Where are emails stored as files? I want to look at my backup for an old email if possible but can not find the location of emails.

  • Asked about:  Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard

1 Answer from the Community

  • If you are using Apple Mail, your emails are stored as numbered files 12345.emlx etc.
    Using the Finder window search box does not locate files ending .emlx without a number, but you won't know what that is anyway.
    I'm using OS X 10.4, but I imagine 10.5/6 would be similar, the files will most likely be stored at :
    Computer's Name/
    System HD [partition] name/
    POP-name of POP email address/

    The "name of POP mailbox" will vary, and also contains Sent, Junk, Deleted and Drafts .mbox(es).
    If you have more than one email address, there will be more than one "name of POP mailbox" folder containing identically named folders.
    If you have moved messages into folders (Mailboxes) in the Mail LH sidebar, these are in Mail/Mailboxes/name of Mailbox folder. Emails "imported" from a previous version of Mail will be in an "Import" folder in Mailboxes.
    It would not be wise to alter one of these .emlx files - make a copy first and rename it. "emlx to mbox Converter" will remove the Property list info to make a simpler text file (you won't see attachments).