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I have about 31,300 emails in 4 different inboxes in Mail. Sadly to say, it is extremely slow.

Is there any tips or trips to optimize Mail? And no, I don't want to delete any, I need them for work.

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What kind of hard drive do you use? – FossilizedCarlos Oct 9 '12 at 0:39
Uh, whatever is in my 24" iMac. – Nic Hubbard Oct 9 '12 at 7:23
up vote 6 down vote accepted

The easiest thing to do is clean up the index file Mail uses to track the messages:

  sqlite3 ~/Library/Mail/V2/MailData/Envelope\ Index vacuum;

Thanks for this tip to the estimable Brett Terpstra. The linked article explains how to make an AppleScript file to measure things before and after to see if the operation thinned out the size of the file Mail uses to store the pointers to the messages. I would add, quit Mail and make a backup before trying to clean the file. A vacuum operation is normally harmless, but why not get a backup just in case.

Also, this thread probably goes back to @bbum and his weblog-o-mat and perhaps even deeper back...

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Nice one! Thanks! – Nic Hubbard Oct 9 '12 at 7:26
Joshua- Awesome! That was driving me crazy and mail is running blazing fast again. Thanks. – user44068 Mar 1 '13 at 6:35

For me the sqlite3 vacuum didn't speed back up.

The thing that returned my to blazing fast speeds was deleting the mail sandbox folder.

  1. Quit
  2. Delete the folder ~/Library/Containers/ (use rm -r ~/Library/Containers/ from Terminal, or in Finder press Cmd-Shift-G, enter ~/Library/Containers then find the folder and drag to trash and empty trash)
  3. Relaunch


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Great! The only disadvantage for me was the reset of the UI. The speed is incredible now. – anticyclope Feb 21 '13 at 16:30

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