So. I use gmail’s IMAP service to collect emails from each of my email accounts. I’ve used the IMAP service since it was introduced, as unlike the POP3 service it ensures that my inboxes, etc, are synced with the cloud and also with the other computers I used, thereby enabling me to sit down at any computer and see the same, identical information.
Unfortunately it is not unusual for these mailboxes to start displaying duplicate emails, which not only makes searching them more difficult (excluding the duplicates presented by the “All Mail” IMAP mailbox) and can eat up a great deal of extra hard drive space, especially when you have tens of thousands of emails spread across multiple accounts.
So when this started happening again recently I decided to do something about it. The solution if you use Apple’s Mail program is quite simple. It’s called “Rebuild” and can be found in the “Mailbox” menu of Apple’s Mail program here:
Once you’ve clicked this button Apple’s Mail program will go about the task of rebuilding your mailbox, during which these duplicates emails that have been syncronised to your account will be removed. This process can take a couple of minutes, or a couple of hours depending on the size of your mailbox. I had a couple of thousand messages in the mailbox this afternoon and it was completed before I had finished writing this entry.