How to Keep Mail at the Server With Mac OS X Mail

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Conflicting interests must be weighed when you decide whether to keep a copy of mail you have already downloaded in Mac OS X Mail on the server.

If you do keep mail on the server, you can grab a second copy from this "backup" if you inadvertently delete an important email. You can also download the same messages to another email program, another computer (possibly at another location) which can increase your mobility.

If you have all mail removed from the server immediately after downloading it in Mac OS X Mail, however, you don't risk having your mailbox on the server filled with hoards of old mail. In the worst case, this can lead to your ISP not accepting any new mail until you have cleaned your inbox. This, again, can be an unnerving and time-consuming task.

So what's a smart email user to do? She asks Mac OS X Mail to combine the best of both worlds and keep mail on the server, but only for a certain amount of time and then remove it automatically.

Keep Mail at the Server for Some Time with Mac OS X Mail

To keep mail on the POP server for some time after fetching it with Mac OS X Mail:

  • Select Mail | Preferences... from the menu.
  • Go to the Accounts category.
  • Highlight the desired POP email account.
  • Select the Advanced tab.
  • Make sure Remove copy from server after retrieving a message: is checked.
  • Select After one day or After one month from the drop-down menu.
  • Close the Accounts window.
  • Click Save.