After a fresh install of macOS Big Sur (11), I tried to migrate my Apple Mail configuration and the mail messages stored locally.

First attempt was to copy the ~/Library/Mail/V5 content to the new ~/Library/Mail/V8 folder.

But the local mail folders didn't appear. Even no section for the local folders in the left side bar. Nevertheless, Mail showed up the converting message at the first start.

Second, I tried to copy the whole ~/Library/Mail/ folder and the ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.mail folder.

Again, at the first start afterwards, the converting message showed up (this time a little longer). But the result is still the same, I can't find any of the local stored mails and the folders.

Am I missing something?

  • 3
    Firstly, have you tried using Import Mailboxes from the File menu? Also, this is why it's better to use the Migration Assistant to copy what you want over; and also why a "fresh" install is pointless if you are going to restore most of your stuff.
    – benwiggy
    Oct 5, 2021 at 11:18
  • @benwiggy Migration Assistent doesn't help, because ONLY the Mail data (locally stored and organised mails maybe the config as well) should be transferred to the new system and after several in place updates it is usefull to get a clean system.
    – Henning
    Oct 5, 2021 at 16:04
  • 1
    What is it that you're trying to avoid transferring? Maybe just delete that, instead? There is absolutely no need or benefit of a clean install 'after several in place updates'.
    – benwiggy
    Oct 5, 2021 at 17:28


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