Major disk space saver for Mail archive

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
August 28th, 2003 • 11:37 pm

If, like me, you have been using Mac OS X’s Mail application for a while and have a fairly large archive of old email, you might want to take a look at this tip provided courtesy of

Quit Mail. Do a complete backup of your “Mail” folder (inside your home library, unless you’ve located it elsewhere and are using a symbolic link), just in case.

Go to the Terminal application. Type cd ~/Library/Mail (or the appropriate path) to switch to your “Mail” folder location. Then type find . -name "mbox.SKindex*" -delete.

This will DELETE all the “index” files inside your mailboxes that have grown over time and are not flushed properly by the current version of Mail. Mail will automatically rebuild the indexes for your mailbox when you launch it. But they will be much slimmer!

My email archive was over 280 MB. After the operation, it was back to approximately 150 MB. Quite impressive!

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