Deleting email in Java Mail API

We already discussed the fundamentals of Java Mail API. In the previous chapters we were discussed the way by which Java mail API uses SMTP to send emails with attachment and without attachment.Also we discussed the way by which Java Mail API is reading emails using POP as well as IMAP.In this chapter we are discussing  how an email can be deleted from Gmail  inbox  from a Java application.

Deleting email in Java Mail API

We are accessing Gmail mail server in our application.We are displaying the unread mails from inbox using IMAP as protocol. Then deleting the  first unread email .When the program exits and  if we open the inbox , then we can observe the result properly.

An email can be deleted from inbox by using

message.setFlag(Flags.Flag.DELETED, true)

Now let us see the Java application. The following class needs to put as a class in a dynamic web project. If we need to access mails from J2SE application , then we can download Java Mail API  from  here.Extract the zip file and include the jar files  in the project path.

import java.util.Properties;
import javax.mail.Address;
import javax.mail.BodyPart;
import javax.mail.Flags;
import javax.mail.Folder;
import javax.mail.Message;
import javax.mail.MessagingException;
import javax.mail.Multipart;
import javax.mail.NoSuchProviderException;
import javax.mail.PasswordAuthentication;
import javax.mail.Session;
import javax.mail.Store;
import javax.mail.Flags.Flag;

public class DeleteMailSample {
Properties properties = null;
private Session session = null;
private Store store = null;
private Folder inbox = null;
private Message messages[];
private String userName = "";// provide user name
private String password = "";// provide password

public DeleteMailSample() {


public void getMails() {
if (null != messages && messages.length > 0) {
System.out.println("trying to delete first mail...");


public void getConnection() {
properties = new Properties();
properties.setProperty("", "");
properties.setProperty("mail.port", "995");
properties.setProperty("mail.transport.protocol", "imaps");
session = Session.getInstance(properties,
new javax.mail.Authenticator() {
protected PasswordAuthentication getPasswordAuthentication() {
return new PasswordAuthentication(userName, password);
try {
store = session.getStore("imaps");
inbox = store.getFolder("INBOX");;
} catch (NoSuchProviderException e) {
} catch (MessagingException e) {


public void readMails() {
try {
if (null != inbox) {
messages = FlagTerm(new Flags(Flag.SEEN),
System.out.println("Number of mails = " + messages.length);
for (int i = 0; i < messages.length; i++) { Message message = messages[i]; Address[] from = message.getFrom(); System.out.println("-------------------------------"); System.out.println("Date : " + message.getSentDate()); System.out.println("From : " + from[0]); System.out.println("Subject: " + message.getSubject()); System.out.println("Content :"); processMessageBody(message); System.out.println("--------------------------------"); } } } catch (MessagingException e) { e.printStackTrace(); } } public void closeSession() { if (null != inbox && null != store) { try { inbox.close(true); store.close(); } catch (MessagingException e) { e.printStackTrace(); } } } public void deleteMessage(Message message) { try { message.setFlag(Flags.Flag.DELETED, true); System.out.println("deleted mail"); } catch (MessagingException e) { e.printStackTrace(); } } public void processMessageBody(Message message) { try { Object content = message.getContent(); // check for string // then check for multipart if (content instanceof String) { System.out.println(content); } else if (content instanceof Multipart) { Multipart multiPart = (Multipart) content; procesMultiPart(multiPart); } else if (content instanceof InputStream) { InputStream inStream = (InputStream) content; int ch; while ((ch = != -1) { System.out.write(ch); } } } catch (IOException e) { e.printStackTrace(); } catch (MessagingException e) { e.printStackTrace(); } } public void procesMultiPart(Multipart content) { try { int multiPartCount = content.getCount(); for (int i = 0; i < multiPartCount; i++) { BodyPart bodyPart = content.getBodyPart(i); Object o; o = bodyPart.getContent(); if (o instanceof String) { System.out.println(o); } else if (o instanceof Multipart) { procesMultiPart((Multipart) o); } } } catch (IOException e) { e.printStackTrace(); } catch (MessagingException e) { e.printStackTrace(); } } public static void main(String[] args) { DeleteMailSample sample = new DeleteMailSample(); sample.getMails(); } }


Provide username and password for gmail account. Then compile and run the code. Assume our inbox has 10 unread mails as of now. So the number of mails will be displayed as 10.Then it will display the individual mails one by one. At last it will delete the first mail in inbox. This can be verified by logging in to gmail account from any client or using browser.

See Related Topics:

Java Mail API overview


Sending email

sending email with attachment


Reading email using POP3


Reading email using IMAP

3 thoughts on “Deleting email in Java Mail API

  1. Cool…..Excellent tutorial on Deleting email…:)
    Keep on writing…..!!!

  2. The deletion of mail is happening as expected, but if i search for is:unread in the mail box, i can see the mails that have been flagged as DELETED appear. Any reason for that to happen ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title="" rel=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code class="" title="" data-url=""> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> <pre class="" title="" data-url=""> <span class="" title="" data-url="">