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I have a senior pal who came to me for help and I am stumped.

He just ran the latest incremental update to Ventura on a fairly new iMac (not Silicon) and he lost all the many mailboxes he had set up in the Mail.app because he choose to set up those mailboxes On My Mac and not in iCloud.

When he went to [Browse Time Machine Backups] he cannot go back any farther than one day, 24 Feb, even though he had backups over a year old. Looking at those little tick marks on the right side of his screen when browsing time machine, all are the same color save the one for 24 Feb, which bears a red tick mark.

Is there any app/terminal command/whatever one could use to repair his Time Machine so that he can access the backups made before this latest incremental update within Ventura?

Is there any other way to get at the contents of a TM Backup prior to 24 Feb?

Greatly appreciate any suggestions.

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  • TM can only keep what it can based on the space available on the target. How much of your IMac’s drive is consumed and how big is your TM drive?
    – Allan
    Feb 26, 2023 at 18:27
  • What is visible on the backup disk via Finder at eg.. /Volumes/Time Machine Disk? Backups can be drilled into that way also, if you are sure of the date & time to recover from. Another possibility is that the backup disk has not been connected properly. TM will keep also scheduled local snapshots for 24 hours (which would seem to match your time period) on the local disk so that some backup can be maintained even if the external disk is unavailable. If the external disk is not connected, the TM UI will present those as a minimum. Feb 26, 2023 at 18:57
  • @Allan - His TM is a 1TB Glyph HDD of with about 1/3 or so of free space left. The drive itself is about 3 years old.
    – Penny11
    Feb 26, 2023 at 20:59
  • How much space left on the iMac?
    – Allan
    Feb 26, 2023 at 21:03
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    I can only guess it hasn't inherited the old backup, so thinks it belongs to someone else. I've never done this, but see support.apple.com/en-gb/guide/mac-help/mh35732/mac
    – Tetsujin
    Feb 27, 2023 at 9:04

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Just to close the loop on this problem: What he finally did was to purchase BackupLoupe, got into his 15 Feb TM backup, found the V10 folder, replaced his current "corrupted" V10 folder with it, got back the many mailboxes he had created On My Mac, but all of them were empty. The hundreds of emails that once populated those mailboxes were gone.

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