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Amount of mail messages slowing the app down?

Update:10-11Source: network consolidation
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My mail app seems to be taking longer than before to fetch messages and I was wondering if it had anything to do with the amount of mail messages in my various mailboxes. Can someone tell me, should I be clearing out old mail messages or is it safe to let them pile up indefinitely? I have 900 plus messages in Inbox, 1400 in Sent box and approx 1500 messages in other personalised mail boxes. Is this too much and will it affect Mail's functionality?
G5 DP 1.8   Mac OS X (10.4.3)  

The Best Answer

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The number and combined size of all messages in an account's Inbox and Sent mailbox should not have any effect on the amount of time is takes to fetch new messages available at an account's incoming mail server but depending on how many rules you have created to sort reveived messages to user created mailboxes by cateogry and/or the number of Smart mailboxes will have an effect on the sorting process after all messages are downloaded.
Using the Rebuild Mailbox function on the most active mailboxes on a regular basis - every couple of weeks or monthly depending on activity is a good idea and all email clients have limits.
Check Mac OS X 10.3, 10.4 Mail: Overstuffed mailbox is unexpectedly empty.