When I move a message from one account to another (by dragging, or "Move to"), or to a local folder, I expect the message to be deleted on the original account. However, what Apple Mail does is archiving the original message. Is it possible to realize my desired behavior (e.g., via a rule or a script)?

2 Answers 2


Archive is a misnomer on Apple Mail.

It is not Archived.

It is actually the Goggles "All Mail" folder.

If you do not want to see it in your Apple Mail disable it in Google Mail.

Google will keep all your emails in it.

  • Yeah, I do mean Google's "All Mail" folder (or label, to be more precise). You mean if I disable All Mail (from Google's label settings), then moved message will directly go to trash?
    – 4ae1e1
    Nov 27, 2014 at 18:18
  • Go to gmail - settings - Labels uncheck the Show in IMAP for All Mail. It will no longer show in Apple Mail but it will be still in the gmail.
    – Ruskes
    Nov 27, 2014 at 18:22
  • Yeah I know that setting. I'm experimenting with what happens when I have that disabled and move a message right now.
    – 4ae1e1
    Nov 27, 2014 at 18:23
  • 1
    If you delete a message from your inbox or one of your custom folders in your IMAP client, it will still appear in [Gmail]/All Mail. Here's why: in most folders, deleting a message simply removes that folder's label from the message, including the label identifying the message as being in your inbox. [Gmail]/All Mail shows all of your messages, whether or not they have labels attached to them. If you want to delete a message from all folders, move it to the [Gmail]/Trash folder.
    – Ruskes
    Nov 27, 2014 at 18:25
  • That's a great explanation. Disabling All Mail from IMAP does hide them from Apple Mail so I don't get multiple copies. Thanks. I guess I'll have to wipe unwanted All Mail using the web interface from time to time.
    – 4ae1e1
    Nov 27, 2014 at 18:31

It would only possibly work if the mail accounts were POP accounts and you had your server settings configured to delete messages from the server when read. Most mail accounts now use IMAP which use different behaviors for message storage, both on the server and in the email clients.

You could structure some Rules in Mail to accomplish what you're trying to do.

  • Yeah everyone uses IMAP these days. To be more clear, maybe the question should say, is there a rule or similar to achieve this? I'm not familiar with Apple Mail's rules myself. I know, in principle I should go RTFM, but I don't need other rules, so if there's some readily available knowledge, I hope someone will share. Thanks.
    – 4ae1e1
    Nov 27, 2014 at 17:12
  • You have to 'roll your own' when it comes to Mail Rules. They're quite extensible for conditions required to be applied and actions they can take. There's no manual for constructing them that I know of, other than perhaps in Mail Help. I'd suggest digging in and trying them out to see if you can get them to accomplish what you need done.
    – douggro
    Nov 27, 2014 at 17:25

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