Looks like no one’s replied in a while. To start the conversation again, simply ask a new question.

Question:

Question: How to restore deleted iCloud emails from backup?

I am operating a 27" mid-2011 iMac on Mac OS X Sierra.


I wrote a rule in Mail for my iCloud account to delete messages from a certain sender after seven days. Unfortunately, I made it an 'or' set of rules, so it deleted emails from that user, and deleted all emails over seven days old. As it turns out, the "delete" function really deletes the emails (no archiving) so all my emails over seven days old in my inbox were lost. It also deleted all the same emails on the cloud, iPad, iphone, etc.


I have a backup (a clone using Carbon Copy Cloner) and restored my entire hard drive from the back up. After restoring, the emails reappear, but as soon as I sign in to my iCloud account, it syncs and re-deletes all of the same emails. I also tried simply moving the "mail" folder from my user/library folder in the backup to the user/library folder in the startup drive, but that didn't work at all.


So, two questions: (1) is there a way to restore the deleted emails from the back up without having to restore my whole hard drive? and (2) is there a way to over-ride the sync function so the iCloud system doesn't re-delete all my restored emails?


Thanks in advance for any replies.


Robert

iMac, macOS High Sierra (10.13.1)

Posted on

Reply
Question marked as Solved
Answer:
Answer:

You are welcome. Try Mail/Mailbox/Export Mailbox and see it it will export to your Desktop.

Posted on

Page content loaded

Nov 17, 2017 11:38 AM in response to falz7132 In response to falz7132

I also tried simply moving the "mail" folder from my user/library folder in the backup to the user/library folder in the startup drive, but that didn't work at all.


Can you move the Mail folder to your Desktop to access it to find the e-mails? If you can do that, create an On My Mac mailbox in Mail, and copy the e-mails there.

Nov 17, 2017 11:38 AM

Reply Helpful

Nov 17, 2017 8:18 PM in response to Eric Root In response to Eric Root

Eric,


Thanks for the reply. I actually did exactly that. However, two problems. One is that there is a crazy hierarchy of folders within folders within folders, and really hard to tell which folders are attached to which mailbox or which email account. And there are so many subfolders with sets of individual emails that it would take forever to run through the whole set.


Also, now that I look at it, the individual files that seem to be related to individual emails are actually just aliases to an online file somewhere... they have a little cloud emblem next to them, and you need to click on that and wait for it to download before you can actually see what that message actually is.


So, it appears that the emails are still somewhere out there in the cloud, but not accessible from the mac.


Thanks.


Robert

Nov 17, 2017 8:18 PM

Reply Helpful

Nov 18, 2017 8:32 PM in response to Eric Root In response to Eric Root

I did check my iCloud account with a browser, they all were deleted there as well. Same happened with my Comcast emails, deleted from both the Mail client on my Mac and online.


I was able to restore the emails from a backup up (but only after erasing the whole startup drive and restoring everything from the backup). But as soon as I go online, the icloud account and my Comcast account apparently sync and delete everything again.


Thanks again,


Robert

Nov 18, 2017 8:32 PM

Reply Helpful

Nov 24, 2017 10:56 AM in response to Eric Root In response to Eric Root

Eric, thanks again for the reply. I restored, opened Mail while offline, and create a folder for these recovered emails under On My Mac section. Unfortunately, Mail won’t let me move or copy any emails from either account to On My Mac folders. odd, because I have done this in the past with hundreds of other emails.


Let me know if you have any ideas, thanks.


Robert

Nov 24, 2017 10:56 AM

Reply Helpful

Nov 25, 2017 1:20 PM in response to Eric Root In response to Eric Root

Eric, Thanks again.


I ended up doing an online chat with Apple Support, which turned into a phone call. They ended up providing the same solution you are proposing... using the Export Mail menu item. I had been trying this, but saving it to a folder rather than the desktop, so that appears to be the magic trick.


For anyone else who runs into this problem, here are the basic steps:

  • I started up my Mac from my backup external drive
  • Opened Mail and selected the mailboxes where I had accidentally deleted my emails(i my cases, two inboxes for two different email accounts).
  • I then went to Mailbox:Export Mailbox and saved the inboxes for the two accounts to a folder on the desktop.

    Mail doesn't show a progress bar, and doesn't even indicate if and when the process is complete, so you just have to wait for a few minutes at least to make sure the process has exported all your emails.

  • After the export was complete, i restarted from my internal hard drive
  • I opened Mail
  • I went to File:Import Mailboxes, and selected "file in mbox format."
  • I then navigated to the folder on my desktop, and it automatically identified the mailboxes.
  • When it imports it, it creates new folders under "On My Mac" on the side bar. After that, I simply dragged and dropped the emails to the original inbox folder.


The Apple support person I talked to mentioned that, with the large number of emails I had, I shouldn't just go dragging stuff willy-nilly into the inbox folder... then it would look to the apple servers that it was getting a ton of spam and would block the emails from the system. I over several days, I will move several hundred a day (less than a thousand) from the import folder in Mail to the inbox.


Thanks!


Robert

Nov 25, 2017 1:20 PM

Reply Helpful
User profile for user: falz7132

Question: How to restore deleted iCloud emails from backup?