4 Best Ways To Clear Your Mac Mail Cache

Do you sometimes experience slow response time, frozen web requests, or crashes when using Mac Mail? If so, your mail cache is probably full. 

Over time this temporary storage builds up mail data which overwhelms the system and slows the program. Let’s review four methods of deleting the Mac Mail cache and get you back to work right away.

Method 1: Clear Cache Using Mac Mail Settings

You may have noticed that the Mac Mail software slows down over time. When you use the program frequently, it builds up attachments, photos, messages, and other data types in its cache. This slows down the app tremendously.  

You can boost the app’s performance and speed using the following steps:

  1. Open the Mail app on your Mac.
  2. Click on the “Mail” menu in the top left corner of the screen.
  3. Select “Preferences” from the drop-down menu.
  4. Click on the “Accounts” tab.
  5. Select the account for which you want to clear the cache.
  6. Click on the “Mailbox Behaviors” tab.
  7. Click on the “Reset Cache” button.
  8. A pop-up message will appear asking if you want to reset the cache. Click on “Reset” to confirm.

Why Use This Method?

This process is quick and simple and requires no additional software or technological expertise. Furthermore, you boost the app’s speed right away without running the danger of losing vital information like your email accounts or messages.


Close all open applications and save any unsaved work before deleting your cache to prevent data loss. Because the procedure will also automatically log you out of the mail app, be sure to read more about the outcomes. 

Method 2: Clear Cache Using Terminal Commands

Terminal Commands are instructions you can execute in the Terminal app to perform different operations. We’ll use the “rm” command to delete the cache files. However, tread carefully!

You must backup your Mac Mail data before proceeding with the following steps: 

  1. Use Spotlight to search for “Terminal” or go to Applications > Utilities > Terminal to launch the application.
  2. Key in the following command and press enter (Ignore the quotation marks):

“defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles YES”

  • Now, type the following command and press enter (Ignore the quotation marks):

“killall Finder”

  • This command will restart the Finder app, and you’ll now be able to see all the hidden files on your Mac.
  • Look for the following directory (Ignore the quotation marks): 


  • You’ll find a group of files with names that begin with “Envelope Index” here. These are the cache files.
  • Key in the following command to delete all the cache files (Ignore the quotation marks):

“rm -rf Envelope\ Index*”

  • Press enter and the cache files will be deleted.

Why Use This Method?

Clearing the Mac Mail cache with Terminal commands efficiently removes all cache files at once without leaving any behind. Additionally, it allows you total control over the procedure; you can monitor its development and make adjustments as needed.


The “rm” command is a powerful command that can delete files permanently, and if misused, it can cause data loss. Back up your data and double-check the directory and file names before using Terminal commands to prevent mistakenly losing any crucial information.

Method 3: Clear Cache Manually

If you prefer a hands-on approach to clearing your Mac Mail cache, you can do so manually. This method needs more time and effort than the previous ones, but it gives you more control.

You’ll need to know where to locate the hidden cache files on your computer if you want to clear your cache manually. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Quit Mac Mail.
  2. Open Finder and click the “Go” menu in the top menu bar.
  3. Hold down the “Option” key on your keyboard to reveal the “Library” option.
  4. Click on “Library” to open the Library folder.
  5. Navigate to the “Containers” folder.
  6. Scroll down and find the “com.apple.mail” folder.
  7. Right-click on the “com.apple.mail” folder and select “Move to Trash”.
  8. Empty the trash to delete the cache files permanently.

Why Use This Method?

By manually clearing your Mac Mail, you can adjust the cleaning process to your liking. Furthermore, since you’re wiping files from your computer directly, you don’t need to worry about utilizing unofficial software or Terminal commands that can damage your system.


To avoid any problems with the software, close Mac Mail before deleting any files. Exercise caution when browsing the Library folder to prevent unintentionally erasing any important system data. Finally, ensure the cache files are completely deleted from your system by emptying the trash after deleting them.

Method 4: Using Third-Party Software

You may use a reliable cache cleaner to get rid of your Mac Mail cache and speed up the program with the following steps:

  1. Choose the application you want and download it from a dependable source.
  2. Follow the instructions to install the program on your Mac.
  3. Open the program after installation, then select the “Mac Mail cache cleaning” option.
  4. Select the option to clear your Mac Mail cache.
  5. Wait for the program to finish clearing the cache. 
  6. Close the application and restart your Mac after the procedure is finished.

Why Use This Method?

If you don’t have the technical know-how to clear the cache or utilize Terminal commands manually, this method is really helpful.

By deleting pointless files and clearing up storage space, third-party software can also help you optimize the speed of your Mac. Your Mac may operate more quickly and fluidly as a result.


Research the software and its creator to ensure they are reputable and trustworthy. You can check for reviews by other users to confirm its reputation. 

Similarly, avoid downloading software from unknown or suspicious sources because it may put your Mac at risk of viruses or malware.

Lastly, always read the software’s terms and conditions. Ensure you understand how the software operates and the type of data it can access on your Mac.

There are a few other actions you may take that improve the performance of your Mac Mail application other than regularly clearing your cache. For instance, you can routinely check for and install software updates for your operating system and the Mac Mail application. You can also reduce the emails you keep in your inbox by archiving or deleting old ones to improve the speed and responsiveness of the application.

Clearing your Mac Mail cache is an essential maintenance task you should regularly perform to keep your email client running smoothly. So, set aside some time every few weeks and never deal with slow mail again.