Monster eating Apple Mail Inbox
June 6, 2011 12:36 PM   Subscribe

My Apple Mail inbox has lost a lot of mail, of which all entries are backed up on a different volume. I would like to know how to merge multiple Inboxes.

This morning the expected 3000+ email items in my Inbox became 531. The inbox contains three accounts: my main account, a web-mail account, and an account that receives mail from an alias established at my ISP's server.

All these accounts are POP mail.

Mailbox/Rebuild did not fix the problem. Repairing permissions followed by a second Mailbox/Rebuild, reboot, third Mailbox/Rebuild didn't, either.

There are several CCCloner backup volumes that include all the mail that is missing from the current volume. How do I go about creating a file that contains the missing mail and then re-inserting it into the current volume's Inbox? That is, I would like to merge the missing mail back into my current volume's Inbox, or take a similar file of the newer messages and insert it into one of the other volume's Inbox, so there is a single Inbox that contains all the messages.

MDD G4 running 10.5.6. I am used to Apple Mail and would not like to change to anything else, unless something is "just getting funny" about recent Apple Mail clients.
posted by jet_silver to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Emailchemy is a utility I made frequent use of in my tech support days. You can use it to reliably import databases from various mail programs into Apple Mail or other targets.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:50 PM on June 6, 2011

Worst case scenario (can't simply migrate) you should be able to simply copy and drag the .mbox and subdirectories (folders) into your current home folder (~/Library/Mail/Mailboxes). I did this when transitioning users to Apple Mail a year or two ago and it worked. At least this way, you'd have all your mailboxes in Mail to search through.

Also note that that if you use folders, there isn't simply 1 database file. Each folder is its own .mbox file/folder where you can see the messages. Each nested folder will be a folder with .mboxes inside. Perhaps if only your messages before X date were lost, you can sort your mailboxes by date and copy over.

In theory, if you just the have 3 mailboxes with no folders, you should be able to just copy over the .emlx files inside the .mbox files on your CCC backups since as far as I can tell, no two messages will have the same number identifier and you current message wouldn't be overwritten That's only based off my inbox though I don't know for sure- be sure to back up before trying.
posted by jmd82 at 1:15 PM on June 6, 2011

is there any reason you're wedded to using pop instead of imap?
posted by lia at 2:11 PM on June 6, 2011

Response by poster: lia, I avoid that because several of my friends will send me 20+MB of email, big pictures, at a whack, and I have several computers. Nothing irritates me more than waiting for multiple downloads of that size, and I am not clever enough to have my always-on machine download them and then distribute at 802.11n speeds.
posted by jet_silver at 8:03 PM on June 6, 2011

a) is that the only issue? and b) do you use on all of them? if so, it's easily fixed:

1) set your accounts to imap
2) in, go to accounts --> advanced
3) set "prompt me to skip messages over ____ kb" to 100kb or whatever number you find workable for you, so each of your various computers won't automatically download every large message unless you specifically want one to.
posted by lia at 11:45 AM on June 7, 2011

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