The delete-by-pattern is the D command. But how can I specify a range, say from message number 1234 through 2345? Using D with something like 1234-2345 obviously fails because it treats it as a pattern, not a range of message numbers.

2 Answers 2


This was very helpful, but still wasn't quite obvious to a complete newbie like me. In gory detail...

  • Type "D"
  • mutt responds with "Delete messages matching:"
  • Type a response following the pattern: "~m 1234-2345" (no quotes)
  • 1
    This doesn't add anything to the accepted answer...
    – jasonwryan
    Nov 28, 2016 at 2:53
  • 3
    I will grant that it's merely a combination of the question and the accepted answer; however, it connects the dots, so you don't have to, and that's apparently valuable to several voters. It's exactly the correct procedure in 3 bullet points. Mar 7, 2018 at 23:01

Use the ~m pattern.

~m 1234-2345

You would need to use ~m even to delete a single message by its number (or, of course, you could move to it and use d).

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