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Transferring Contents Of Local Mailboxes In Mac Mail To Server-labeled Mailboxes

In a Q&A from a couple weeks ago you recommended against having local mailboxes in Mac Mail. I have a bunch of old local mailboxes On My Mac and intend on changing them over to server-based (right terminology?) gmail labels. My question concerns the contents of my existing local mailboxes. In many cases there are emails I created from several different email addresses that were collected in the subject matter local mailboxes. In some cases the original email addresses are now obsolete/gone. Can I move those old emails under a gmail label even if they were not originated in gmail? Will I be able to conduct searches for the old non-gmail emails?

Thanks, Julie
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Julie S

Comments: 4 Responses to “Transferring Contents Of Local Mailboxes In Mac Mail To Server-labeled Mailboxes”

    6 months ago

    I don’t know. I don’t have a similar situation in which to test — where the account doesn’t exist anymore. But it hould.

    You can test it easily. Create those new server-side mailboxes. Select some of the messages in your “On My Mac” mailboxes. Drag them to the server-side mailboxes using the Option key. This will copy them to the mailbox instead of just moving them. So you won’t be deleting the ones in your original mailbox.

    Did it work? Maybe then try with all of them. test for a while.

    Then, select the old mailboxes and Control+click on them and export them. This will serve as a backup before you delete them.

    Julie S
    6 months ago

    Thank you for the reply, Gary. I will try some tests before doing anything permanent.

    Shirley
    6 months ago

    If you want to keep an email message, you can go to the File Menu and select Save As. Save it to your documents file and it will retain the date, time, sender and any links. You can also change the subject name if you prefer and save it to a folder for that subject in documents. Better than filling up your Mail with a lot of mailboxes.

    Julie S
    6 months ago

    Thanks, Shirley. I’m going to give that a try, too. I think it was probably easy to create mailboxes early on for storage purposes with little thought given to the long term clutter implications.

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