Transfer MAIL snow leopard a Mountain Lion

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by otipep5, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. otipep5 macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2012
    Good morning

    Let me explain you my situation:

    I have a 2012 MBP 13'' brand new and a 2006 Macbook white that is backed up with time machine on an external HDD.

    I have managed to transfer everything to Mountain Lion including Address Book, iCal, iTunes etc.but I am failing to do the same with MAIL.

    I have 14 email accounts (some are now disables but would like to keep) on the old mac and about 50 mailboxes 'on my mac'.

    I have tried doing the classic:

    1. Move ~/library/Mail
    2. Move ~/library/Mail Downloads
    3. Move com.apples.mail.plist
    4. Move keychains

    5. And even remove the V2 original file!

    Nothing works when I open MAIL ... can someone help and let me know what I've done wrong? I also read that since I already did the move + opened MAIL now I can't return back, is this right?

    What is the best/easiest way to get all my mails on MAIL working exactly the same way as it used to on my old mac?

    Thanks a lot

  2. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    Mail in Mountain Lion is being dumbed down by Mountain Lion. So you have to think you are dumb. Mail was changed in 10.8. Now to make accounts in Mail you have to go to System Preferences->Mail, Contacts & Calendars. And make you email accounts there. Then open Mail and the accounts will be there.
  3. otipep5 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2012
    Thanks for the reply.

    So not sure I get it: by creating the accounts in System Preferences it will re create all the folders 'on my mac' and keep everything as it was on the old mac?
  4. otipep5 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2012
  5. Menneisyys2 macrumors 603

    Jun 7, 2011
    Had the same problem myself with the SL -> ML migration after a clean ML install. Had to recreate all my accounts by hand and make Mail import my original mails.

    The latter must be done via File / Import Mailboxes. The old way of pasting mail doesn't work either - that is, NOTHING works in the tutorial

    Also, no Notes will be imported to Mail. However, with the built-in Notes app in ML (also in dock by default), iCloud synch works just fine and the old notes will be shown after the migration.
  6. otipep5 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2012
    Hey Menneisyys2

    Thanks for the reply. You basically confirm that nothing of the normal manual way to transfer mail is working and it has to be done manually?

    For the import mailboxes, will it do it automatically?

    Also, did you recreate the mail accounts in system preferences or directly on MAIL?

    THANKS :)
  7. Menneisyys2 macrumors 603

    Jun 7, 2011
    At least I haven't managed to do it by folllowing the pre-ML tutorial at

    Yes, via File / Import Mailboxes

    Directly on Mail, as was also the case in prev OS versions. I only needed to touch Settings > Mail, Contacts and Calendars to set up my iCloud synching for the Notes app.
  8. otipep5 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2012
    So just to be clear:

    1. I create all the accounts on MAIL

    2. I connect my Time Machine SL to the ML

    3. I click 'import mail' and there do I choose Apple Mail or Files in mbox format?

    4. After choosing 3, where do I point it to?

    5. How do I then import the mailboxes that goes with it?

    Sorry, seems a bit ridiculous, but if you could help by giving me the step by step, it would be really cool. I m not a huge MAC person so anything could help.

    Thanks a lot

  9. otipep5 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2012
    Also, one of the issue is i have two folders with the same name, which one should I import?

    See attachment Screen Shot 2012-08-15 at 13.11.02.png
  10. industrie13 macrumors newbie


    Sep 1, 2012
    I had the same problem, and did a little research.

    Mountain Lion seems to store Mails from now on in Library/Containers/ .

    So I copied my "V2"-folder from my previous Library/Mail/V2 to Library/Containers/ and Mail recognized successfully all my mail accounts and postboxes.

  11. davidlv macrumors 65816

    Apr 5, 2009
    Kyoto, Japan
    On my "clean install" 10.8.1 system the Blue/Bold Mail folder above was just an alias to the ~/Library/Mail folder anyway. Not be the same on every system? :confused:
  12. Ralph961 macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2012
    Paris, Beirut, French Guiana
    Hi guys!

    I just registered myself to give you THE solution to this problem.

    I received my MBPr and after a week of trying everything i finally managed a solution with a friend.

    Create a new session on the computer
    Use the migration tool (sorry, I only have the french name on my mac so don't know if it's the right name)
    Restore only your previous user session from the TM backup
    Launch mail, let him work on the mailboxes
    Close mail and the user session
    Open your user session you created when you received the mac
    Copy/paste the mail folder as usual (V2 etc.)
    Open mail...and enjoy!!

