I recently purchased a Macbook Air and I wanted to use the default Mail app that came with it. When I add a gmail account to it, it tries to download all the mail I've ever received (~10 years worth of email).

In Gmail, I have a habit of archiving mail instead of deleting them. Is there anyway I can sync the mail app to only download mail that is in my inbox (unarchived mail) or the last ~50 mail that was sent to me?

1 Answer 1


You can't limit it to the last 50 messages, but you can limit it to the last 1000 messages in each "folder" (label).

  1. Go to the Gmail website and click on the gear icon to the top-right side.
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Click on the "Forwarding and IMAP/POP" tab across the top of the Settings area.
  4. Towards the bottom of the IMAP section, change the "Folder Size Limit" setting to "Limit IMAP folders to contain no more than this many messages". By default 1000 is selected, though you can also choose 2000, 5000, or 10000.
  5. Click Save Changes at the bottom.
  • If I do this, I only get my OLDEST 1000 messages in Mail. How can I reverse this behaviour?
    – Abramodj
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 12:46

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