14 Replies Latest reply: Jun 12, 2014 7:28 AM by tangerinebaby
helenfromnorwich Level 1 (0 points)

Recently my Mac Mail asked if I wanted to archive old mail items for the first time (it's a fairly new Mac). I clicked yes before realising I didn't know where to retrieve them. I hadn't set up a folder anywhere - I have now but of course it's empty. Any idea where my old mail has been sent?

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • BDAqua Level 10 (122,227 points)

    Hi, not on 10.6.8 at the moment, but look in your Documents folder, that is where mine chose to go in 10.5.8.

  • helenfromnorwich Level 1 (0 points)

    Not there :-(

  • BDAqua Level 10 (122,227 points)

    When I Archived mine manually, I just had the inbox for one account highlighted & it put an INBOX.mbox folder in Documents, with these 2 files in it...





    So maybe search for table_of_contents, or .mbox


    I won't be on 10.6.8 for about 12 hours, so hopefully we get more help in here.


    Or maybe choose Import in Mail & see if it gives clues as to parh or what it's called

  • helenfromnorwich Level 1 (0 points)

    I found 2 folders table_of_contents and .mbox but the files were in html text code and unreadable. Import in Mail takes me to the folder I just created which I put on my desktop which is empty.

  • BDAqua Level 10 (122,227 points)
    I found 2 folders table_of_contents

    Reveal those in the finder to find their path or location.

  • helenfromnorwich Level 1 (0 points)

    It led to the folder I created today.

  • BDAqua Level 10 (122,227 points)

    So Finder shows the files there, but Mail Import shows nothing in there>

  • helenfromnorwich Level 1 (0 points)


  • BDAqua Level 10 (122,227 points)

    Hmmmm, try the Archive one more time & see if things change.

  • helenfromnorwich Level 1 (0 points)

    Not sure what you meany by try the archive again but nothing has changed when I look in the folder.

  • BDAqua Level 10 (122,227 points)

    OK, finally remembered to try 10.6...


    When you choose a Folder/account to Archive, check the path stated & click on that dropdown, what is the full path?


    Also, what size are those two files? Highlight them & do a Get Info on them.

  • helenfromnorwich Level 1 (0 points)

    The folders go into My Documents. There are 2 now, one I created this morning and one I made on the 5th Nov. The one I created this morning is empty. The first mbox is 83.4 MB and the table of contents is 78KB, neither of which I can open in a readable format.

  • BDAqua Level 10 (122,227 points)

    OK Helen, they aren't really readable/usable outside of the Mail App, they are meant as a backup, or way to transfer that particular Mailbox to another Mac.


    To use them in Mail's menu>File>Import Mailboxes>Mail for OSX>Continue, it'll open a file dialog to choose that Inbox.mbox or whatever you've archived like Sent Messages.mbox, it imports them to new folders.

  • tangerinebaby Level 1 (0 points)

    The Archive feature seems useless to me if you want to safely back up, archive, messages or mailboxes.


    With Mavericks when I Archive a mailbox edits to either the source mailbox or to the Archive versions result in changes to the other.


    It behaves as an alias of a folder or directory in the finder would, if you were editing the folder's contents.


    So, I am doing this now and this might change, what I am doing is creating a workflow in automator to Export a mailbox, am giong to try a smart mailbox first, to a directory in Dropbox to be triggered when I receive an email from the snake whose emails I want a record of.


    That way although they will over write, I think unless I can get them sequentially named, Dropbox will keep a copy of each through time.


    So the Archive feature in Mail is not implemented properly or shoud be renamed to be Useless Alias of Mailbox