containing attachments and extract them, or simply extract the
    attachments themselves, This was very handy when the time came to
    migrate off it.
    Paul Sture, Apr 10, 2011
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