System info:

Model Name: MacBook Pro

Processor Name: Intel Core i7

Processor Speed: 2.7 GHz

Memory: 16 GB

System Version: Mac OS X 10.6.8 (10K549)

Network: GB wired/100MB Wi-Fi


I use the "On my mac" folders (specifically folders under /Users/USERNAME/Library/Mail/) as the working archive as for my e-mail for the past 15 years. This directory is also backed-up on my NAS.

It is getting rather large and I'd like to move some older mail from my laptop to my NAS as I do not need to access it as regularly now.

Before I start moving 10s of GB from my laptop to the NAS in vain, is it possible to have something like the following?

/Users/USERNAME/Library/Mail/Mailboxes/archive_2012/* <-- on my laptop

/Users/USERNAME/Library/Mail/Mailboxes/symbolic_link_to_archive_2000/* <-- on the NAS

Can I simply move the archive_2000 folder to the NAS and point towards it on the laptop OS?

If not, is there some other way to do this?

thanks in advance.

1 Answer 1


You can do this by making a symlink (using Terminal, not an alias in the Fnder) to the directory on the NAS as you describe, but I'd caution against it unless your laptop is alway connected to your network. You could (and most likely will) get some unpredictable and possibly data corrupting behaviour if the Mail app tries to access data only to find the network volume isn't mounted or accessible.

  • +1 - I moved my mail store to a TrueCrypt volume, and subsequently, to an encrypted .DMG, doing exactly as you described. My recollection is that if the TC volume wasn't available, mail behaved rationally, issuing an appropriate complaint. With the .DMG store (tested just now), the OS pops a password dialog for the volume. I canceled the dialog and Mail said Mail can't continue because the folder where it store information is unavailable. I've never seen it corrupt my mail store (it can't; the store is locked) or lose its mind and wander off into the weeds.
    – JRobert
    Apr 10, 2013 at 18:53

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