How to manually move mail to new machine?

eobet

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 11, 2009
84
2
All guides mention ~/library/Mail and ~/library/Preferences/com.apple.mail.plist but that is not enough in Mojave.

If you only do that, your Mail app opens up empty (even if you just copied 20gb of mail over). No local mailboxes/folders appear, no accounts appear BUT rules do appear!

Anyone know how to do it without using the migration assistant? (Because I god/Tim only knows what amounts of crap that assistant copies over.)
 
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Honza1

macrumors 6502
Nov 30, 2013
420
138
US
All guides mention ~/library/Mail and ~/library/Preferences/com.apple.mail.plist but that is not enough in Mojave.

If you only do that, your Mail app opens up empty (even if you just copied 20gb of mail over). No local mailboxes/folders appear, no accounts appear BUT rules do appear!

Anyone know how to do it without using the migration assistant? (Because I god/Tim only knows what amounts of crap that assistant copies over.)
I am not sure if direct copy of the folders ever worked...
If you have local mail folders (I do quite a few), you may have to export each Mailbox individually to separate structure and import those into Mail in Mojave. Select each Mailbox individually and from Mailbox menu, select Export. Use Import Mailboxes from File menu on target computer.
If you keep mail on server, just download it from the server (as pointed out by dangerfish).
 

NoBoMac

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 1, 2014
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888
Along the lines above, can try to copy the mail folder to a separate location on the new machine and do a File > Import and select the .mbox files under the copy.
 
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eobet

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 11, 2009
84
2
Yes, exporting and then importing was the only way. Thanks.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,200
5,547
You don't have to first "export" the mail messages.
Do what NoBoMac said in reply 4.

That is:
1. On the old Mac, locate the home/library/mail folder
2. Copy the entire "Mail" folder to either a USB flashdrive or external hard drive
3. Take the drive to the NEW Mac (that you wish to import to)
4. Connect it and open Mail.app
5. Go to the file menu and choose "import mailboxes".
6. In the ensuing dialog, "point" Mail.app towards the "Mail" folder on the external drive
7. Mail.app should import everything into a new mailbox called "imported from xxx".
8. At that point, you can "sort things out" manually. Create new mailboxes "on my Mac" as needed.