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Deleting Huge Number of Emails

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Tykebike
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Deleting Huge Number of Emails

I'm trying to get the size of my folders down (it jumped from 780Mb to 1700Mb in the space of a week) with 66000 messages in the inbox but trying to delete the remaining  55000 emails is a slow and tedious task in webmail. I have no idea how this increase happened but I notice that I have the same message duplicated dozens of time so this is why the figure rocketed.

As agreed with Mark at Plusnet Sheffield I am using webmail to delete them and to help I have the display set to view 100 (was 40) select them and then press delete.

I have tried to set the sorting column to from to try to ease the task but get a fetch error so have had to revert to none in the sorting column

Can anyone offer any advice?

13 REPLIES 13
RobPN
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Re: Deleting Huge Number of Emails


@Tykebike wrote:

 

Can anyone offer any advice?


@Tykebike 

IMO, forget Webmail and use an email client, e.g. Thunderbird.

Tykebike
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Re: Deleting Huge Number of Emails

Thanks for such a prompt reply. Do you think that using my Mac mail client would do the same job as Thunderbird?

I had been using Macmail and Outlook on my Windowns 10 pc for deleting but Mark from PN help suggested using Webmail for the task but my word the number of error messages I get during the process is astounding.

Tykebike
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Re: Deleting Huge Number of Emails

By the way I have an IMAP account.

MisterW
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Re: Deleting Huge Number of Emails

Be aware that when you delete mail using an IMAP client, it will normally move the email to the Deleted ( or Trash ) folder rather than actually delete. You then need to empty the deleted folder to regain the space. Most clients ( not sure about Macmail ) have an option to hold the control key when deleting, which will do a delete without moving to Trash ( be careful , there's no way back if you delete the wrong emails )

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.

Penny
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Re: Deleting Huge Number of Emails


@Tykebike wrote:

I'm trying to get the size of my folders down (it jumped from 780Mb to 1700Mb in the space of a week) with 66000 messages in the inbox but trying to delete the remaining  55000 emails is a slow and tedious task in webmail.

Can anyone offer any advice?


 


@RobPN wrote:

IMO, forget Webmail and use an email client, e.g. Thunderbird.


 

Yeah, I'd have said that (I use Outlook not Thunderbird but much the same I guess).

*however*.

Just re-read what you wrote, @Tykebike , and registered that it was 66,000 messages not 6600 as I'd first thought (just been deleting huge quantities of archive mail here, to free up disk space).

66,000 messages in a week (?) sounds like a dos attack or similar (not sure of the correct terminology but some type of deliberate overload).

Had something similar here back in Dec 2006 / Jan 2007, was away (parent ill) and *somehow* the HappyChild site was getting 5,000 e-mails a day - so I couldn't use Outlook to download because (of course) it tries to download the whole shebang each time, if it hadn't cleared all of them last time.

I asked for help (up to 150,000 e-mails at that stage) and they (F9/PN) were wonderful.  I had to set up a couple of designated mailboxes (eg bloggs@, or whatever) then they blackholed everything else (so anything not to one of the nominated addresses just vanished before it got here).

But also - and this is the bit that is probably most relevant for you - *they* deleted the 150,000 e-mails (having first trawled through to extract the 50-100 or so genuine messages).  So when I next downloaded through Outlook, only the real stuff arrived.

 

I don't know if someone at PN (PlusNet) would be able to do something similar for you - the mass deletion - but it might be worth asking.  You'd probably need help from one of the old hands (here) rather than first-line telephone support, perhaps.

Likewise re potentially setting up designated addresses and asking them to blackhole anything else.

 

If the cause is anything similar to what happened here back in 2007, you could otherwise be looking at manually deleting 55,000 e-mails a week ongoing ; )

.

Penny Rollo * * * joined Force9 on 17/02/98 * * * with PlusNet from 2000 onwards * * * personal website at pennymidasrollo.plus.com
Project HappyChild website (free educational resources for kids and schools, plus directory of charities helping children) 1998 onwards
Superusers are not PlusNet staff but do have a direct line of communication into the business to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the Community.
Tykebike
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Re: Deleting Huge Number of Emails

Wow, what an ordeal! You joined in the same year that I did, 1998 when they were in the canal basin in Sheffield (where I live).

I've just finished a session of sorting into "sent by" and then deleting just about everything in my inbox using Macmail. Some emails had 200+ copies of the same email. I then checked on webmail and found 11,000 greyed out entries in the deleted items folder. I tried using the empty folder function in the cog at the bottom of the folder column but nothing seemed to happen so I spent an hour or so deleting 100 at a time from the deleted folder until it was empty.

Now when I look at my inbox in Webmail there are 51,623 messages - I'm dumbfounded and loosing the will to live!

Penny
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Re: Deleting Huge Number of Emails

.

