I find managing multiple browser windows on OSX a real pain with no solution, so I decided to get rid of some tabs.

I loaded up gmail into the OSX Mail client, but it wants to sync my entire account. Is it possible to sync only new stuff? Basically I want it to only sync the last 30 days and not everything...

It's trying to sync about 6gb worth of mail...

2 Answers 2


You can't do this in the OS X Mail client. Mail.app will download all your emails available on the server.

The workaround is to make the change on the server. You mention that you have Gmail, therefore you can go to Gmail's IMAP settings and restrict the amount of emails available (for example, the most recent 1000).

Also, you can exclude labels from being visible to IMAP, therefore Mail won't download the contents.

  • 2
    This won't affect what's stored in Gmail, only what's visible to Apple Mail, right?
    – Szabolcs
    Commented Jan 7, 2015 at 15:45
  • 4
    @Szabolcs True; you make the change in Gmail settings but it only affects IMAP clients like Mail.app.
    – grg
    Commented Jan 7, 2015 at 16:01
  • 1
    Now this is a good tip! Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 12:50
  1. Go to Gmail.com
  2. Click on the gear in the top right (settings)
  3. 'See All Settings'
  4. on the top/middle 'Forwarding and POP/IMAP'
  5. scroll down, 'Folder size limits' Limit IMAP folders to contain no more than 1000 message (or whatever you decide)

You make the change in Gmail settings but it only affects IMAP clients like Mail app. All messages will still be stored in Gmail.

  • How is this different than the answer already provided?
    – fsb
    Commented Mar 10, 2021 at 22:41
  • 1
    It's a step by step guide. Easier for me to follow and get immediate results
    – Tom
    Commented Sep 1, 2021 at 6:17

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .