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Optimize Apple Mail
Posted by UCS IT Support 4 on 04 January 2011 12:18 PM

Optimize Apple Mail

Apple’s Mail application is one of the best email clients around for Mac OS X. Why is it so good? Well, it is free, comes with every Mac and supports almost all types of email accounts so if you haven’t tried it check it out! 

That said, it can always be improved a little. In particular you might notice that it slows down over time, especially if you have large mailboxes and lots of contacts so let’s have a look at how we can speed it up a bit. 

The first, and most obvious thing, is to slim down your mailboxes a bit. Create a new folder in Mail and move all your old emails into that folder (or use the Archive function if you have a Gmail account). This way Mail only has to load the most recent emails when it launches and instead of having to synchronise a list of over 20,000 emails with the server it only has to deal with 500 or so, saving your precious bandwidth if you are on a mobile connection. 

While you are at it is also a good idea to rebuild your mailbox every now and then. Like everything else on your computer it may become corrupted which can slow down or crash Mail, so select Rebuild from the Mailbox menu to have Mail check and automatically repair it. 

Another housekeeping tip is to clean your previous recipients list. Mail stores a list of everyone you’ve ever sent a message to so that it can suggest their email addresses when you are writing a new email. The problem is that many of these recipients are people you only emailed once, or addresses which have changed so the list can become full of out of date and irrelevant addresses. Select Previous Recipients from the Window menu to clean up the list. 

Finally, if you are using Mail to read RSS feeds it might be a good idea to go through your subscriptions and deleting the ones you no longer read as Mail essentially treats an RSS subscription as a mailbox. This means that as the number of posts increases Mail will slow down, so keep an eye on your feeds!
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