I'm having real trouble getting Apple mail to delete (archive) messages in gmail.

Historically gmail re-interpreted deleting messages to mean archiving them. So though IMAP, for example, a naive client will attempt to delete from the inbox, not moving the message anywhere, and the result will be the message stays in gmail's "All Mail".

Various email clients, including Apple Mail, have overridden this decision by explicitly using gmail's custom "Bin" as the trash bin which actually results in gmail deleting messages 30 days later. This behaviour can be counter intuitive to long time gmail users.

I really want gmail's interpretation. I want to hit delete in Apple Mail and still be able to go digging in my gmail account to get back long deleted messages. My attempts to achieve this are resulting in some weird behaviour.

I've tried to create a gmail label "Apple Trash" and configure Apple Mail to use this as the trash bin. When I hit delete on a message, Apple mail manages to attach the "Apple Trash" label. But weirdly it leaves it in the inbox. So next time it checks for mail, it finds them back in the inbox and they just reappear. In effect I can no longer deleted messages at all in apple mail.

Does anyone know a way around this behaviour or what might be causing it?

  • I'm having the same problem ever since I upgraded to Big Sur, and I can't figure out a way around it either. Guess I'll just have to train myself to hit Cmd-Cntrl-A to archive instead of Delete. – jwodder Dec 27 '20 at 0:58

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .