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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Feb 20, 2011
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    5
    How do I copy a mailbox folder to the desktop?
    Running 10.7.5 on a late model iMac.

    I don't want to backup the whole email folder, just one mailbox full of about 200 email. Tried drag/drop, no luck. Tried export, ended up with jibberish. Tried copy/paste, nada.

    Can this be done?

    Craig

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
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    When you select to export a mailbox, it exports in program format. In other words, for import into mail. That's why you couldn't read it the same as you would from within the program. You could export the mail as text but that would be too tedious to do with 200 messages.
    Why don't you use Time Machine or another backup program to backup your mail?

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Feb 20, 2011
    Posts
    5
    What's different about how time machine stores email? I know it would back up ALL my mail, but I only want one mailbox within.

    The mail a project for the Smithsonian. I tried exporting as an mbox file, which is fine for today, but 50-100 years from now (to a future curator/historian) it will probably just be jibberish. That's why I'm hoping for another way to save these files. Thanks for the suggestions so far.... however, is there another way?

    Thanks, all.

    Craig

  4. #4

    caribiner23's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 06, 2005
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    Your mail is stored in ~/Library/Mail/V2.

    You should be able to see all your mailboxes in this directory if you drill down. The individual messages are stored with .emlx extensions, but they are actually in readable text, which is one of the main things I like about Mac mail.

    You can easily copy messages and/or directories to your desktop-- just make sure you don't delete anything!

    Hope this helps, and good luck.

  5. #5

    chscag's Avatar
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    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    You can easily copy messages and/or directories to your desktop-- just make sure you don't delete anything!
    This is even more tedious than what I suggested above about exporting the mailbox messages to text. It would be easy to do either way with a few mail messages, but not with 200 messages.

  6. #6

    caribiner23's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 06, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    This is even more tedious than what I suggested above about exporting the mailbox messages to text. It would be easy to do either way with a few mail messages, but not with 200 messages.
    If the mail messages are already stored within a mailbox folder in the Mac Mail program (e.g. kept in a mailbox called "Smithsonian_Mail"), it's a single file/folder that needs to be copied to the desktop. The user will recognize the name of the mailbox very clearly.

    I've done this hundreds of times. No need to get out the flamethrower.
    Last edited by caribiner23; 05-06-2014 at 02:52 PM.

  7. #7

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
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    No need to be vicious.
    LOL, are you in a bad mood today? No one is being vicious to you or anyone else. My understanding is that he wants the individual messages from the mailbox folder so that he can read them after the mailbox is exported. Anyway, I'll let the OP decide. We're through here.

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