UPDATE: A number of posters in the comments have pointed out that it is possible to run this command on just one line in the Terminal and to leave some of it out. See the comments if you are interested in more fancy ways to get the job done.
As everyone knows, it is possible to get quite a speed boost out of Mail.app by stripping all the bloat out of its Envelope index, an SQLite database Mail uses to store senders, recipients, subjects and so on.
In a past Hawk Wings tip , I suggested that quitting Mail, deleting the Envelope file and restarting Mail would force a rebuild that produces a leaner, faster email experience.
In October last year Dallas noticed a faster way to get the same result and posted it in the comments to that tip.
Here it is.
1. Quit Mail.
2. Open Terminal.
3. Type the following:
sqlite3 Envelope\ Index
An sqlite> prompt will appear.
At that prompt, type vacuum subjects;.
After a short delay, the prompt will return. Type Control-D to exit.
4. Restart Mail and enjoy the extra speed.
The first time he tried this, Rob Griffiths of macOSXHints reduced his Envelope index from 25.9MB to 4.5MB. My result was less dramatic (21.6MB -> 17.6MB) but Mail.app still felt a lot more zippy.
Some anecdotal evidence suggests that POP users don’t see the same reductions. Can any POP user out there confirm this?
UPDATE: It is easy to automate this using iCal and an applescript. See “Automating the Envelope speed trick“.
- SpeedMail: Slick Envelope Rebuilding app for Mail
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- Rebuild your database and speed up Mail.app
- Scripts to automate the Mail.app Envelope speed trick
- Leopard Mail and the Envelope Speed Trick
Tags: Apple Mail, Apple Mail Tips, envelope, mail.app, POP, Productivity, speed boost, sqlite