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Apple Mac OS X tips and tweaks

Automatically clear Mail's Junk folders

No matter how hard you try, it is is almost impossible to avoid spam - those junk emails that you don't want. Everyone gets at least some spam and some people get a lot. Mail on the Mac is a handy tool for keeping in touch with friends, relatives, work contacts and fortuntately it has some good features for automatically dealing with suspected spam and it moves them into the Junk folder. You should select this folder occasionally and look at the messages that it contains just to make sure valid emails haven't been mistaken for spam. Unless you delete the messages in the Junk folder though, the number will grow and they will eventually cause problems. You need to empty the Junk folder occasionally to avoid this. You can do this manually or automatically.

There are several ways to manually empty the Junk folder and you can select the folder in the left pane and then click an email message to select it. You can then press the Backspace/Delete key or right click (Ctrl+click) it and select Delete. You can drag a message to the Trash folder too. Click one message and then press Command+A to select all messages and then you can drag them all to the Trash, right click and select Delete or simply hit the Backspace/Delete key. You don't actually have to open the Junk folder and you can simply right click (Ctrl+click) it and select Erase Junk Mail from the menu that pops up.

If all this sounds like too much effort for junk emails that you never wanted in the first place, why not set up Mail to automatically empty the Junk folder. You can then forget about the spam and simply let Mail deal with it.

Apple MailGo to Mail, Preferences and click Accounts. Select an account and then click the Mailbox Behaviours tab. In the Junk section you can choose whether to keep junk messages or to automatically delete them when they are a day, a week or a month old. There's also an option to automatically delete all junk emails when you quit Mail. The Never option is set by default, so the Junk mail folder will grow without limit. You should definitely choose one of the auto-delete options, such as one month or one week.

Automatically clearing old junk mail will keep your Mac running more smoothly and problem-free.

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