@Tykebike  I just did a search on duckduckgo for 'mass delete emails from webmail' and found this page https://www.bitrecover.com/blog/delete-webmail-emails/ which shows (picture 2) 

Method to Remove All Webmail Emails from Folder

  1. Login to your webmail account and choose a folder in which, you want to delete emails.
  2. Now, you can see all specific folder emails. Press the Select button as shown in the respective screenshot.

then (picture 3) Thereafter, choose All option from drop-down for choosing all webmail emails.

 

I don't use webmail - just dug out the login details and accessed the original mailbox, in which there was a single junk e-mail from 2008 - so as to test out if this 'select ALL' option was available ('ALL' as opposed to 'current page').

... and it is.

 

The linked page refers to 'squirrelmail' as a default webmail application and there is some dim recall of F9/PN having used squirrelmail for webmail at some time in the past, though I don't know if that's still the case.

 ... but the Select - ALL (little square box next to 'Select:') appears to work.

 

I can't test beyond the one e-mail (a) moved to trash and (b) deleted, but perhaps you could try this out by highlighting your trash folder on the left, then selecting the 'All' box (?)

 

Guessing this may not work for some reason (otherwise other webmail-users here would have recommended it) but thought it might be worth a try.

 

Otherwise of course there's professional mass-delete software (like Email Eraser, highlighted on the linked page) but hopefully you'll find some alternative.

.

 

Penny Rollo * * * joined Force9 on 17/02/98 * * * with PlusNet from 2000 onwards * * * personal website at pennymidasrollo.plus.com
Project HappyChild website (free educational resources for kids and schools, plus directory of charities helping children) 1998 onwards
Superusers are not PlusNet staff but do have a direct line of communication into the business to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the Community.
Tykebike
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Re: Deleting Huge Number of Emails

Good evening Penny, thanks you so much for your kind help; you've been researching whilst I have been drowning my sorrows!

I digest this tomorrow and implement the appropriate steps. 

What a pity that after 25 years with F9/PN it's come to this.

To use a phrase from the modern era "It's doing my head in"

RPMozley
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Re: Deleting Huge Number of Emails

The current “advanced” webmail client is called RoundCube. The previous SquirrelMail is still available via the “basic webmail” button/link.

Both clients will struggle with that many emails in the inbox.

Duplicated emails might have been the result of other email clients that you have used in the past, possibly a bug of some sort. It’s less likely to be a server fault that created these dupes.
That's RPM to you!!
Tykebike
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Re: Deleting Huge Number of Emails

Thanks for the info on the webmail systems, I did wonder why I got a different view if I hit the basic email icon which leads to Squirrel Mail. I had heard of Round Cube but had no idea what it is.

Tykebike
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Re: Deleting Huge Number of Emails

I've had a decent day with deleting emails from the inbox so 25,301 are now in the deleted items folder with just less than 20,000 to go; hopefully the number of errors by the system will allow me to do a similar job tomorrow. However I now have the task of emptying the deleted folder. I have tried doing this by selecting empty from the cog icon drop down box at the bottom of the folder list and confirming that I want to delete all but nothing has happened. Can anyone confirm the best procedure?

Tykebike
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Re: Deleting Huge Number of Emails

This morning I managed to delete all 25,301 messages save 27 new ones - what a labourius task!

All have have to do now is to delete the 18,000 deleted items 200 at a time as trying to delete them all at once just results in server errors. Hopefully when this is done I can get on with my holiday.

Thanks to all for your help.

Tykebike
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Re: Deleting Huge Number of Emails

Fix

Well I finally finished the task and deleted the 7000 deleted messages, 200 at a time, what a relief. Earlier that day the plusnet automail sent this 

When we have looked again, we noticed that the combined size of your mailboxes was still over 1GB.

In order to assist you with taking action, here is a list of your largest mailboxes -

Mailbox Size
default 8039.356 MB
Total 8039.36 MB

Well, they got a flea in their ear on the open ticket as I could only account for 635.537MB in all visible folders plus whatever was in the deleted items folder - which could not be checked as it refused to load (I later found that the sort column had reverted to something other than none)

They got an even bigger flea in their ear when an internal response on the ticket entries stated that the customer had given permission to change the password - I did no such thing. As I was queueing for the ferry the IOM ferry in Liverpool I tried logging in to webmail no avail so calling the help desk I was asked for the 9th and 10th letters of my password - impossible, it only has 7 letters then after much discussion where they told me I had changed it a 04.09 that morning, I countered that by saying that I didn't get up until 04.35. They eventually gave me a temporary password so that I could login. When I logged in I tried to change passwords to my old, and easily remembered (by me), password it was not accepted as it did not meet the criteria.

Hopefully now with 11 messages in my inbox and 0 in the deleted folder I am in no danger of having my folders archived and I can get on with enjoying my holiday.

Thanks for all your support.