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How to automatically Backup Apple Mail / Mac Mail Mailbox data on Mac OS X?

If you are an Apple Mac / MacBook user and looking to find out info on how to automatically back-up / Archive e-mail on your Mac Desktop / Laptop. We have created this Step by Step Guide detailing all possible options that you can follow to accomplish this task. A few possible options to accomplish this important task for Mac Users.

1. Manually Backup Apple Mail – Complex and cumbersome method to Backup Apple Mail Mail Box

You need to Control- (Right) click your Inbox in Mail and select Archive Mailbox option from the contextual menu. You’ll be prompted to select a location for saving the native Apple Mail Backup mailbox archive (also referred as “mbox” files). Choose a location and click the Choose button.

In order to restore your emails when required, you’ll need to choose: File -> Import Mailboxes in the Mail application > choose Mail for Mac OS X > click Continue. Now Choose the folder where you have saved the Apple Mail .mbox mailbox archives and click Choose. A list of all the folders from the Archived mailboxes appears in the window for you to choose. You may check the ones you wish to restore and import and click Continue. Mail App will process and you have your emails back in the Import Folder Under On My Mac Header from the Mailbox List.

But there are few disadvantages of Taking Apple Mail Backup Manually :

  1. It involves you to take a lot of time out of your busy schedule on regular basis to backup mail data frequently like once a week to keep up with the new emails arriving every week.
  2. You are no longer able to use Mac Mail for work While you sit and go through the archiving process every time.
  3. You have to repeat the steps for each and every Mail box, if you have multiple email accounts configured under Mac Mail on your Mac.
  4. So overall a very tedious and time-consuming process for a simple task. And by any chance, if you have a busy schedule and ended up missing to backup, you stand a chance to loose the emails arriving during this timeframe you ran the last Apple Mail manual backup.
  5. You are also required to check and rename the folder to ensure they match with your earlier settings.

2. Easy Reliable and Automated Apple Mail Backup Method

If you are looking for a more straightforward and more reliable automated option to automate the task of Apple Mail Backup and want to be at peace, knowing all your emails are backed up as they are received. Not just Automatically backed up but compressed and archived, so you Apple Mail Backup data is not hogging all your disk space. 

You want to ensure that your critical mail data is also mirrored onto a USB Drive and on Cloud safely and regularly. Then Mail Backup X for macOS X is the right solution for you. It is easy to set up, simple to use, and works flawlessly.

Step By Step Guide on Backing up Apple Mail Data on your Mac with Mail Backup X

Step 1: Please download and install the Mail Backup X Application on your Mac. Please follow the link for Install Instructions

Step 2: Once the installation is completed. Launch Mail Backup X from the Applications / Quick Launch Menu

Step 3: You may start the fully functional trial run for 15 days or activate it if you have already purchased a license.

Step 4: You May Choose to Setup a New Backup Profile from the Dashboard by Choosing option “Setup a New Backup”

Set up New Apple Mail Backup from Dashboard

Or You May Click My Backup Profiles on the Left side Bar in Dashboard > and Click “Set up a new Backup Profile”

Setup a New Apple Mail Backup Profile

Step 5: You Will be presented options to setup back for a list of Mail Clients > Choose Apple Mail and proceed to next step

Configuring Apple Mail Backup

P.S. : Users using macOS mojave and above might get an error “Disk access denied” . If it’s not already allowed while installing the App.

Allow Full Disk Access Error

In order to fix this please Quit Mail Backup X from the Top menu bar. Next, Open OS X System Preferences > Open Security & Privacy, Under Privacy Tab find Full Disk Access in the list and > add Mail Backup X to the list of apps allowed full disc access.

Allow Full Disk access to Mail Backup X under macOS preferences

Once the Disk access related error is fixed.

Step 6: Once you click and choose Apple Mail to setup a backup you are presented with folder structure from Apple Mail Accounts. Please select/ deselect the folders /out of all the mail accounts configured in Apple Mail you would like to be backed up from Apple mail client.

Select folders to be backed up for mail accounts

Click Continue to proceed.

Step 7: Now you are presented with Advanced options like setting:

  1. Frequency of Mail backup ( select Automatic as its recommended or you may choose Manual or recurring at particular intervals).
  2. Secure your backup archive by encrypting the data. So, it can only be viewed on this computer.
  3. You May also activate the USB Auto Snapshot option by assigning a USB drive. So, whenever you connect the USB drive, It automatically makes a snapshot copy of your local mail backup to the USB Drive in the background automatically.
Advanced Apple Mail Backup Settings

Step 8: You can Set the location of backup to local disk drive or Cloud service by authenticating and adding Cloud Space ( at Present Google Drive, DropBox and Microsoft One Drive are supported) .

Setup local Apple mail Backup or to Cloud

Now click Save.

Step 8: Apple Mail Backup Profile is set up and now your emails should have started to back up as per the options and settings you selected during the previous steps.

Apple Mail Backup is running