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#25525 - 03/25/13 02:23 PM Safe To Delete Contents Mail/Downloads Folder
Pendragon Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Georgetown, Texas, USA
On my wife's machine, 10.7.5, there is a folder in ~/Library/Mail/ called "Downloads". It that folder is a myriad of downloaded attachments from Mail going back several years (about 156 MB worth).

It seems that I recently read that it is OK to delete the contents of this folder, but as I cannot find the reference, and it is not my machine, indeed caution reigns before my mucking about with these data.

So please kind souls, what say you?


Edited by cyn (03/26/13 11:28 PM)
Edit Reason: Topic moved from the "Mac OS X 10.6.x & 10.7.x & 10.8.x" forum to the "Networking" forum.
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Harv
27" i7 iMac (10.13.6), iPhone Xs Max (12.1)

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#25527 - 03/25/13 02:34 PM Re: Safe To Delete Contents Mail/Downloads Folder [Re: Pendragon]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
In 10.6.8 I've got ~/Library/Mail Downloads, which I clear regularly after I've looked at its contents and determined that there's nothing in there that I still need. (Actually, I've never figured out what goes into that folder or how it gets there.)
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#25528 - 03/25/13 02:54 PM Re: Safe To Delete Contents Mail/Downloads Folder [Re: artie505]
Pendragon Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Georgetown, Texas, USA
Thanks, Artie. Indeed I feared a reply such as yours.

Alas, I am certain my beloved will not slog through 403 items.

Perhaps I best be considering a way to archive this folder before venturing forth. An 8GB thumb drive should work, shouldn't it? Or, is some magic otherwise involved?
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Harv
27" i7 iMac (10.13.6), iPhone Xs Max (12.1)

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#25529 - 03/25/13 03:05 PM Re: Safe To Delete Contents Mail/Downloads Folder [Re: Pendragon]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I'd think that a 1Gb thumb drive would be adequate, Harv, but your wife will then have it laying around, collecting dust, still waiting to be looked at.

I'll suggest QuickLook as the best way to slog through the 403 items without having to open each one... Simply start with the top file, hit the space bar to get started, and navigate from there with the down arrow.
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The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

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#25530 - 03/25/13 03:12 PM Re: Safe To Delete Contents Mail/Downloads Folder [Re: Pendragon]
Pendragon Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Georgetown, Texas, USA
Good idea re that Quick Look. I seldom use that feature, so naturally I overlooked it. Well, that, advancing years, and Merlot.
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Harv
27" i7 iMac (10.13.6), iPhone Xs Max (12.1)

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#25531 - 03/25/13 03:17 PM Re: Safe To Delete Contents Mail/Downloads Folder [Re: Pendragon]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
After ignoring Tiger, my main impetus to upgrade to Leopard was QuickLook; I love it and use it constantly.

Merlot... Wasn't he the magician of the Arthurian Legend, whose magic persists to this very day?
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The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

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#25532 - 03/25/13 03:47 PM Re: Safe To Delete Contents Mail/Downloads Folder [Re: artie505]
dkmarsh Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09

In OS X 10.8.x, the path is ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.mail/Data/Library/Mail Downloads/. crazy

Every time you open an attachment (or view it with Quick Look), a copy gets placed in that folder. If you don't manually clear out the folder, the length of time the copy survives depends on the setting in Mail's Preferences -> General -> Remove unedited downloads pop-up menu.
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#25533 - 03/25/13 03:54 PM Re: Safe To Delete Contents Mail/Downloads Folder [Re: dkmarsh]
dkmarsh Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09

More germane to the specific question at hand, since the original attachments stay with the messages to which they were attached, the only reason to fear unrecoverable loss from clearing out that folder is if you're not sure that all the original messages themselves are present.
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#25534 - 03/25/13 04:05 PM Re: Safe To Delete Contents Mail/Downloads Folder [Re: dkmarsh]
roger Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Vermont
and it would all be in a Time Machine backup anyway, no?
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#25535 - 03/25/13 04:18 PM Re: Safe To Delete Contents Mail/Downloads Folder [Re: roger]
dkmarsh Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09

Not everyone uses Time Machine, though.
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#25536 - 03/25/13 04:19 PM Re: Safe To Delete Contents Mail/Downloads Folder [Re: dkmarsh]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Thanks.

My pref is "After Message Is Deleted," but I've got to clear that folder manually in 10.6.8; I wonder whether the change between SL and ML is a result of accumulations such as Harv's wife's?
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The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

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#25537 - 03/25/13 04:40 PM Re: Safe To Delete Contents Mail/Downloads Folder [Re: artie505]
dkmarsh Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09

I think you still need to quit Mail for the deletion to take effect. Are you saying that that's been your pref all along?
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#25538 - 03/25/13 05:17 PM Re: Safe To Delete Contents Mail/Downloads Folder [Re: dkmarsh]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: dkmarsh
I think you still need to quit Mail for the deletion to take effect. Are you saying that that's been your pref all along?

Yes; I looked for the pref after you mentioned it, and it was set that way...apparently has been since time immemorial.

