Opened 9 years ago

Closed 7 years ago

#3550 closed Task/To do item (fixed)

Deleting "out of office" emails

Reported by: ariana@… Owned by: Jamie McClelland
Priority: High Component: Tech
Keywords: maildir Cc:
Sensitive: no


I contacted yesterday asking if all emails with "Out of Office" in the subject line could be deleted from the cwilner account. We would like this to be taken care of as soon as possible. In addition, if it is possible for you to move ALL remaining Inbox messages to the folder labeled "Inbox - Leave Oct 2010" that would be wonderful.

Thanks so much, Ariana

Change History (15)

comment:1 Changed 9 years ago by Jamie McClelland

See #3545

comment:2 Changed 9 years ago by Mallory Knodel

Hi, Ariana-

You made it clear that you wanted the "Out of Office" emails to be deleted, which has now been done. Also, the messages were moved to the specified folder.

After moving all of the messages to the specified folder, we ran:

for foo in $(egrep -lri "^Subject: .*O
ut of Office" cur/); do echo "Deleting $foo"; rm "$foo"; done

comment:3 Changed 9 years ago by ariana macpherson


Thank you for this. I cannot seem to find where the messages that were in the Inbox have been moved to. When I navigate to the folder titled "Inbox - Leave Oct 2010" it says there are no messages in this folder. Can you pls tell me where these messages have been moved to?

Thank you, Ariana

comment:4 Changed 9 years ago by Mallory Knodel

Hi Ariana-

The messages should now be in a folder called inbox-leave-oct-10

Hope that's suitable.

Let us know if the messages are there, accessible, and that all is in order.

Best, -Mallory

comment:5 Changed 9 years ago by ariana macpherson

Mallory -

When I go into that folder on there are no messages in the folder. So, it appears that, at least on our end, the messages are neither there, accessible or in order.... Help!


comment:6 Changed 9 years ago by Mallory Knodel

Hi, Ariana, thanks for your patience. Are you using to view the account or another email client like thunderbird? Have you tried logging out and then back in again?

comment:7 Changed 9 years ago by ariana macpherson

Mallory -

I think it's resolved. Thanks for all your help!

  • Ariana

comment:8 Changed 9 years ago by ariana macpherson

Hi Mallory,

Thanks again for all your help yesterday. Unfortunately we still have an issue. It appears that there are still thousands of "Out of Office Reply" emails that somehow made their way into cwilner's "inbox-leave-oct-2010" folder. If those could all be deleted, that would be great.

In addition, it seems that when she logs into her email from Thunderbird the 10,000+ emails that were moved out of her inbox are still there. Any suggestions for this ?

Thanks! Ariana

comment:9 Changed 9 years ago by Jamie McClelland

Hi Ariana,

The trick to the deletions is figuring out what to search on. We attempted to delete all messages that had the phrase "out of office" in the subject line. We might have mis-executed that search, or you might have lots of messages with a slightly different subject line ("away from the office" or "out of the office" etc.).

If we search too broadly (like for subject lines with the word "out" or "office") we might end up deleting messages that should not be deleted. If we search to narrowly, we might not get them all.

Based on the messages still there - can you give us a suggestion for a subject line search that you think would be effective? Or, let us know if you still have messages with the subject line that contains "out of office" (to see if the original search was mis-executed).



comment:10 Changed 9 years ago by ariana macpherson

Hi Jamie,

I just had Claudia (cwilner) send me an email w/the exact subject line. Basically it is the following phrase repeated one or several times: "Out of Office (was: Out of Office"

Hope this helps. Also, any idea why the messages are not appearing to have moved in Thunderbird itself?

thanks Ariana

comment:11 Changed 9 years ago by Jamie McClelland

Hi Ariana,

With Thunderbird - are you getting new messages in the Thunderbird inbox? There shouldn't be more than a few dozen in there. Are you able to open any of the 10,000 that appear?

Also - I'm searching the inbox-leave-oct-10 mailbox and can't find a single message with the phrase "Out of Office" in it. Are you sure that subject line came from that mailbox?


p.s. for other support team members - I ran:

cwilner@chavez:~/Maildir/.inbox-leave-oct-10/cur$ grep -ir "out of office" .
./1277219091.M823960P29061V000000000000FD13I00000000006E8053_0.chavez,S=1585:2,:Testing out of office reply

It turned up one message with the phrase "out of office" - but it wasn't in the subject line.

comment:12 Changed 9 years ago by ariana macpherson

Hi Jamie,

When I log into the account cwilner I see that at least 1,000 messages have "out of office" in the subject line. Specifically, I am looking at messages 11,800 through 12,800. I am sure there are even more than this.

Not sure why this is not showing up for you, but it is definitely the case for us over here.

  • Ariana

comment:13 in reply to:  12 Changed 9 years ago by Ross

Replying to Hi Ariana,

I believe I've successfully deleted most of the "out of the office" emails. While I cannot be 100% certain that I deleted everything you wanted gone. I actually found what seemed to be some 8949 emails that were emails related to Claudia's maternity leave. Unfortunately, it is not possible for me to tell if these are exactly the emails you wanted deleted. I have backed up all of the files, so if it turns out you need them restored, we can do that. Please do let us know either way (good or bad) the results of the deletions.

I know that you said you wanted the messages moved as well, but I want to make sure that you do not need the messages I delete restored before taking any further action.



p.s. for other support team members, I ran

cwilner@chavez:~/Maildir/.inbox-leave-oct-10/cur$ find . -type f -print0 | xargs -0 -e grep -l -e "out of the office on maternity" | wc -l

I then ran:

cwilner@chavez:~/Maildir/.inbox-leave-oct-10/cur$ for f in $(find . -type f -print0 | xargs -0 -e grep -l -e "out of the office on maternity"); do rm -f $f; done

The backup of the cur directory is in .inbox-leave-oct-10/backup-cur.tar.gz .

comment:14 Changed 9 years ago by Jamie McClelland

Thanks Ross! I curse the definite article. Glad you found more messages with a better search.


comment:15 Changed 7 years ago by Daniel Kahn Gillmor

Keywords: maildir added
Resolution: fixed
Status: newclosed

This seems like it's done.

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