importing mailboxes in mail -- how to overwrite existing mailboxes

Feb 3, 2008
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I have an iMac and a MBPro. I access my gmail account from both of them, and sometimes I'll download any messages I have to one or the other machine through Mail.

I know about importing mailboxes from one machine to another, but thing with that approach is that the imported mailboxes, if I remember correctly, are in a folder called 'import', but they have the same names as the boxes already on the machine. Both machines have boxes with the same names, it's how I want it so I don't lose track of anything; that way I can update any mailboxes on one machine and just, at least in theory, transfer them over the the other machine.

Once I tried simply copying my mailboxes through a regular copy and paste, but when that happened, I couldn't read some of the messages that I know were on the machine via the mail program. I don't quite understand it. The computer asked me if I wanted to update the mailboxes, and I said yes, so I thought that when I opened up Apple Mail I could read the messages in the updated mailboxes.

What I want to ask is, is there a way to update my mailboxes without having to import, because if I do that then what I'll have are an older and newer copy of the same mailbox, when what I want to do is simply update the older mailboxes with the newer messages so I can read them through Apple Mail, rather than have to take them out of the import folder and manually put them into the sidebar of Apple Mail, which is what I have to do.

Can anyone give me some tips?


Well-known member
Staff member
Jan 23, 2008
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Keller, Texas
Your Mac's Specs
2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 8, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 Mini, Numerous iPods, Monterey
How do you have your GMail account setup? It sounds like you're using POP mail instead of IMAP. Setting up the account to use IMAP should take care of that for you. You can find out more information on how to setup an IMAP account and what it can do for you by accessing the GMail web page. See this LINK.

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