Delete Mail Attachments on Mac

 
Free Up Storage

You can’t get a clean, healthy Apple computer without exploring every corner. One more place to check for the junk on Mac is the Mail attachments folder. It is impossible to ignore the fact an average user often receives emails with large attachments in the shape of various media files (from HD photo to movie). If you do not need old attachments of a big size saved on your Mac, you may wonder how to find and remove them along with other useless downloads. What are some ways to solve the problem with the lack of storage on your Mac?

In short, these nasty files remain in the main Mail folder, ~/Library/Mail. You can find them all in the inbox folder. The next section will make it clear.

Where Are Mail Attachments Stored on Mac and How Much Space They Take

As it was mentioned above, everything the Apple Mail application saves (cached messages and attachments) goes to the folder named ~/Library/Mail (/Users/NAME/Library/Mail). Does this app require too many resources? If you wish to see how much space this junk consumes, take the offered steps:

  1. Launch Finder.
  2. Pick Go and Go to Folder. You may apply the hotkeys (Shift + Command + G).
  3. Type ~/Library and push the Enter key. You will discover the Library folder.
  4. There, you should move to the Mail folder and right-click it.
  5. Pick Get Info. Find out the amount of space the Mail app is consuming. If you do not use the application to get emails, it will need no more than 97 MB.

locate mail attachments

If you use the most recent edition of the app, mind that Mail then saves attachments in one more directory – ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.mail/Data/Mail Downloads. Why would you waste hundreds of megabytes on that stuff?

How to Delete Mail Folder on Mac?

Some users that discover multiple files they do not need in the Mail app start thinking about erasing the entire folder to solve the issue in one click. Any archive will then be gone. Yes, you can delete all messages and the rest of the related junk by removing the entire Mail folder, but you may need more than one click unless you decide to trust this process to the third-party cleaning software.

Not many options for erasing the mail attachments from the local copy exist. Luckily, third-party solutions from the professional developers will handle any type of junk. Find a cleaner with a special tool that loos through the email to detect the outdated, huge attachments. It allows leaving the attachments on the server and removing only the local copy. Most third-party cleaning applications offer many other useful functions. Use them to keep your Mac clean.

Anyway, those who do not wish to buy any extra cleaners can be fine with the manual approaches to cleaning Mail.

  1. Launch Finder.
  2. Enter Mail Downloads in the search field and push the Enter button. To reach the target folder manually, enter the following line:

/Users/YourUsername/Library/Containers/com.apple.mail/Data/Library/Mail Downloads

mail downloads folder

  1. This time your mission is not to check the amount of consumed space but delete the junk. Thus, the steps will be a bit different starting from here. Launch the Mail Downloads folder.
  2. Choose all subfolders inside and remove them.

mail attachment files

What about the amount of time it may take? It depends on how long a person uses this application. In case you haven’t cleaned the Mail folder for a while, you might waste more time on erasing the items inside it. The result is worth it – some reclaimed Mac’s space!

Sometimes, a particular attachment may be unresponsive. It could be the consequence of upgrading to macOS Sierra or High Sierra. There is still a way out!

So, if the Remove Attachments option is grayed out, take these steps:

  1. Launch Mail and Preferences. Go to Accounts. Set Download Attachments to All instead of None.
  2. Move to ~/Library and select the Mail folder. Right-click it to pick Get Info. Check whether it is possible to find account name as “name (Me).” You should also have Read & Write beside “name (Me).” Otherwise, press the lock icon and push the plus button to come up with a personal account. Pick Read & Write in the end.

You may already know that the operation is not over until you Empty Trash. Mac’s Mail Trash needs a different approach from the way you empty the main computer’s Trashcan.

How to Empty Trash in Mac Mail?

Once the useless emails and outdated atachments are deleted, it is important to take care of the Trash bin. This location is going to collect the junk unless you do not forget to empty it. So, how to get rid of all files stored in the Mail’s Trash?

If you would like to erase the Trash in Mac OS X Mail 1-3, you should:

  1. Push Command and K buttons.
  2. Pick OK. Check if no important files are in before.

As for the OS X Mail of the latest version, to remove the messages, you should:

  1. Confirm no necessary mail content is present in the Trash folder.
  2. Push Command, Shift, and backspace buttons. This combination will empty the trash and purge erased mail from all the accounts set up in the application. If you wish to eliminate the trash for a particular account only:

Choose Mailbox/Erase Deleted Items from the menu. Select the target account.

Pick Erase.

In the Trash folder, you may sometimes notice “The Message Could Not Be Moved to the Mailbox Trash” notification. What does it mean and how to deal with it? Try this solution:

  1. Move to Settings and Mail.
  2. Choose Accounts, decide on the (Account Name), and shut off “mail.”
  3. Force Quit the application as well as the settings app.
  4. Re-launch the Mail application. It is not supposed to display any mail form that account. Force Quit Mail once more.
  5. Re-launch settings and re-activate Mail. You may notice that everything was re-synced. Re-launch the Mail application.

Does it work now? Hopefully, this guide was helpful for every Mac owner!

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