Mac Mail - delete warning?

I have recently switched to Apple Mail, and am liking it quite a bit. I am not sure how, but I have unfortunately discovered that I am occasionally apparently deleting mails I do not intend to. I have been looking into what I might be doing (I have programmed a few things in Better Touch Tool, etc.) but it's not super obvious to me.

What would fix this would be if Mac Mail had a warning dialogue before deleting -- alas, it does not exist. I didn't see a KM "trigger" for a message being deleted (nor, btw, did I see it in Mail's own rules).

Could such a macro be created, giving me a pop-warning that I just deleted an email?

I can't think of any way to do this, other than maybe an AppleScript expert could write a script that checks the number of messages in the trash and compares it to the last time it counted. If it's higher, then you'd get an alert. This would have to go in a macro that ran on an interval basis whenever Mail was frontmost.

Emptying the trash would have to be accounted for, too, so that the counters could be reset.

Overall, it may be doable, but I don't know how usable it will be—and it'll take someone with much better AppleScript skills than I have.


I'm a few Mac OS versions behind so it's conceivable this is no longer true, but I'll note this for "just in case" reasons and because it would be easily overlooked since it's sort of a hidden feature: If there's a message selected in any mailbox and Option–Delete is pressed, the message is gone. This is a notable contrast to pressing Delete on a selected message as that only moves it to the Trash.

The most obvious approach to me is to simply assign the cmd+delete keypress to have an alert when you are about to delete an email. Of course, if you manually do it from the Edit menu it would bypass this. However, it is a logical way to make Mail have the warning you are looking for.
I have mine assigned to both the cmd+delete key, the clear button on my keyboard as well as one of the buttons on my mouse (Logitech G604). I have it play a sound but this can be silenced as you may not have the same sound file on your system.
Delete email Alert.kmmacros (2.8 KB)

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That's an effective and creative solution, and much simpler than trying to watch the actual delete activity!


I LOVE this idea. But, one obstacle -- doesn't just "Delete" also delete an email, and if so, I would need to look for that keystroke too? (which would then be a problem if I press delete, say, to delete characters while composing/editing an email......)

Yes, the delete key does erase an email (you can Undo this immediately after doing this, but any other activity else you do will make it permanent), so if you want an alert for that, just add it as one of the hot keys. Pressing it will give you an alert then as well, deleting the email when you click Continue. It will stop when you click Stop.

Yep. I guess the only downside is if I do lot of editing in the body of an email, deleting the characters with the delete key, it would trigger it as well...... Hmmm. Still this is a very simple and effective approach. Still trying to solve the mystery of what I am doing in Mail. I wish I could capture ketsroke/trackpad action log, and combine it with an email that got inadvertently deleted......

Nah, it functions normally inside an email composition.