In Apple Mail, I accidentally marked all messages in the Inbox folder as Junk (I meant to mark as read) and it appears all mail was deleted permanently. My Mailbox Behaviours specify

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Yet the deleted mail is neither on the server, nor do I have a folder for deleted messages or so. I have an inactive rule which would delete messages marked as junk, but as I said, it is inactive. I might however have clicked Apply Rules on the inbox when everything was still there (I do not know whether inactive rules are applied in that case).

Is the mail permanently deleted and if yes, how do I restore it from my time machine backup? Is it sufficient to simply restore the ~/Library/Mail/V2 contents?

  • Check to see if you can still use "Undo Mark as Junk Mail" under the Edit Menu (or just ⌘Z).
    – quip
    Aug 15, 2015 at 9:55
  • Already did, I cannot.
    – oarfish
    Aug 15, 2015 at 9:56
  • In that case, yes, you may go ahead and restore the folder that contains your mail accounts (V2, I assume in your case). I have used this solution many a time due to being just a bit too clever in my manipulation of information. Just make sure that you capture a backup that is prior to the "junk mail incident", which from here forth we shall never mention again!
    – quip
    Aug 15, 2015 at 10:02
  • I find it strange though that all messages are deleted from the server as well, despite the option being unchecked.
    – oarfish
    Aug 15, 2015 at 10:07
  • 1
    I checked and the mail is still on the server for the POP account, but not on the IMAP account, so it could be protocol-related.
    – oarfish
    Aug 15, 2015 at 10:23


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