POP mail users - how do you archive?

Stormz

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 21, 2007
65
3
What's the best strategy for archiving POP mail rather than keeping it all in the mail client?

I have about 40,000 emails in Mac Mail and I'd say I need to search through them a couple of times a month. Is it ok to keep it all in there, or should I archive it in some way? If so, how do I archive it? And how would I then carry out a search if I needed to?

(In the process of migrating to a new Mac and don't want to carry over bad practices if I can help it.)
 

fisherking

macrumors 604
Jul 16, 2010
6,709
1,685
ny somewhere
so many variables, but here's one idea:

copy (don't move!) your Mail folder from Home>User Library to another drive. then, if you ever need to retrieve anything, you can import back into Mail. you'll get a separate 'import' folder with everything in it, which you can, of course, delete again; your backup files remain where they are. and if you need to keep something you're restored, just move it to an 'on my mac' folder in Mail.

meanwhile...40,000? perhaps clean things out before you 'archive'? less to restore/delete every time you need to review things.

and if someone has a better idea, please post!
 

Stormz

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 21, 2007
65
3
so many variables, but here's one idea:

copy (don't move!) your Mail folder from Home>User Library to another drive. then, if you ever need to retrieve anything, you can import back into Mail. you'll get a separate 'import' folder with everything in it, which you can, of course, delete again; your backup files remain where they are. and if you need to keep something you're restored, just move it to an 'on my mac' folder in Mail.

meanwhile...40,000? perhaps clean things out before you 'archive'? less to restore/delete every time you need to review things.

and if someone has a better idea, please post!
Thanks for the reply.

Believe it or not, I don't actually want to delete any of the 40,000 emails! The sorting and deleting has already happened over the course of two decades as I've kept on top of email and organised them into appropriate mailboxes. I must have around 200 mailboxes, which I know sounds a lot, but those mailboxes are all nested in a logical way that makes sense to me. So basically these emails are all ones I might some day need to refer to (for mostly professional reasons - this isn't some obsessive behaviour on my part!).

Bringing it into Mail is an option I guess, though if I need to do that twice a month, it might become a bit of a chore. Not sure I like the idea of repeatedly importing huge bulks into my main mail program then deleting it on a regular basis in case something screws up. However, on similar lines, I suppose I could maybe put them into a different mail client (maybe Thunderbird if that's still going)and keep them there for another few years - and delete them from my main mail client. Then when I want to search the archives, I just have to fire up Thunderbird. What do you reckon?
 

fisherking

macrumors 604
Jul 16, 2010
6,709
1,685
ny somewhere
are you going to store the email on another drive? is that the idea, ie clearing space on your mac drive? and is this a desktop or a macbook? i mean, if you need to access them twice a month, where is the benefit of moving them at all? ie if you need them there, that's where they already are.

no matter what you do, 40,000 emails is a lot, but... your business, of course.
 

Stormz

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 21, 2007
65
3
are you going to store the email on another drive? is that the idea, ie clearing space on your mac drive? and is this a desktop or a macbook? i mean, if you need to access them twice a month, where is the benefit of moving them at all? ie if you need them there, that's where they already are.
I plan to keep the archived mail on the same drive. I just wanted to take it out of Mac Mail because it had got sluggish when opening and performing searches and I figured that the 40k emails might have something to do with it.

Of course maybe the fact that I'm moving from a 10 year old MBP with HDD internal storage to a brand new Mac Mini with SSD internal storage plus 4 times as much RAM will mean Mac Mail will handle it fine and it can all stay where it is - I don't know...
 

Stormz

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 21, 2007
65
3
try it before you decide what to do; a new mini, more ram, and an SSD will definitely make a huge difference!
Yes, I should hope so. I'm leaning towards just giving it a go now. Can always move it after I suppose. It's just me being over-cautious with my new toy :) EDIT. Oops, I mean work machine!