In previous versions of OS X, Apple’s Mail app included a feature named Bounce. This allowed users to send email back to the sender, making it look like the address wasn’t valid. Here’s what a bounced message looks like. I sent myself an email (from my Mobile account to my email address for this site), then bounced it back:
It was great for spam and emails from the mother-in-law.
Sadly, in Lion, this feature was removed from Mail. Thankfully, with a little AppleScrip work, its functionality can be restored.
- Download this .zip file, containing an Automator document.
- Open it in Automator after un-zipping it.
- From the File menu, select Duplicate To…. Save the new file as a Service.
- At the top of the new document, set the options to no input and Mail.app, so it looks like this:
Hit Save, and name the service something like “Bounce Message.”
Now, in Mail, when a message is selected, there will be a new option in Services under the Mail menu:
Selecting that item will bounce the message to the sender and delete it from the Inbox.
Some have reported that messages deleted this way don’t stay deleted, and jump back into the Inbox after Mail restarts, but I haven’t seen this firsthand.