Some Mail help, please...

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Ted Witcher, Dec 13, 2006.

  1. Ted Witcher macrumors regular

    Nov 3, 2003
    TW recently bought my provider Comcast. A new email address was established. I had a few hundred emails in Mail, dating back a couple of years, that were addressed to my old email ending in I was told that TW was forwarding emails and that address was no longer necessary, so I removed it from active accounts. Problem is, it removed all those emails from Mail as well -- I assumed that they were all local, somewhere on my HD. I can't get the account going again, which is to be expected, but I can't find the emails either.

    So the question is, where are emails stored? Various searches haven't turned up the emails specific to the comcast address. Thanks for answers to this rudimentary question.
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    As far as I understand it, the emails for a certain account are stored in an .mbox file. If the account has been deleted the .mbox file may be gone as well.

    These are usually (in Tiger anyway) in: Home>Library>Mail in either the Mailboxes folder or if they're POP accounts, will be in there with a POP at the beginning of the folder's name.
  3. Ted Witcher thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 3, 2003
    Yeah, the new email address has messages in that location, but nothing for the old one. All I did was de-activate the account for that address in Mail's preferences. Why would it zap or make inaccessible the actual messages themselves, which presumably have long-since been downloaded to my HD?
  4. seanf macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2006
    Not necessarily. If the old email account was an IMAP one then the emails would have been stored on your provider's servers rather than on your computer. Are you able to reactivate the account and see if the emails come back?

    Sean :)
  5. Ted Witcher thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 3, 2003
    That's the problem. Because of the transition, I can't reactivate the account. But it was a POP account and I had my settings to remove the mesages from the server... I was under the impression that they were being stored locally. They had to be, as some were a few years old and no ISP would have left them up that long.
  6. glennp macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2006
    Washington, DC
    You removed the account, which "removes the account setup information from Mail and deletes all mailboxes and messages for the account that are saved on your computer", with all mailboxes meaning the Inbox, Deleted Items and Sent Items for that account. If you only de-activated the account (unchecked "Enable this Account"), your mail (inbox, etc) would not have been touched. There's a distinction to Mail which is not always apparent to users and unfortunately, you've found out the hard way.

    They should make it more apparent that before removing an account, users should transfer all mail from that accounts inbox (and sent mail if you want to keep that too) to a new local mailbox (location: On My Mac).

    You can always try a file recovery program to look for the "mbox" file and reimport the messages but that's gonna be very hit or miss. If you've backed up your Mail directory, you should be able to get back any messages up to the time of the backup.
  7. Ted Witcher thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 3, 2003
    Well, that would appear to be it, then. Thanks for the help.

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