Mail export for simpletons

codger

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 15, 2015
40
3
Cobham, England
Hi,

I wish to transfer (as a back up) my Mail to an external hard drive. I have followed the guidance in various threads without success. I can of course transfer stuff but when I look at it on the external drive it is a bunch of alphanumeric gobbledygook!

Is there a tried and tested method to transfer mailboxes either separately or all together that a simpleton such as myself can follow?

Thanks guys
 

BrianBaughn

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2011
6,349
934
Baltimore, Maryland
If you don't have an ongoing full backup of your entire system you should probably start. That would, of course, include a backup of your mail but not one that is easily viewable...as you mentioned.

Let us know your reasons for having a "backup" of your email in a readable form on your external drive and perhaps that will lead to the best answer for you.
 

codger

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 15, 2015
40
3
Cobham, England
If you don't have an ongoing full backup of your entire system you should probably start. That would, of course, include a backup of your mail but not one that is easily viewable...as you mentioned.

Let us know your reasons for having a "backup" of your email in a readable form on your external drive and perhaps that will lead to the best answer for you.
Perhaps back up was the wrong description as I already have a full HDD back up on my Time Capsule. I am in the process of moving some but not all of the contents of my old iMac HDD to a new iMac. Some I will use Migration from old to new, others kept separately on an external Flash Drive. I propose moving all my old emails to a partition on the Flash Drive and they may be kept there temporarily or permanently.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,157
8,817
California
Hi,

I wish to transfer (as a back up) my Mail to an external hard drive. I have followed the guidance in various threads without success. I can of course transfer stuff but when I look at it on the external drive it is a bunch of alphanumeric gobbledygook!

Is there a tried and tested method to transfer mailboxes either separately or all together that a simpleton such as myself can follow?

Thanks guys
If you want them in a readable format I think using the export as PDF option is best.... but you end up with a bunch of PDFs.

If you just want to save them eternally for import back to Mail later (they won't be readable on their own without Mail or an app)... just use Mails "export mailbox" menu command. Then you can import those mailbox files (folders) back in later.

You will need to do this for each folder.

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 8.25.03 AM.png


Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 8.25.21 AM.png
 

codger

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 15, 2015
40
3
Cobham, England
Thanks for input. I thought I would give export as PDF a try as I had not thought of that route. However altho I can export in this way for my Inbox, the Export as PDF is not available for Sent. Why is this?
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,157
8,817
California
Thanks for input. I thought I would give export as PDF a try as I had not thought of that route. However altho I can export in this way for my Inbox, the Export as PDF is not available for Sent. Why is this?
Hmm... I'm on El Capitan and I can export as PDF for messages in my sent folder just fine.