    You can now delete the previous session.
    The only problem, is you have to have enough space on the new laptop (for example, i couldn't do it if i only had a 256 SSD because i had already imported my music and videos.)

    Hope the solution will help!:)
  13. Edgejr macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2008
    But where is everything stored?

    There is one important item that none of the possible solutions noted here cover: Where does Mountain Lion store all Mail-related files? In prior iterations of the OS, the entire Mail database including the server information was stored in the /user/Library/Application Support/Mail/ folder. Now it appears that some info is stored there, some is stored, of course, still in preferences, and some is now in the previously noted /containers/ folder.

    Anyone have the definitive list of every place that mail stores stuff and what it stores in each location? I've not been able to find all the pieces nor find anywhere on the Intertubes where someone describes that.

    All you smart MR folks, what's the answer? :)
  14. Behzad macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2012
    How I migrated Snow Leopard mail to Mountain Lion

    I read all the posts on this forum and others, and went through several approaches with a senior Apple Mail tech for 2 hours. This is how I managed to migrate my Mail from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion. I used both the copy files technique and importing, so please read all the instructions before attempting for yourself...

    [Sorry if some of this repeats what others have said but a few people asked for detailed step-by-step instructions. :) ]

    1. I backed up my Snow Leopard (SL) files using Time Machine.

    2. I performed a clean install of Mountain Lion (ML).

    3. I accessed my SL backup and opened the folder user/Library/Mail

    4. I accessed the same folder in ML. Note that this folder exists but is invisible in ML. So you have to access it by choosing Go to Folder (Command-Shift-G) in the Finder's Go menu. In the dialog box that appears enter /users/(your username)/Library/Mail. The Mail folder will open in a new window.

    4. The ML Mail folder contains a folder called V2. I deleted this folder.

    5. I copied the contents of the old SL Mail folder into the empty ML Mail folder.

    6. I launched Apple Mail and was promoted to create a new email account.

    7. I created the same account I had on SL, using the same account name, email address, pasword, etc.

    8. Apple Mail went through a process of reorganizing the files I had copied from SL into its new ML structure and recreated the V2 folder I had deleted, placing everything into it.

    9. When it was done, my mail was back where it needed to be.

    10. Since I have more than one email account, I created those other accounts as well. The files had already been copied over so creating the new accounts was all it took for my old mail to reappear.

    11. In one instance the files would not show up. Perhaps I had a wrong spelling of the account name or some other setting. In that case I simply imported the old mail to get it back. To do this, choose Import Mailboxes under the File menu in Mail and follow the onscreen instructions. First you select Apple Mail as the import type, then navigate to where your old SL mailbox is located.

    12. Importing put all the old mail in a separate mailbox and I had to manually select the mail and drag it to the new inbox, sent box, etc. If you don't yet have a new Sent box, the easiest way to get it is to send a test email to yourself. Mail will create the Sent box once you've sent your first email from that account.

    Additional Notes:
    1. I did not concern myself with moving preferences or Keychains as I recreated the accounts and reset all the configurations manually.

    2. Mail has a bug in ML that prevents you from permanently sorting your email accounts in the sidebar. It lists them alphabetically. You can resort them as you wish by dragging them around, but they will jump back to being alphabetical as soon as you make any Preference changes. So set all your prefs then sort your accounts.
  15. Dedonut macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2007
    No. CA
    Don't know for sure if this helps, or if you must already have your answer, but I believe they're stored in User/~/Library/Mail. In ML, the User/~/Library is only accessible/visible by holding down the Option key and going up to Go in the Menu. Library is then listed and can be selected. Quit Mail, copy the Mail Folder in Library to the desktop, and then select Import from the Mail/File Menu and import the Mail folder. All the mailboxes are in the V2 w/in the Mail folder.
  16. Behzad macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2012
    Location of Mail files

    This is a good tip for accessing the User Library. It's easier than using the Go To Folder option then manually entering the path to the invisible library folder, like I had done. :)

    As for the main question of a definitieve list of where all Apple Mail items are stored... ML stores almost everything in the ~/User/Library/Mail/V2 folder. Each account has its own folder. There is a MailData folder for preferences and other admin settings, and there is a Mailboxes folder for your local boxes. I did not find any other Mail related files in other locations, including the ~/user/Library/Preferences folder.

