I am using the Terminal App in El Capitan 10.11.6

I have moved my, "Mail" Folder to the following location:


From the following location in the Terminal I have tried creating Symlinks:

Laurens-MacBook-Pro:Library Fathom$

i.e. Folder="Library" User="Fathom"

I have tried the following commands with the attendant results YET in each case, the Apple Mail application puts the data into the Mail Folder (hypothetically a symlink) on my, "Macintosh HD" (local drive). As for my, "Mail Directory" folder, I have yet to get any positive result:

Laurens-MacBook-Pro:Library Fathom$ ln -s /Volumes/ST-Cuda-4T/AppleMail/Mail/ /Users/Fathom/Library/Mail

(Symlink appears in /Users/Fathom/Library)

Laurens-MacBook-Pro:Library Fathom$ ln -s /Volumes/ST-Cuda-4T/AppleMail/Mail ~/Library/Mail

(Symlink appears in /Users/Fathom/Library)

Laurens-MacBook-Pro:Library Fathom$ ln -s /Volumes/ST-Cuda-4T/AppleMail/Mail/. ~/Library/Mail

(Symlink appears in /Users/Fathom/Library)

I'm at a loss, I appear to be placing a valid symlink for the "Mail" folder using three different syntax. Appearances are deceiving as the Apple Mail File is still writing its data to the Macintosh HD using the "symlink" for a parent folder.

My Apple Mail data in storage has exceeded the size of my "Macintosh HD."

How do I solve this dilemma?

  • Have you tried simply right-clicking on the folder itself and selecting "Make Symbolic Link"? You then move the created folder to where you want it and remove the sysmlink that gets added to the folder name after moving the folder. – norcal johnny Apr 13 '17 at 0:46
  • Does your Macintosh have an option when right-clicking on the folder itself to select "Make Symbolic Link"? I have the option to, "Make Alias." Symbolic links behave much like an alias does in the Mac OS X GUI, except that the linking and reference between files or folders is done at a lower level, and thus can be pointed directly to by various applications or user purposes. I need the Symbolic Link in order to redirect the Apple Mail program to the new location. – LBattis Apr 14 '17 at 22:24
  • I've implemented a different solution 1. Check Backup (Time Machine) of home directory. 2. Move the entire home directory to the external drive. Copy the user folder from the, “Users” folder at the root level of your hard drive to a folder in the external hard drive. 3. Open System Preferences to Users & Groups and create a new administrator’s account. (In case ext-hd crashes in future) 4. Still in Users & Groups right-click or control-click on the user who’s moved. Change the home directory location to the new location. 5. Reboot the computer. 6. Delete the original user folder, – LBattis Apr 15 '17 at 20:57

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