Technology Support Center

Administrative Technologies

How can I delete all email in my Inbox?

If you want to delete all email in your Inbox, telnet to traveler.ilstu.edu to easily delete all your email at once.

Before You Begin

The most common reason to delete all email is that you want to "start over" with a fresh Inbox, free of old email and spam. If you have hundreds or thousands of emails in your Inbox, RedbirdMail does not allow you to easily delete all email in your Inbox.

The easiest way to delete all your email is to use PINE on traveler.ilstu.edu. Using a telnet client, you can connect to Traveler, a UNIX server, and perform the mass delete. Because Traveler is UNIX-based, all commands are issued with the keyboard only (mouse interaction is not available).

Telnet to traveler.ilstu.edu

First, you need to telnet to traveler.ilstu.edu. This requires a telnet client. Mac OS X has a built-in telnet client. You must install telnet on Windows Vista/7 before you can use it.

Windows Vista/7

Before you can use Telnet in Windows Vista/7, you must install it. Refer to 1290: Installing Telnet on Windows Vista/7/8.

To run telnet on Windows Vista/7, do the following:

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Type telnet traveler.ilstu.edu in the search box where it says, Start Search, and press Enter.

Mac OS X

To run telnet on Mac OS X, do the following:

  1. Open your hard drive.
  2. Double-click Applications > Utilities > Terminal.
  3. In the upper left-hand corner click Terminal > Preferences...
  4. Select xterm from the drop-down menu next to Declare terminal as: under the Advanced section of the Settings tab.
  5. Quit the Terminal program and re-open it.
  6. Type telnet traveler.ilstu.edu and press Enter.

Log In and Open Your Inbox 

Once you are connected to traveler.ilstu.edu, you will be prompted to log in. Follow the directions below.

  1. Type your ULID and press Enter. (Do not use the Backspace key on Windows; use the Delete key instead.)
  2. Type your password and press Enter. The flashing cursor will not move as you type your password; this is normal.
  3. PINE, a UNIX mail client, will open, and you will be prompted to log in again.
  4. Your ULID will already be present where it says, ENTER LOGIN NAME. Press Enter.
  5. Type your password and press Enter. Like before, the flashing cursor will not move as you type your password.
  6. The FOLDER LIST line is already selected. Press Enter.
  7. The Mail on mail.ilstu.edu:143/IMAP line is already selected. Press Enter.
  8. The Inbox is already selected. Press Enter.
  9. Your Inbox will open and display your email. You may use the up and down arrow keys on your keyboard to scroll up and down. Press Enter when a message is selected to view it.

Delete All Email from Your Inbox

Once you've connected to traveler.ilstu.edu and opened your Inbox, you can delete all your email. Follow the instructions below.

  1. Commands are displayed at the bottom of the telnet window.
  2. Press O to see Other Commands.
  3. Press O again to see more commands.
  4. Press ; (semi-colon) to Select emails in your Inbox.
  5. Press A to Select All emails in your Inbox.
  6. Press A again to Apply an operation to the selected email messages.
  7. Press D to mark all email for deletion. All of your emails should now be flagged with an X and a D on your telnet screen.
  8. When you are ready to permanently delete all messages you've marked for deletion (i.e. all the email in your Inbox), press X to Expunge them.
  9. It may take a few minutes to expunge all your deleted emails, depending on how many you have to delete. The telnet window may be unresponsive while the server performs the operation.
  10. After a few moments, you will see a message that indicates the number of emails deleted.

After deleting all emails from your Inbox, you may close the telnet window.