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I’m frustrated

why are google imap files so big

TB 3.1.7 linked via IMAP to gmail.
Folder imap.googlemail.com is 2.4 GB large. All the data is in the INBOX file and the [gmail].sbd/All Mail files. I only have one email in my inbox on TB and on gmail so why is the INBOX so huge?
How do I get rid of all this storage? It gets in the backup every time wasting space.
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  • Compact is your friend.
    Select compact folders from the File menu
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  • I’m frustrated
    I compact folders every month before backup. It's not that. I looked into the INBOX file and found emails for the whole year in there.
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  • I am assuming from your statement that the inbox does not have a full years mail in it.

    You might need to select the expunge option on Server settings. You will find it on the tools menu under account settings.
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  • Seems like "Expunge" should have worked. It didn't seem to do anything. I couldn't find any documentation on it in the help system.
    As an experiment, I moved the files INBOX and INBOX.msf to another directory and started TB. TB took a few minutes "searching folders" and re-created the INBOX file pair with only the three current emails actually in the Inbox -- very small. I sent myself a message, got it, deleted it from my Inbox on TB. That message is still in INBOX. It appears that INBOX contains all the e-mails EVER received in my Inbox since some time it was deleted/reset/??. So apparently I can delete the INBOX pair periodically to rid myself of these huge files that get backed up every month. But why this file exists and contains deleted e-mails is a mystery -- or a bug.

    Tried the same thing with the gmail "All Mail" file pair and got the same results. TB rebuilds these files if they are missing with current data so they are a lot smaller - for a while at least. Deleting "All Mail" e-mails in TB doesn't shrink these files any. (Gmail won't let TB delete the All Mail folder.)

    So I guess the problem has a solution, although why these files exist and why they don't shrink as e-mails are deleted is a mystery. It seems they started when I switched to IMAP to interface with gmail. It really is handy to have sync'd email on TB on my PC, and on my Google phone, and on the cloud with gmail. And that applies to contacts/address book and calendar too with Lightning. TheTB UI is SOOO much better than the Gmail UI.
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  • Ray, I am actually wondering if the compact even worked. There IS a bug that results in it not working on right click if the folder view is unified.

    Perhaps it is that the folder view must be set to all for it to work.
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    I did some more experimenting. I always assumed that FILE/COMPACT would compact all the folders. I just found that it doesn't. It seems that right-click COMPACT on a unified folder doesn't work, but opening the unified folder and right-clicking on each folder in it does compact the folders. I'm not sure exactly what the rule is. In the future, before backup, I'll try this individual folder compaction.
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