4 Replies Latest reply: Oct 24, 2012 5:36 AM by tobias Eichner
tobias Eichner Level 3 Level 3 (570 points)



I wonder if there is a way telling Apple Mail to save the contents of a mail account (inbox, sent, drafts, etc. folders) to a different volume ?


Basically, I have a small workgroup here consisting of two Macs that are connected by firewire to an external harddisk storage system. Both Macs should have access to the same mails.


I'm aware that this could be much easier done by using IMAP-typed mail accounts and leave all mails on the server, but it is not desired to keep the mails on the server longer than necessary. In the case that this will not work with Apple Mail, but with another software, just let me know as well.


Not sure if this makes sense to you, please ask if I was not precise enough.


I'm looking forward to your comments and tips.



  • Neville Hillyer Level 4 Level 4 (1,860 points)

    I 'synchronise' POP accounts by:


    1 - leaving on server for 122 days (4 months)

    2 - bcc all mails to myself.


    If you don't want to do this you could use a soft symbolic link. For details open Terminal and type:


    man link


    then hit return.

  • tobias Eichner Level 3 Level 3 (570 points)

    Yes, I already thought about to use a symbolic link. But I was unsure if this is really working the long run.


    I wonder if it would be also possible to adjust the path of mail storage directly in Mail's plist file ? I had a look at the file, but I'm not sure about where/what to modify.

  • Neville Hillyer Level 4 Level 4 (1,860 points)

    I don't normally use Mail. I maintain a test account to answer user questions. For this I normally stick to default locations.


    My main email client is SeaMonkey - a few details here: http://links.zero.eu.org/seamonkey/


    SeaMonkey, and Thunderbird which I used earlier, have a relative/absolute addressing option which makes it easier to change locations. I put all mail and SeaMonkey preferences in a folder at ~/SeaMonkey


    I have looked at Mail's plist (you will need developer tools for this) and it uses addresses of this form: ~/Library/Mail/POP-peter@mail.pan.never in a considerable number of places. You would have to edit each of these and be prepared for difficulties every time an account is changed or the Application is updated. It would be simpler and more robust to place soft symbolic links at ~/Library/Mail for each computer/user. I suspect that robustness would be further improved with soft links at ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.mail.plist. This should ensure that common plist and email locations are used by all. I am not sure if this will introduce a few Apple security hurdles but if it does they can probably be overcome.


    I am a little busy today but if you experience difficulties with this I have sufficient test facilities to try a few things.

  • tobias Eichner Level 3 Level 3 (570 points)

    Well, perhaps SeaMonkey is really an alternative. I'm using that on some Windows PCs successfully. Well, guess I need to have a closer look at the latest Mac version.


    Thank you very much for your efforts. I'm looking forward to hear from you.