    This is not a definitive answer as I may have missed something, but I'm pretty confident about it. Besides, it doesn't really matter where other files, if there are any, are stored. Once you get Mail working right, it'll find what it needs. This is Apple. Things just work. :D
  17. Maaks macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2012
    I all!

    The solution is:

    1) Go to users/Library/Containers/
    2) Delete V2 folder and copy data you have in SL Mail folder
    3) Go to users/Library/Containers/ Downloads
    4) Copy data you have in SL Mail Downloads folder
    3) Go to users/Library/Containers/
    4) Delete and copy the same file you have in SL Preferences folder
    5) Open Mail

    It works for me!
  18. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    This is just an alias to the ~home/Library/Mail folder.
  19. MrBiker macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2012
    This worked perfectly for me.

    My MacMini with ML 10.8.2 had constant finder crashing problems (I couldn't copy files), FireFox was getting impossibly slow, and lots of other app probs.

    So I cloned the disk using Carbon Copy Cloner, wiped the original disk, installed a fresh ML and reinstalled everything manually.

    I was annoyed at the thought of setting up my mail accounts again and figgered there had to be a way.

    I followed the instructions of industrie13 above and when I opened Mail, it said "Updating Mail Database" and when it finished (about a minute later), there was nothing to do but answer mail.

    Thanks, Dude.
  20. bigredbarn macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2012
    This worked!

    Thank you works for me too. Somehow I couldn't part with 16,000 emails and 5 accounts.
  21. Zorch macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2012
    Nice discussion - and it works!

    Awesome discussion and step by step instructions. I joined the forum to thank you guys for the help in transferring my email from my old iMac with SL to a new iMac with ML. Several points helped including:

    1.In ML, the User/~/Library is only accessible/visible by holding down the Option key and going up to Go in the Menu.
    2. Identifying the V2 folder to delete then to copying the contents of the SL Mail folder to the ML Mail folder.
    3. Copying the file kept all my accounts and passwords. I only had to make one little adjustment in Gmail and my other POP account worked right away.

    I took the time to delete some old sent email files and do a rebuild before I did the transfer.

    I am up and running!

    Thanks again to all of you who contributed!

  22. MDW macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2008
    Attachments and the transfer of Mailboxes from SL to ML

    Thanks for these explanations for the transfer of Mailboxes from SL to ML. My question is about the attachments that are with many of my emails within each my Mailboxes in SL. Will these attachments also get transferred along with Mailboxes and the emails that they contain? Has anyone who has already made this transfer looked to see if these attachments were transferred for their emails. Thanks in advance...

  23. masuland macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2013
    Thank you for your inspirations, even though, this information didn't help me with my Mail data migration. BUT, I found a simple solution I'd like to share with you that, hopefully, could be helpful to some of you ...

    After weeks of trying to migrate my Snow Leopard Mail data from an old Macbook Pro (late 2008) to my new Macbook Pro (mid 2012) with Mountain Lion on, I finally got a very simple solution from a friend of mine. He told me to FIRST upgrade the old Macbook Pro from Snow Leopard (10.6.8) to Mountain Lion (10.8.2), and then, SECOND simply to copy the "Mail" and "Mail Downloads" folder:

    /Users/<Username>/Library/Mail (... with V2 folder inside)
    /Users/<Username>/Library/Mail Download

    This way, I got all my mail accounts and mails back. SO ... FOR THE NEXT TIME, I'll keep in mind that data migration is way more simpler when both Macs have the exact same version of OSX running on.
  24. gpfriend macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2013
    I just used Migration Assistant to bring my 10.6.8 TimeCapsule backup onto a new 10.8.2 machine, all this under Apple guidance. Mail has come thru _mostly_ OK, except that in my main IMAP account, I have:
    - No Sigs, Rules, Smart Folder
    - No Content in "On Your Mac" folders (tho the file structure is there
    - No Content in Drafts folder
    - Incomplete content in Sent folder

    I tried drag & drop and Import of specified files; both failed

    The Genius now says "incompatible file formats" between Mail version, tho before handing over my old machine for a minor repair I specifically asked about transferring TO the ML loaner AND transferring BACK to my SL machine and was reassured that there'd be no problems…else I never would have launch into all this for a minor repair.

    Any suggestions how to fix any of this?

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