Quitting Mail sometimes clears the folder, sometimes not, and I've been unable to establish a pattern. (I first became aware of the folder when I happened to look in it and find some months-old d/l's.)
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The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

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#25548 - 03/26/13 08:17 AM Re: Safe To Delete Contents Mail/Downloads Folder [Re: dkmarsh]
roger Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Vermont
Originally Posted By: dkmarsh

Not everyone uses Time Machine, though.


of course, but I was thinking that Harv probably did.
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#25550 - 03/26/13 10:44 AM Re: Safe To Delete Contents Mail/Downloads Folder [Re: roger]
Pendragon Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Georgetown, Texas, USA
Originally Posted By: roger
Originally Posted By: dkmarsh

Not everyone uses Time Machine, though.


of course, but I was thinking that Harv probably did.


Nope. Harv does not use Time Machine. He has 3 internal and 7 external volumes on which he keeps bootable backups so that he has a myriad of backups of various vintage-- from 6 hours to 14 days old. Also, critical data is encrypted and stored on Dropbox, and on two other (old) computers.

He is not opposed to Time Machine, just never saw a need for it.

Other than moving my wife's Mail Download Folder to a thumb drive, I see no viable alternative(s). <sigh>
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Harv
27" i7 iMac (10.13.6), iPhone Xs Max (12.1)

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#25551 - 03/26/13 10:52 AM Re: Safe To Delete Contents Mail/Downloads Folder [Re: Pendragon]
roger Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Vermont
laugh

So if her machine is backed up anywhere on those myriad hard-drives, that folder will be be backed up, no? Then it could be deleted from her computer without worry.
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MacBook 2.4 Ghz · 4 Gb ram · 10.7.5
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#25552 - 03/26/13 11:26 AM Re: Safe To Delete Contents Mail/Downloads Folder [Re: roger]
Pendragon Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Georgetown, Texas, USA
Originally Posted By: roger
laugh

So if her machine is backed up anywhere on those myriad hard-drives, that folder will be be backed up, no? Then it could be deleted from her computer without worry.


Right you are, Roger, though she only has 7 volumes. cool

But then, I would need to keep (at least) one volume inviolate as it may take an eon or two before she discovers that some all too important download is missing and must be retrieved. Ergo I surmise it best to move the downloads to a thumb drive and thus regain the benefit(s) of the otherwise inviolate volume.

If that makes (any) sense…
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Harv
27" i7 iMac (10.13.6), iPhone Xs Max (12.1)

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#25554 - 03/26/13 12:43 PM Re: Safe To Delete Contents Mail/Downloads Folder [Re: Pendragon]
roger Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Vermont
heh

you could always burn the folder onto several cds, and then distribute them around the world in safe places...

grin
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stuff I'm interested in
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#25561 - 03/26/13 02:52 PM Re: Safe To Delete Contents Mail/Downloads Folder [Re: Pendragon]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: Pendragon
Ergo I surmise it best to move the downloads to a thumb drive and thus regain the benefit(s) of the otherwise inviolate volume.

You have a lot more faith in thumb drives than I do.
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#25564 - 03/26/13 03:50 PM Re: Safe To Delete Contents Mail/Downloads Folder [Re: Pendragon]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Why don't you leave that folder on your wife's Mac but rename it so new d/l's don't get added to it? (Considering the size of today's HDs, a 156Mb folder is not taking up a heck of a lot of relative space.)

With the folder remaining on her Mac, maybe even moved to her desktop, she'll be able to go through it at her leisure without having to remember about and deal with a thumb drive.

Edit: On second thought, maybe just an alias to the renamed folder on her desktop.


Edited by artie505 (03/27/13 02:54 AM)
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#25566 - 03/27/13 02:01 AM Re: Safe To Delete Contents Mail/Downloads Folder [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Originally Posted By: Pendragon
Ergo I surmise it best to move the downloads to a thumb drive and thus regain the benefit(s) of the otherwise inviolate volume.

You have a lot more faith in thumb drives than I do.

But you're running a drive that's at least part SSD, and an SSD is just a giant thumb drive, isn't it?
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The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

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#25570 - 03/27/13 06:50 PM Re: Safe To Delete Contents Mail/Downloads Folder [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
But you're running a drive that's at least part SSD, and an SSD is just a giant thumb drive, isn't it?

To me that that is like saying a Porsche Boxster is just a motorized skateboard.
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#25571 - 03/27/13 10:41 PM Re: Safe To Delete Contents Mail/Downloads Folder [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Originally Posted By: artie505
But you're running a drive that's at least part SSD, and an SSD is just a giant thumb drive, isn't it?

To me that that is like saying a Porsche Boxster is just a motorized skateboard.

In my neighborhood, a Boxster is a motorized skateboard! grin

OK, then, I'll bite: Why? (Edit: Isn't the underlying technology the same, or, more precisely, what is it about thumb drives that causes you to have so little faith in them as opposed to SSDs?)

(A new thread might be appropriate here?)


Edited by artie505 (03/28/13 01:44 AM)
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The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

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#25576 - 03/29/13 04:28 AM Re: Safe To Delete Contents Mail/Downloads Folder [Re: artie505]
Pendragon Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Georgetown, Texas, USA
You guys have given me much to think about. Most of which I knew about, but never dawned on me that I should implement.

Alas, my beloved thinks procrastination is an art form, so my current plan is create several archives and sprinkle them about-- including one on Dropbox.

Many fine suggestions, all, and I appreciate your time and expertise.
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Harv
27" i7 iMac (10.13.6), iPhone Xs Max (12.1)

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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