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I come from Thunderbird, which I found to be bloatware with spontaneous hiccoughs using 20–40% of processing power, weak IMAP and local mailfolder handling and a constant 100–500MB of RAM use.

But it moved every deleted message to the Trash folder instead of purging directly. Since I’m unsure if you really need that (mutt has the marked deleted stage), are there any experienced mutt users that can answer?

Especially: Have you experienced loss of mail you first thought was unnecessary to archive but was not and gone? I normally don’t double-check before purging. Do you?

(Statement aside: Mutt (with offlineimap, msmtp and 10 accounts) is by far the hardest program I ever had to configure. I am a Vim user on Archlinux…)

Edit (for purpose of documentation): To set up a trash with Mutt, there basically are two possibilities:

  1. Doing it via macro:

    macro index D \
    "<save-message>+/ACCOUNT/Trash<enter>" \
    "move message to the trash"
  2. Installing the patch.

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There's a "trash" patch for mutt (often included in mutt or muttng or mutt-patched packages) which I use in combination with offlineimap as well. Storage is cheap. You can chose not to sync that trash folder with IMAP. It's always a confort to know that you can "undelete". – Stéphane Chazelas Feb 5 '13 at 13:36
This is exactly what backups are for. Backups add undelete functionality to every application. If I delete something and realise that I need it two months after deletion, I simply retrieve the file from the backup and I'm done. – Marco Feb 5 '13 at 14:08
I do use backintime with an hourly cronjob on my maildir (creates hardlinks for unchanged files, really beautiful). But there is always the chance that the mail is newer than one hour. – Profpatsch Feb 5 '13 at 15:19
I have a similar setup (with the addition of notmuch for indexing) and I don't bother with trash. Email is mostly ephemeral, from my point of view; I've never regretted losing any of (the very few) I have accidently deleted... – jasonwryan Feb 5 '13 at 20:06
I'm migrating from Thunderbird, and one thing that I miss is the ability to remove mail from the trash that has been sitting there for x days. – Sparhawk Oct 5 '15 at 5:49

If you are using IMAP for your message storage, why not use Mutt's ability to flag messages as deleted? You can hide messages flagged as deleted within Mutt, but still are able to look them up later. Most well installed IMAP servers will be set to automatically expunge "deleted" messages within x amount of days, so it's not like you'll have to manage the deleted messages. I think there is also a Mutt command to purge any "deleted" messages within the current mailbox.

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