Mac OS Mail: Storage Issues

My latest laptop has a solid state drive, which on its own has made it one of my favorite computers. It’s way lighter (once I had to check my bag to make sure I had the laptop because it was so much lighter than my previous MacBook Pro), and the overall speed and lack of long-term slowdown is huge.

But one area I lost ground on was storage. I sacrificed some storage space, and along the way I started to run out. Despite purging files, keeping my Dropbox folders offline, and more, I just couldn’t keep enough storage space to run my computer properly.

That’s when I discovered that the Mac Mail program is an absolute hoarder of data. Check this out:

If you find you’re in the same place, do some research. I won’t go into detail here, but you will find a ton of information online about how the Mail program stores everything it can get its hands on, and doesn’t seem to release it.

One way I found to handle the situation, at least temporarily, is to delete your account(s) from the Mail program, and then add them back, assuming you are using IMAP and have everything stored online. Doing this clears out a lot of files, but over time Mail will balloon back to its former size, and bigger! And I’m not even sure that doing this gets rid of everything. At one point I manually purged some of the files in the Mail folder, and ended up seeing an incredible 1.3 million files being removed from Trash:

In the end, I actually decided that since I was using Gmail, I would simply abandon the Mail app and go strictly web-based, and despite my initial concern over giving up the native application, it’s worked extremely well.