Mailboxes Lost in Space!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by RatHat, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. RatHat macrumors member


    Jun 29, 2011
    I upgraded to Lion some time ago, and had previously kept all my internet programs in a dedicated folder while I ran Snow Leopard.

    When I installed Lion, it installed an updated version of Mail in the applications folder, though when I ran it it did not find my mailboxes.

    I ran it again several days ago, and it showed all my mailboxes without problem, so I then deleted the older version of mail that I used in Snow Leopard.

    Problem is, when I open Mail now, none of my older messages are there. I have Time Machine running on a 1TB external disk, but cannot find where the mailboxes are hidden.

    Can anyone help me to recover my old messages and settings?
  2. Puevlo macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2011
    The mailboxes are in ~/Library/Mail but since you're running OS X Lion this folder will be hidden. So open up Time Machine, press Shift-Command-G, and type in ~/Library then you can restore the Mail folder. Probably.
  3. RatHat thread starter macrumors member


    Jun 29, 2011
    Puevlo, many thanks for that, I will try it as soon as I get home from work!

    Will post here if it is successful, or if I find that I cannot do the restore.

    Thanks again!
  4. RatHat thread starter macrumors member


    Jun 29, 2011
    That worked perfectly, so my thanks go to Puevlo! :)

    The way that I managed to get my old mail back was as follows:

    1. Created a folder on my desktop named Old Mail
    2. Followed Puevlo's advice to find the old mailboxes from the date I lost them
    3. Restored them to the Old Mail folder I just created on my desktop
    4. Used Finder >> Go and held the Option Key to reveal the ~/Library on my Mac
    5. Copied all the files from the ~/Library/Mail/V2 folder to another Backup folder on my desktop
    6. Deleted the files from the Library
    7. Copied in the files from my Old Mail folder into the ~/Library/Mail/V2 folder
    8. Restarted Mail and allowed it to import the mailboxes

    It may have been a bit convoluted, but it worked perfectly. I hope the above steps will help someone else who finds themselves in the same predicament.

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