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Help- emails multiplying in Inbox!

Posts: 2
Registered: ‎03-06-2021

Help- emails multiplying in Inbox!

Hi All

Wondering if anyone out there has experienced the same problem as me?

I got one of my occasional emails from Plusnet telling me to reduce the size of my email message folders. I access my Plusnet email via Apple Mail on my iPhone and iMac, so I used the "Get Account Info" command to find out which folders were causing the issue. I found over 300mb in my junk folder, so I tried to delete these. For some unexplained reason, probably my fat fingers, these messages all ended up in my Inbox!

I tried clearing these via the mac and iPhone apps but the software kept stalling. So as a last resort I went to the dreaded webmail interface. This confirmed that I had over 40000 messages now sitting in my inbox. As you can imagine trying to delete these via Webmail would be torture. I tried using the iPhone and Mac mail apps to delete these but to no avail. In fact, the messages appear to be multiplying. There are multiple copies of the same emails. Yesterday, the number of messages went up to over 80000 and today over 133000. The default position is just to wait until I reach the 1GB limit then Plusnet will delete the messages anyway, but I would prefer to do something now. Any advice will be welcome! 

Posts: 22,332
Thanks: 9,206
Fixes: 146
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Help- emails multiplying in Inbox!

A warm welcome to the forums.

What you describe is odd behaviour and looks as though something is wrong with the IMAP settings on the Apple devices.  The "delete" action is actually a move action.  If the Apple IMAP configuration has the deleted folder mapping corrupted then it might give rise to what you are seeing, but that would be a guess.

To sort out where you are at, I would recommend using webmail, but with some settings related to deleting emails changed.

Culling mailbox contents

If you need to clean out your mailbox, may be because it is over quota, then as well as tidying up the inbox, you need to also look at the SENT ITEMS folder and then afterwards clear out the TRASH folder. However some times webmail performance can make this process very tedious, particularly if the delete action (actually a move to the trash folder) fails.

If you primarily want to delete emails, you can mitigate delete performance issues by doing an "immediate" delete (rather than a move to trash for deletion later) by holding down the SHIFT key when pressing the DEL key. This works in both webmail and most PC based email clients. WARNING SHIFT+DEL is not recoverable so be certain absolutely, that you do not need the email before pressing the buttons!

Alternatively, in webmail (Round Cube) Settings -> Server Settings there are some options worth exploring controlling how deletes are performed...

  1. Flag the message for deletion instead of delete
  2. If moving messages to "Deleted Items" fails, permanently delete them
  3. Compact Inbox on logout

Setting these options and using them together will avoid the over heads of moving items to the trash folder when you wish to delete them. They will simply be greyed out and remain in the inbox list. After logging out of webmail, they will then be removed from the mailbox.

Whilst this might be highly proficient, it needs to be used with care, for when they are gone, they are gone. Note also that Plusnet house-keeping clears out the trash folder weekly.


Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

Posts: 2
Registered: ‎03-06-2021

Re: Help- emails multiplying in Inbox!

Thank you for the welcome and the quick reply. Some great tips there, I will stop using the Apple apps and try to persevere with webmail. I will post back once I have had a chance to do a clear out. Thanks again. 

Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 26,473
Thanks: 10,117
Fixes: 1,586
Registered: ‎21-04-2017

Re: Help- emails multiplying in Inbox!

Hi @grover88 and welcome to our Community Forums.

I'm sorry for the issues you're having deleting your mail.

To make things easier if you'd want us to delete your mail from within a certain date range, I can arrange this for you. I've raised a support ticket on your account you can view and reply to by going Here with confirmation if you'd want to go ahead. 

I hope this helps.

From 31st October 2022, I no longer have a regular presence here as I’ve moved on to a new role.
Anoush Mortazavi