#1955 new
Eric Colvin

Can I imported nested mailboxes direct from Apple Mail V5 folder?

Reported by Eric Colvin | February 28th, 2018 @ 08:53 PM

I have just downloaded MailMate, in the hope that it might be a more reliable and efficient alternative to Mac Mail's abysmal app.

Thing is, I have quite a complex folder structure in my Apple Mail - and two or more thousand emails (six years' worth of non-junk) stored in them for posterity.

How easy might it be to import them from a clone of my old hard drive, preserving the structure?

Even if I can't preserve the nested structure, I would love to try the big import. IT's the sort of thing that tends to hang Apple Mail before it can even begin to copy delivering the spinning colour wheel.

Thanks for your thoughts,

Eric Colvin

Comments and changes to this ticket

  • benny

    benny March 1st, 2018 @ 11:27 AM

    It has been quite a while since I tried letting MailMate import an Apple Mail folder structure. It did work with previous releases of Apple Mail, but if they changed something then it might fail.

    No harm in trying though.

    1. Install MailMate.
    2. Add an IMAP account -- possibly a dummy account if you just want to see if importing works as expected.
    3. Use “File ▸ Import Messages” in MailMate.
    4. Locate the root folder of what you want to import. It might be tricky because macOS likes to hide the ~/Library folder.
    5. Note the “Create IMAP mailboxes...” setting in the bottom of the import window. Enable that.
    6. Start the import.

    It might take a few attempts to get it the way you want (if it works at all). When you think you got it then you can delete this folder (or delete it whenever something went wrong with the import):

    ~/Library/Application Support/MailMate/

    Then start over with a real IMAP account and the steps you know will work. MailMate is then going to start uploading the emails to the IMAP server.

    Oh, I should probably have started out by mentioning that MailMate is IMAP only. You can have the emails in a dummy offline IMAP account, but I don't recommend using this to emulate a local email storage. In particular, moving emails from online to offline accounts does not work well!

    A completely different approach is to use Apple Mail to upload the emails to an IMAP account (dragging the mailboxes into an account). That'll preserve more meta-data such as the read state and some other keywords (answered/forwarded/junk state).

    I hope this helps.

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Mac OS X email client.

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