Since I sometimes had very poor Internet connections over the last few month I thought about how I could lower the data transfer volume on my Mac. One of the things that already bothered me since ages is that Exchange accounts in Apple Mail always sync the Public Folders. I never want to read those items and they are really useless.

After a bit of searching around I found two solutions that worked for me. One is only applicable if you are a Domain Administrator on the Exchange server, the other one is not so elegant but also works if you just have a mail account.

As Domain Administrator

  1. Log into the Exchange server and open the “Active Directory Users and Computers” management console.
  2. Find your acoount, click on “Properties” and select the “Exchange Features” tab
  3. Select “IMAP4″ and click on “Properties”
  4. Disable “Use protocol defaults” and uncheck “Include all public folders when a folder list is requested”

Now give the Exchange some time to get the changes. After a while the Public Folders shouldn’t be displayed any more and when syncing this IMAP account they are left out as well.

On your local account

  1. Quit Mail
  2. Go to ~/Library/Mail/ (that’s the Library folder in your home directory) and find the folder that holds all the folders & messages for the Exchange account.
  3. Delete all the contents of “Public Folders” (always back-up first, before you delete ;) )
  4. Select “Public Folders” and press CMD+I to get the Info. (or CTRL+click on it and select “Get Info”)
  5. Now under “Ownership & Permissions” set the folder to “No Access”
  6. Start Mail and observe the beauty of an Exchange IMAP account that doesn’t do useless Public Folders syncing!