How do I stop mail from downloading ALL my messages?

How do I tell mail not to download ALL my messages but rather only the recent ones that are relevant?   I have 4 gmails and a regular imap account.  If mail downloads all my messages it's going to waste 30 GB at least.
Thanks.

Csound1 wrote:
disguise wrote:
Sounds to me like your using iCloud to sync mail - but you don't want mail sync'd.
System Preferences -> iCloud
uncheck Mail
The OP is using Gmail, not iCloud.
How do I prevent my laptop from downloading thousands of old messages i had stored on my gmail account?
Unchecking Mail will do nothing at all.
And as Gmail is an Imap account it will download all mail in the account to the client.
If this is unwanted behaviour use a different email system (a POP system) or remove the mail from the Gmail server.
Gmail  can be configured as POP or IMAP

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    Csound1 wrote:
    disguise wrote:
    Sounds to me like your using iCloud to sync mail - but you don't want mail sync'd.
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