I have a large number of emails on my MacBook Air. I want to shift all my old mails into an external hard drive and delete the same from my MacBook to save space (47 GB). Then I would like to continue with my existing accounts to keep receiving fresh or current emails.

How do I then access or search the old mails from the external hard drive and if necessary reply or download content from them?

Is there a way?

1 Answer 1


You can try the following approach.

First of all, show hidden files on your Mac by typing, on Terminal, the following command (substitute 'NO' to 'YES' if you want to re-hide files).:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles YES

Relaunch the Finder. Now, go to youraccount/Library/Mail, then enter the folder Vx, where x is a number corresponding to your Mail version. Then, if you have an IMAP account (i.e., Gmail), enter the imap folder.

enter image description here

Accessing all the listed folders, you can see all your emails, with extension .emlx. If you double-click on it, it will be opened a Mail windows, where you can read the email and perform any operation you want.

enter image description here

You can just copy the mails you are interested in a new folder, in your external drive, and open from there when you want, for example, to read or reply to one of them.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .