I have a DiskSpace Problem on my SSD on my Macbook. So my Question is, is there any possibility to download only a few Mails (like on iOS - the first 200 Mails) or does have anybody of you out there a great Solution to prevent Apple Mail to download all my 19.000+ Google Mails and 5.000 iCloud Mails?

I would like to use the "native" Apple Mail Client.

What also would be a Idea (but i found nothing to solve this Problem) to redirect the mail to my Mailbox on my (uberspace.de) Account where i'm able to use qmail.

So it should be a nice Solution to help People with the same Problem here.

(btw yeah i'm searching for a long time for an "awesome" Solution ;)

2 Answers 2


I doubt that changing your Apple Mail settings is going to help with your disk space problem (I've got more mail items than you do in my IMAP accounts, but my Apple Mail folder in ~/Library/Mail/ is under 1 GB), but leaving that aside, here are some ways to address the question that you have posed.

If offline access to your email isn't important to you, you can simply not have Apple Mail store your email locally. To do this, in Apple Mail, go to Preferences -> Accounts -> [your Gmail or iCloud account] -> Advanced, and select "don't keep copies of any messages" under "Keep copies of messages for offline viewing".

If offline access to your email is important to you, there are a couple of options. There are a couple of options in the aforementioned "Keep copies …" dropdown menu which might help you, such as not keeping attachments or only keeping mails which you have read.

If you'd like to redirect mail from Gmail to your uberspace.de account, that is trivial. In Gmail, open your Settings, select "Forwarding and POP/IMAP", and then select "add a forwarding email address". Gmail will send a confirmation link to the email address that you provide. After that, back on that same tab, select this email address to forward to and choose what you want Gmail to do with the forwarded email (keep it, archive it, delete it). (Gmail's full instructions for this are here, which includes links to information about how to filter email that you forward.) In Apple Mail, you would then disable downloading new mail from Gmail and enable it for this new account after you've gotten qmail set up to your needs.

If you'd like to redirect mail from iCloud to your uberspace.de account, that is also trivial. In iCloud, open the Settings (lower-left corner), and enter the email address to which you want your mail forwarded. You can choose there whether iCloud should delete the mail it forwards, and I presume that you would thus not have Apple Mail downloading your iCloud mail.

  • Nice idea to choose to uncheck "keep copies for offline viewing". I don't happen to see that box on Yosemite using Gmail Imap. Any hints?
    – shane1800
    Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 3:26
  • This helps me. apple.stackexchange.com/questions/119738/…
    – shane1800
    Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 3:30
  • This setting seems to have been removed in recent versions of OSX (at least Mavericks+)
    – Bobby Jack
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 9:54

You can delete unused mails also.

  • The OP is looking for a way to not download all his/her mail
    – nohillside
    Commented Jul 16, 2014 at 14:12

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