How to Better Organize Exported Mailboxes in Apple Mail

If you are like me, who have been using Apple Mail for years. Chances are that your emails would take quite a bit disk space on your Mac, until one day you get a message saying your Macintosh HD is full, and you have to start cleaning the hard drive.

One of the things you can do is to delete those old mailboxes and emails, but before you embark on that, a good habit is to backup the mails first. Fortunately, Apple Mail offers a convenient feature that allows you to export these mailboxes quickly.

All you have to do is select the Inbox (or Sent, Trash, Archive, etc.), right click and hit “Export Mailbox” option. Next, choose a destination folder to save exported files.

However, one problem I faced is that the exported mailboxes (in .mbox format) separate files rather than archived as one. Here’s what it looks. Quite messy, right? Yep, I’ve added 14 accounts, that’s why there are so many files with strange names (how can I tell INBOX 8 is what? Heck ).

Anyway, the question is – is there a better way to organize these mailboxes by altering some settings in Apple Mail?

Unfortunately, no. There is no such feature, after exploring all relevant settings disappointedly.

So, here’s what I do. I manually created a new folder by naming it with the current date, then selected all mailboxes, dragged and dropped them into that folder. Later is the time-consuming part, I renamed each mailbox with the respective email address. That way, whenever I need it (for recovery purpose), I know which file to go.

That’s all what I want to share. It may not be that useful to you, but it works though you’ll have to take extra effort.

Note: I’m using OS X El Capitan (10.11) on my Mac, if Apple does offer such feature in the future, I’ll update this post.

How to Transfer Emails from Microsoft Outlook to Apple Mail

Not sure if you agree with me or not, but most of us who use a Mac today started with a computer that ran Microsoft Windows system. While Macs are definitely easier to use, compared to PCs. The challenges of switching from a PC to Mac are huge. The reason is obvious; we’re all used to the “comfort zone” of old PC ages and hardly willing to change.

Today’s issue comes from a reader question: how to transfer emails from Microsoft Outlook to Apple Mail?

I guess this reader must be new to Mac and maybe have been using a PC and Outlook email client for years.

Well, sadly I can’t write a step by step tutorial as I don’t have that much experience using Outlook. And given the complexities of different versions of Office Outlook, it’s really challenging for me to dig into the topic.

However, I did some research and if you are also facing the situation, here are some useful resources you may find helpful.

Outlook 2011 to Mail migration: When mbox goes bad — by Jon L. Jacobi from MacWorld. If you were using Outlook 2011, this article is worth exploring. Jon shows several key things you should keep in mind while dealing with the technical issues.

Import Email From Outlook to Apple Mail.app Using Thunderbird — by Chris from HowtoGeek. He shows us how to move from Outlook to Apple’s Mail.app using Mozilla’s Thunderbird. The link to Thunderbird is here: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/

Mac OS X Mail: How to transfer downloaded email from a non-Mac computer — from official Apple support. It’s a very comprehensive guide that I highly recommend you take a look before you start.

That’s all. I hope you find all find it helpful. If you find some other useful resources, feel free to let me know. Contact me or simply leave a comment below.