The Terminal keeps telling me I have mail from scripts that are hitting errors, and then when I scroll through the messages to read them, it tells me afterwards saved x messages in mbox.

Where is my mbox, I cannot find it?

2 Answers 2


Open Terminal and type mail

For example, I created a test message for the purposes of this answer. Now, when I type the mail command:

mail version 8.1 6/6/93.  Type ? for help.
"/var/mail/allan": 1 message 1 new
>N  1 allan@Allans-iMac.ho  Sun Mar  6 23:34  14/464   "test"

You can type ? for help, or just select the message number, in this case 1 to read the message. If you want to delete the message, type d1. When you are finished type quit.

To go back to a message that has been saved in your mbox, just issue the command:

mail -f ~/mbox and it will open the mailbox of the currently logged in user. From there, you will be able to access read/reply/delete to mail that no longer shows up as unread. Please note that the "f" option has to be lower-case.

For a full listing of commands, just type man mail for the manual pages or go to mail command for reference.

  • ok, what I was doing before is typing mail and then scrolling through the messages with the ENTER key. then it tells me it saved the messages in my box but I have no idea where that is. and the messages are no longer there when I type mail again
    – Joff
    Mar 7, 2016 at 5:12
  • 1
    Ok...I updated my answer to better reflect the question.
    – Allan
    Mar 7, 2016 at 12:58

box can be found at /Users/<username>/mbox and it is just an archived version of the mail, which can be accessed by mail -f and then deleted through the normals means of the mail program

You must log in to answer this question.

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