Importing Email from Apple Mail


Is an import process required?

A key question is whether you need to manually import anything at all. Please note the following:

  • If your account is using IMAP, then you do not need to import your messages since Postbox will download your folders and messages from your email server.
  • If your account is using POP or POP3, then Postbox can download messages from your Inbox. Messages in other folders will need to be manually imported.
  • Any messages stored on your local machine will need to be manually imported.

Importing Messages

Postbox can import mail folders in the .mbox file format. If your mail folders are structured in another format, please export those messages to the .mbox format or use a mail utility to convert the mail files into .mbox format.

  1. Organize the .mbox files you wish to import within an enclosing file folder. This is important. Postbox cannot import .mbox files directly, so place the .mbox files within a parent folder in your file system.
  2. Within Postbox, select Import from the File menu, then select the folder to be imported. 
  3. In Postbox, the imported folder will appear under the Imported Mail account.

Importing Messages from Apple Mail

Before messages can be imported into Postbox, they must be exported from Apple Mail first. In Apple Mail select the folder you wish to export then select Mailbox menu > Export Mailbox...

Now here's where things can get confusing in Apple Mail, so pay please pay close attention!

Single Folder
If you export just one folder, such as the Inbox, a single .mbox file will be saved to the desktop. Postbox's importer requires an enclosing file folder. Create a new folder, name it anything, then move the .mbox file into the file folder. Within Postbox, select the file folder to import, not the individual .mbox file.

Parent Folder - Collapsed
In Apple Mail, if you select a collapsed parent folder and then export, only the parent folder will be exported.

Parent Folder - Expanded
If you wish to export the parent folder and its subfolders, you must expand the parent folder, select the parent folder and all subfolders, then export. If a folder and a .mbox file is created on the Desktop, you must move both into a new file folder, then select the file folder for import within Postbox.


Remember, a .mbox file cannot be imported directly. It must be enclosed within a file folder, and it is the file folder that you import into Postbox.

If you have a large number of folders to import, we recommend structuring them all within a single folder in your existing email client, then exporting everything at the same time will be easier and faster.

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