Correct procedure for manually backing up/restoring Mailboxes on El Cap

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by Upgrader, Feb 29, 2016.

  1. Upgrader macrumors regular

    Upgrader

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2014
    #1
    Hi

    I’ve searched high and low for this info without success.

    Does anyone have a guide on how to manually backup and restore all Mailboxes and Mail.app account info on El Cap?

    I’m having to do a wipe and clean install. My existing El Cap upgrade has gone badly.

    When I reinstall I know that my iCloud account will come across fine.

    My confusion relates to reimporting my other POP mailbox and account settings. How can I ensure a solid backup/restore?

    Thanks for any pointers.
     
  2. twistofmatt macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2013
    #2
    Right-Click on the Mailbox and click Export. It will make an .mbox file where you tell it to save. I have found when you turn around and import the mailbox (File > Import Mailboxes) it will put them in folder under "On my Mac" and I then had to drag them where I wanted them or rename the mailboxes it creates.

    Otherwise, pretty seamless process.
     
  3. Upgrader, Feb 29, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2016

    Upgrader thread starter macrumors regular

    Upgrader

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2014
    #3
    Cool, so that really is it? I’ll import that .mbox back in after restoring and that’ll update my account settings too? I’m concerned that the new Mail.app won’t know which account the .mbox is relating to. I’d have to re-add the associated account too right?

    When you say you had to drag them where you wanted, did you do this in the finder or from within the Mail app?

    Cheers.
     
  4. Upgrader thread starter macrumors regular

    Upgrader

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2014
    #4
    I've now updated to El Cap.

    I'm copying my backed up Mail folder from and to: username/library/mail - which holds my iCloud and POP mail boxes.
    I'm then running "chmod -R -N ~/Library/Mail" in Terminal to allow Mail to read this folder properly.

    I'm also copying across username/library/containers/com.apple.mail - which holds my prefs file detailing all my account details.

    As I suspected, when I boot Mail, it only reads my iCloud mailbox and ignores the other POP mailbox.

    Any pointers as to what I'm missing?

    Cheers.
     
  5. twistofmatt macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2013
    #5
    I would just recreate the POP accounts. The drag and drop I was referring to was moving your Inbox export back into the Inbox inside Mac Mail. If your POP server is set up to leave mail on the server, it may pull it all down again on its own making the whole export process pointless.
     
  6. Upgrader thread starter macrumors regular

    Upgrader

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2014
    #6
    Thanks.

    Yeah, my server doesn't keep mail and I have a mailbox going back years. Really need to get the El Cap Mail app to see my previous folders and mailboxes.
     
  7. Upgrader thread starter macrumors regular

    Upgrader

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2014
    #7
    For anyone searching for the same solution and reaching this post, I gave up on this.

    Exporting then importing mailboxes didn't work - got the message 'no valid .mbox file found'.

    I did find someone who'd tracked down what they thought were all the relevant folders that needed manually copying across but several of the respondents to that post said they'd tried the same thing and it hadn't worked for them.

    If someone does find a solid method for manually restoring email please add a link here. Thanks.
     

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