I can't use Migration Assistant to restore my TimeMachine backup of a destroyed volume to a new Monterey install (long story, but the TLDR is that it's a limitation of OpenCore). I drag copied everything I could from the Time Machine backup into my new Monterey volume's user folder.

When I launch Apple's Mail.app, all the folders & subfolders I had in Mail's "On My Mac" section are gone. "On My Mac" here means these saved messages are local only to my Macintosh, and not in iCloud or any other IMAP server.

I tried to follow the steps in this 12+ year old answer (copying the old ~/Library/Mail and com.apple.mail.plist from the backup into my new ~/Library). My 25,000 emails appeared to migrate, but all the folders & subfolders didn't. It's all in one big "Imports" folder with no subfolders.

So Many Unsorted Emails On My Mac

Anyone have any modern solutions or suggestions to solve this problem?

  • I'd try Import Mailboxes from the File menu. The mailbox format changes with almost every major OS update, so drag & drop isn't going to work.
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 14, 2022 at 19:39
  • thanks for responding @Tetsujin ; what would I import though? the contents of the Time Machine ~/Library/Mail folder? Nov 14, 2022 at 19:42
  • I honestly don't know.. I'd be prepared for some trial & error. It's not something I can test. tbh, if you're using OpenCore patchers, you should be keeping clones, not just TM backups. You're well outside known territory.
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 14, 2022 at 19:43
  • In mail you need to import mailboxes. So go a bit further down the folders in ~/Library/Mail until you get to folders called something.mbox. Import those. As @Tetsujin says - a bit of trial and error until you get it right.
    – Gilby
    Nov 14, 2022 at 21:29


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