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Question: mbox file behavior on Apple Mail

Mac OSX 10.13.3

2013 (late) iMac Fusion

Apple Mail 11.2


I have recently downloaded old emails from Gmail in an archived .mbox format. I have stored them on an external drive connected to my iMac. I understand that I can import these into Apple Mail to view them. I have not tried that out yet, however, because I want to be sure that Apple Mail will leave (continue to store) the .mbox files on the external hard drive after the import, as opposed to than relocating them into a different email server (e.g., back into Gmail). Am I correct in believing that Apple Mail will not change where I have the .mbox files stored when I "import" them into Apple Mail. (The use of the word "import" is ambiguous enough that before I act I thought I should ask first.)

Many thanks.

iMac, macOS High Sierra (10.13.3), 3.4GHz i7 (Fusion) 32GB RAM

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Any imported messages will show up in an "Imported" folder under "On My Mac". They will be local to your machine and will not count against any online usage limits.

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Mar 14, 2018 7:04 AM in response to etresoft In response to etresoft

Thank you etresoft,


One follow up clarification point, if I may:

does this mean that Apple's proprietary email database will not also/additionally store the files in a different location? What concerns me is that these constitute several GBs of files. I don't want them eating up storage space I'm allotted by Gmail or me.mail. I simply want to archive them for my own records and have the spare space to keep them on an external HD. So opening them in Apple mail will not automatically cause them to be stored in my me.mail account, correct?

Again, many thanks.

Mar 14, 2018 7:04 AM

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Question: mbox file behavior on Apple Mail