How to Delete Email in Bulk on a Mac

by Avery Martin

Quickly get the email inbox on your Mac under control using built-in options to delete and filter large amounts of email. Apple Mail includes many built-in features to help you organize, flag, sort and view your email messages. When you want to delete a large amount of email simultaneously, you can search for the specific emails you want to delete and rid your email boxes of unwanted messages. You can also use a filter to automatically delete specific types of email messages and avoid the need to manually delete those messages in the future.

Search for Emails

1

Select the Inbox you want to search in the sidebar of the Mail application.

2

Type a search term in the Search box to locate messages using a specific email address, subject line or other criteria and press the "Enter" key.

3

Click the "Edit" menu in Apple Mail and choose "Select All" from the drop-down menu.

4

Hold down the "Command" key and click on any messages you want to keep to deselect important messages.

5

Click the "Edit" menu and select "Delete" to delete the selected messages.

Filter Emails

1

Click the "Mail" menu and select "Preferences."

2

Select the "Rules" tab and click "Add Rule."

3

Enter a description for the rule in the Description field.

4

Select the filter options by selecting each drop-down menu to choose when a rule applies and then type the criteria into the text fields. For example, select "Any" from the "If [Any] of the Following Conditions Are Met" drop-down box. Then, select criteria for the filter by choosing the "Any Recipient" and "Contains" drop-down menus. Type the criteria in the text field and press the "+" button. You might type an email address or a word that appears in a subject line.

5

Select the drop-down boxes in the Perform the Following Actions section. Choose "Delete Message" from the first drop-down menu and click the "+" button.

6

Click the "OK" button and select "Apply" to run the rule and delete any email messages that fit your specified criteria.

Warning

  • Information in this article applies to Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.

About the Author

Avery Martin holds a Bachelor of Music in opera performance and a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian studies. As a professional writer, she has written for Education.com, Samsung and IBM. Martin contributed English translations for a collection of Japanese poems by Misuzu Kaneko. She has worked as an educator in Japan, and she runs a private voice studio out of her home. She writes about education, music and travel.

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