macOS High Sierra

Free up storage space for an account

If your email account exceeds the storage limits set by the account’s provider, you can take some actions to free up space on the account’s mail servers.

Open Mail for me

  • Delete large messages or messages with attachments, or move the messages to a mailbox on your Mac. To quickly identify large messages, click “Sort by” at the top of the message list, then choose Size from the pop-up menu. If Size isn’t shown, choose View > Message Attributes > Size.

  • Delete attachments that you saved. Choose Message > Remove Attachments; the message remains in the mailbox and Mail indicates attachments were manually removed.

    For IMAP accounts, be sure to download the attachments first—attachments are deleted from the mail server and can’t be retrieved.

  • Make sure your Trash mailbox is empty. Messages you recently deleted are in the Trash mailbox but haven’t yet been removed from the mail server. Choose Mailbox > Erase Deleted Items, then choose to remove them from all accounts or a specific account.

  • For POP accounts, reduce the amount of time that copies of messages and attachments remain on the mail server before being removed. Choose Mail > Preferences, click Accounts, select the account, click Advanced, then choose a different option from the pop-up menu below “Remove copy from server after retrieving a message.”

To check the size of messages and mailboxes, view account information.