I am new to this Mac world and on the first day of my new job my boss gave me a tedious task to Backup Emails on Apple Mail. Basically, there are 3 email ids, and these are our support email database. So there are tons of emails stacked in the inbox. I have to backup all the emails, contact list, and even the address book. I had a look online for manual procedures and found out that Apple Mail Export and Time Machine Backup are best suited for these backup issues. I did try them, but the problem is they are taking too long. I need a quick solution to Backup emails on Apple Mail.

Are there other alternatives to Backup emails on Apple Mail that are quick, safe and easy to operate? Do let me know asap. Thanks

  • What will the backup be needed for? Is it the plan to restore the whole mailbox to a previous state or do you need to be able to access individual messages without impacting the mailbox overall?
    – nohillside
    Aug 5, 2017 at 5:04
  • For both purposes, these 3 email ids will continue running on a separate system and we are creating a backup in order to store the previous database so that the mailbox can be cleaned up as its getting full and later if we need to access any previous email, the backup could be restored in order to do that. Aug 10, 2017 at 3:20

2 Answers 2


Are you using all the 3 emails on different systems? If yes then you can simply export the email database from Apple Mail export option and you will have your backup with you.

Here's how you can export and backup your apple mail database: https://support.apple.com/kb/PH19174?locale=en_US

Also as explained above if Time Machine is setup then your emails must be backing up automatically. You just need to find the backed up emails. To find them > Click on your mail icon > Inbox > and once you have the screen showing, go to Time machine icon and click that. Wait a moment or so and then the screen will allow you to go back to previous mail inbox dates. The system works with sent mails and other subsections too. It does not work with Junk mail.

One other option other than Apple Mail Export and Time Machine that I found online is: http://www.mailbackupx.com/ (please note that this is a paid application)

  • Already found the solution, found the app Mail backup x to backup mac mail. It's a fast and purposeful app. Aug 24, 2017 at 2:24

The thing with backups is that they're just a copy of your data at a given point in time. Now, keep that in mind for a moment as I continue to offer another possible solution below (but read my caution afterwards).

It seems to me from your question you're just wanting a quick drag and copy solution. So, for instance, you could just make a copy of your Apple Mail data. To do this:

  1. Go to Finder
  2. Press and hold the option key while you click on the Go menu
  3. Select Library
  4. You can let go of the option key now
  5. Within the Library folder you'll see a folder called Mail
  6. Copy this folder (just right-click on the folder and select Copy "Mail", or press command+C)
  7. Navigate to where you want to save your backup (obviously another drive!)
  8. Now you can paste a copy (e.g. by pressing command+V)

There you have it, you've made a copy of all your Mail data.

A word of caution

However, you really need to consider if this will achieve the ultimate aim of what your boss wants? Remember I previously mentioned this was just a copy at a given point in time. This means if a month later you have a hard drive failure and need to restore your Mail backup, the data you'll restore is a month old (unless you've made a more recent copy - but that's something you have to remember to do manually).

This is where backup software (such as Time Machines) comes in. Time Machine automatically makes regular backups. Yes, the very first time TM makes a backup it will take a long time. However, after the initial backup, all subsequent backups take much less time. You may want to read: Use Time Machine to back up or restore your Mac.

Finally, there are other options to Time Machine, such as Carbon Copy Cloner and SuperDuper!

You must log in to answer this question.

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