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It looks like by default mac downloads all the mails from Gmail account to the local machine when it is configured.

I would like to download the mails only on demand. i.e. in the way the iPad works, only the recent 50 would be available in the mail, if needed it would request the Gmail server for more detail.

How can I configure Mail to download only the recent ones, not all the mail?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

In Mail, go to Preferences -> Accounts and select your account in the list. With your account selected click on the Advanced tab on the far right. You should see a drop down list under "Keep copies of messages for offline viewing:" Select "Don't keep copies of any Messages"

This keeps Mail form retaining a copy locally. Now all you need to do is copy or move the messages you want to keep locally to a folder in the "On My Mac" section of the folder list.

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