I have, due to aborted imports, many duplicate emails. How can I find these duplicate emails and delete them, the best would be to archive them first, just to be safe.

I found http://www.nickshubin.com/articles/mac/remove_mail_duplicates.html - does Araxis still do the job? Also: Any experiences with the script at http://bohemianboomer.com/2015/02/free-how-to-remove-duplicate-email-messages-in-os-xs-mail-app/ ?

Any recommendations how I can solve this mess? I don't feel like exporting to a local imap server, using Thunderbird to delete duplicates and to re-import them.

Aditional info:

The duplicate emails are in my local mail folder, so no imap et al involved.

What I did so far:

  1. Switched of Mail
  2. moved the local filestorage out of the mail folder
  3. restarted Mail and deleted it from there again, as it was still there
  4. used Gemini duplicate remover to remove all duplicane messages (any other should have worked as well
  5. I did not touch the attachments!
  6. Will import the mail again and I hope that the duplicates are gone

Any comments to this procedure? If it works, I will post it as an answer.

  • The link to the script leads, ultimately, to a dead link, which is a shame. However, my first thought was that AppleScript could probably do the job if you use Apple Mail as your mail application. It'd be a matter of identifying messages whose header information is the same, and deleting duplicates (or moving them a "duplicates" folder).
    – CJK
    Jan 18, 2018 at 17:25
  • Do the emails exist solely on your Mac? ie. you're using POP3 and downloading them? Knowing the type of account they're on will narrow the possibilities.
    – Alex
    Jan 19, 2018 at 4:23
  • Good point - added to the question. This concerns the local mail storage - not imap.
    – Rainer
    Jan 19, 2018 at 8:02

1 Answer 1


From what I understand what you did was directly scan the Mail app files for duplicates. I'm not sure how Mail files are organized and how attachements are handled, so I wouldn't suggest messing with it except if you know how it's all structured.

As answered here https://apple.stackexchange.com/a/423788/278784 I'd suggest exporting as .eml files then scanning for the duplicates with any file duplicate software, then importing back the cleaned up .eml files.

I didn't give the scripts a go because I didn't trust unknown sources and couldn't verify the code from experience. A working link to a script, which might be the same as the script you pointed to, is still available at https://www.macworld.com/article/221660/how-to-delete-duplicate-email-messages.html but I wasn't ready to try it. In case it helps others, as the original link seems to be dead.

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