I'm reaching my quota on my IMAP account, one big space hog is email attachments.

Is there a way to tell mail.app that I want to "remove" certain emails from the server but keep them around locally?

My only other idea option is to forward them to a gmail-account and pop them back.


You will want to make a new mailbox with storage only on the Mac or use the Archive function in Mail to archive an entire folder/mailbox.

The built in help will guide you through the Archive path.

I just make folders "On My Mac" with the year, and then make Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4 folders inside to keep each relatively small - you might only need one folder per year or one folder. enter image description here

Once you move the message and are comfortable that it's on your mac with attachments intact, delete the original message from IMAP and your quotas will be happier.

  • Do make sure your backup of the mac starts backing up this folder since you'll no longer have a second copy of the attachments stored in IMAP on the server. – bmike Jun 28 '11 at 14:28

Mail actually does this already for you. All of its files are located in ~/Library/Mail where '~' is your home folder. In there each account that you have has a folder and then you can flip through all of your inboxes and drag certain messages out into another folder if you want to make sure they'll stay where you know where they are. Unfortunately the emails are just numbered with no real way to tell them apart but there is a separate Attachments folder if that's all you're interested

  • Until you delete the message, IMAP has to keep a copy on the server in the folders wherein that attachment and message reside. – bmike Jun 28 '11 at 18:04

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