I have read, and search one blog to another, one question that seamed what I wanted. I do not want to move the whole Mailbox or configuration to another drive but want to free up some disk space by moving some mail boxes/folders to another drive without losing the mails. The closest to what I want are these steps:

  1. Close Mac Mail
  2. Move the .mbox folders that one wants on ~/Library/Mail/V2/Mailboxes to external drive
  3. Do a Symlink on ~/Library/Mail/V2/Mailboxes pointing to /Volumes/<drive name>/<location of .mbox folder> (doing on a Terminal Window or by right-clicking on the folders on Finder)
  4. Open Mail and the Boxes should be using the ones on the HD

I've done this on Mail on OS X Mavericks. The Boxes are there but no mails can be read. Can someone help me if I'm missing steps or have to do it differently on Mavericks?

  • What does ls -la ~/Library/Mail/V2/ show?
    – grg
    Commented Jan 2, 2014 at 23:44

1 Answer 1


I believe Mail updates the .mbox file each time it closes which basically overwrites the symlink.

You could consider trying to symlink in the other direction as spelled out here on Mac OSX Hints or alternatively symlink a parent directory of the .mbox instead since it does not get rewritten.

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