Mailboxes Lost in Space!

RatHat

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 29, 2011
67
3
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?
 

Puevlo

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2011
633
1
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.
 
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RatHat

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 29, 2011
67
3
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.
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!
 
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RatHat

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 29, 2011
67
3
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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