I try to transfer my mails, preferences and all settings from one Mac to an other. Both are using the most recent Mavericks OS X.

I copied the ~/Library/Mail directory from the old one, as well as the ~/Library/preferences/com.apple.mail.* files. The 3 accounts seems to be working fine, and it appears, as if some of the mails have been transferred indeed, but I certainly miss the whole "ON MY MAC" folder structure form the new setup.

What is missing, where is that information stored?

4 Answers 4


In Mail.app in the "Mailboxes" section on the left side, (where Sent and Junk folders are) look toward the bottom of all the folders; there should be Smart Mailboxes and below that On My Mac folders.

It seems that some people are finding that it's hidden after they've upgraded to OS X 10.9 Mavericks.

Next to "On My Mac" you should be a small "show/hide" as you hover over it with the mouse cursor. If you click on that hopefully you'll see those items once again.

  • It is not the case unfortunately. It is shown, and I can even see some default folders there (Junk folders, Recovered messages from different accounts etc), but not the others...
    – Mkoch
    Jan 2, 2014 at 0:02

I did multiple things in parallel and finally it works:

  • removed all Mails from the new MBP (~/Library/Mail/*)
  • removed all preferences from the new MBP (~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.mail*)
  • rebuilt the mailboxes on the old MBP
  • copied everything once more
  • after a restart, now it's working

This worked for me:

copy the containers from the old to the new MBP


I read somewhere on the Apple forums about this tip.

I wanted to configure my mail account from scratch, in Mavericks, sync the remote e-mails by IMAP and then import the local e-mails. Since I forgot to use the export function in Mail, before installing Mavericks, I just copied the old local mbox over, but Mail wouldn't automatically pick it up, and using the import function on the same folder, simply didn't import anything.

So, to get my old local On My Mac > Archive folder I

  1. Quit Mail.app
  2. Copied Archive.mbox from a backup to ~/Library/Mail/V2/Mailboxes
  3. Deleted from ~/Library/Mail/V2/MailData the following items
    • Envelope Index
    • Envelope Index-shm
    • Envelope Index-wal
  4. Relaunched Mail.app and proceed with the importing wizard
  5. Renamed the newly imported folder to Archive (until renamed the e-mails show up as blank)

Here, Archive is just my example mbox, substitute with yours.

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