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.

Leave a Comment