9 Replies Latest reply: Mar 4, 2008 11:26 AM by Tim van Someren
Stefano Zenni Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
After Leopard upgrade, I switched from Entourage to Mail.app, so I'm new to it.
I use two Macs and POP accounts. How can I sync Mail.app between two computers in Leopard? The Sync Service of Smart Folders is not enough for me.
May I use a sync app like Folders Synchrnonizer?

iMac 2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 20", Mac OS X (10.5.1), 2 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
  • robertd Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
    Well, I use a couple of accounts in Mail and I use .mac and the syncing functions that it provides and that works very well for me. I also have a reliable SMTP server that I can use through .mac that seems to work very well from everywhere. The SMTP working everywhere is enough for me to get .mac but the syncing of everything is also a killer app... when it works. I think that is the quickest and easiest way. I don't have a lot of experience on Macs but this is my killer app....

  • Stefano Zenni Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Thanks for your reply. But the .Mac sync is not enough for me, because I have a lot of stored email dowladed from my POP server that I need to review when I'm on the road. So I need to transfer the whole content of Mail.app from my iMac to the MacBook.
  • 4miler Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    You owe it to yourself to try Gmail IMAP.

    People say it's not the greatest implementation of IMAP, but if you focus on the basics, it's fine.

    I use it with Leopard Mail, and it works fine.

    I've ported close to 1GB of emails, and it has a 5GB capacity and growing. $50 gets you 25GB. Far cheaper than Apple's .Mac. especially considering the cost over many years.

    When creating the IMAP account for gmail, you must trick the startup Wizard by initially putting in a non-Gmail address, otherwise Apple Mail starts the Wizard for a gmail POP account. So you put in a bogus email, and then change that later.

    I assume you know what IMAP is, and the advantages?

    With all my important emails stored on the Gmail server in IMAP, I can access it from any of my three computers. Any changes made in one are automatically reflected and synched to the other computers.
  • Stefano Zenni Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Thanks for helping. I have the IMAP .Mac account and I know how much is useful. But I also have an Italian POP account and a lot of previous mail to move between my two computers. Maybe I can just move the Mail folder in my Library, but I was wondering, before trying, if a sync between the Mail folders in the two computer is a good idea.
  • 4miler Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    In terms of benefits, only you can decide for yourself if synching the Mail folders between two computers suits your needs.

    After all, the technology makes it possible -- and then you decide if you need that feature.

    For me, because I use email for running my small business, I find it indispensable to be able to access my emails from different computers.

    Moreover, if one computer crashes or fails, there is no disaster because I can read the emails from another computer. Whereas, if certain emails were only on one computer, it would be a disaster for my business if that one computer crashed, e.g. hard disk failure.

    I moved to IMAP because I did not want to live with the risk of all my emails disappearing if the hard disk of one computer died.

    Ultimately, you decide. Curious. Why would you think it is not a good idea to sync emails between two computers?
  • Stefano Zenni Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Sorry, maybe in my bad English wasn't clear enough that to sync between two computers is my main need. So I agree with you: it's a good idea, and that's that I want to do. I was just wondering if syncing between two Mail folders via a sync application could produce some damage to Mail.app.
    I'll do a backup and I'll try. Anyway, thanks all for this discussion, that helped me to better focus on the advantages of IMAP mail.
  • AdultFilmLegend Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I agree with Stefano above. There are some e-mail accounts I have that do nto allow IMAP capability. It would be great to smoothly sync these mailboxes across two or more computers.
  • John Erpelding Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    I am in a similar situation as Stefano. I used to be able to copy the entire database in Entourage with a syncing program to get identical e-mail storage including previously downloaded POP messages. I tried copying my /Library/Mail and /Library/Mail Downloads folders from my home directory, but I do not get the same custom folders I'd made on the first computer, and even if I click on an e-mail I can find, it will not display. Are there some other files/folders that also need to be copied in order to duplicate what I did in Entourage? It does not appear that this question (which I think Steve was asking in his initial post) has been answered yet.
  • Tim van Someren Level 2 Level 2 (305 points)
    Both my wife and I have multiple macs and work at home and on the road - we've tried all sorts, and there are 3 approaches that work:

    1) IMAP
    I know you think this isn't the ideal solution for you, but it is unbelievably simple and rock solid once you get it working.
    Set your POP mail addresses to forward all mail to your IMAP address (I use .mac which is brilliant, I don't know about Gmail).
    Your mail is server based, so your laptop, desktop, iPhone, webmail from a PC etc. are all always in sync.
    You will still get your mail from your old accounts.
    You can set rules on any of your machines to filter your mail into folders according to which address they were originally sent to.
    HOWEVER the mail you SEND will be FROM your IMAP address, so your clients / friends may get confused if you don't want them to use your IMAP address as your main address.

    Leave POP mail on the server.
    In Mail preferences, highlight your POP account and click on the "Advanced" tab.
    Select "Remove mail from server" to a 1 day if you come home each night.
    If you are away for longer, make it 1 week or Never.
    This way, if you download mail on your Laptop, when you get home that evening, your desktop will download the same mail again, as it has been left on the server.
    It's sort of fake IMAP.
    The downside is you can end up with a full mailbox at the server very quickly as you are now leaving messages on it, and you may have to empty the server yourself sometimes (in the same menu you just adjusted).
    Also, if you are away from your laptop too long, you may download and later delete-from-the-server messages on your desktop, leaving your laptop out of date.
    Use Mac Sync to keep your rules, mailboxes and preferences synced up.
    This is the way it's designed to work, so it should work fine.

    Drag the Mail folder.
    Assuming you're only using one Mac at any one time, you simply move the main mail folder to whichever machine is current.
    Quit Mail on both machines.
    On your target mac, go to youruserfolder/Library and rename the "Mail" folder to something else like "Mail Old". This is just so you have a backup.
    On your source mac, go to youruserfolder/Library and copy that entire folder (not just the mailboxes) either to a drive to transfer to your target mac, or straight to it if you have it networked.
    When you start up mail you will find the messages, folders, mailboxes etc. are the same as they were on your source mac.

    Now you use your target mac (say your laptop) for a while.

    When you are going back to your original source mac (e.g. your desktop), you now repeat the process in the other direction, replacing your desktop's mail folder with your newer laptop's version.

    It's really important you use one mac at a time and swap the folder each time you switch.
    If you rename the previous version before you overwrite it, you know you have a backup if things get out of sync.

    It works really well if you only take the laptop out occassionally, or if you use it exclusively for days at a time (i.e you go away) and you only need to do the transfer every so often.

    Also, it helps if you don't have thousands of emails - if your Mail folder is under half a gig, you can do this quickly using a USB keyring or similar. Any bigger and the transfer can get a bit slow.

    I use option 1, and felt it was worth changing my email address for.

    My wife uses option 2 when she is using her laptop in the day and she can run her desktop each evening the download the mail left on the server.
    But she sometimes gets trouble with her popmail server filling up (she gets lots of video and audio attachments) so if she's going away or not planning to use her desktop in the evenings, she reverts to option 3 and removes messages from the server "right away", updating her desktop's mail folder at the end of the week and just using her laptop until then.

    Good luck!