How to export all messages WITHOUT internet connection?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by santaliqueur, Nov 16, 2016.

  1. santaliqueur macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    Hello everyone. I have a Gmail account that I access via IMAP with my iPhone, iPad, and iMac. This morning, I noticed that nearly everything was gone, only the last few weeks of emails was in the inbox. There were a few more weeks of email in the trash, but I have used this account for several years and there are a few thousand messages in there. It's not worth figuring out how this happened, but I have a question.

    I have a laptop that I let a friend borrow for a project, and she logged into my account (with Wi-Fi disconnected) to see that all the emails still there on my local machine. I use Airmail and macOS Mail to access this account, and the messages are there on both.

    The moment I connect this machine to the internet, it would synchronize with Gmail's servers via IMAP and delete the rest of these messages. I have changed the Gmail password so these applications can't get sign on, but I'm still nervous because I really want to back up these emails.

    Using Airmail and/or macOS Mail, how can I export these inbox (and sent) messages? Ideally I want to bring everything back into Gmail for their searching tools, but I just don't want to lose them entirely. Neither of these applications are very user friendly for backup/export of messages. How can I do this safely? Thanks!
  2. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Oct 25, 2015
    Choose Mailbox > Export Mailbox to export the mailbox to our hard drive.
  3. santaliqueur thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    I tried that on my machine here, but it didn't seem to export any data, the file size was very small on the disk. Perhaps I didn't wait long enough?
  4. MC6800 macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2016
    Most likely. What I see is that the mailbox (actually a folder) has the extension ".partial.mbox" while exporting, and ".mbox" when finished.
  5. santaliqueur thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    Great, I will try this tomorrow when I have physical access to the machine.

    Once I have exported the inbox and sent mailboxes to disk, can I import them back into and use IMAP to sync back to Gmail? I'd like all the messages back on Gmail's servers like it was a few days ago, hopefully this will work. Thanks everyone!

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