How to Backup Mail on Mac: A Step-by-Step Guide

Backing up your data is always a good idea to make sure that your important files are safe in case anything ever happens to your hard drive. In this article, we will guide you through the process of completely backing up everything in the Mail application on your Mac and then how to restore or transfer that backup.

When we say everything, we mean all your settings accounts, messages, RSS feeds, and everything in Mail on your Mac. You can back up all these different saved messages in the Finder, create new folders, and recreate this whole file hierarchy over here. There are a few reasons why you might want to do this. Obviously, just to make sure that your data is safe, the second one is because it’s just a whole lot easier than having to reset up all your RSS feeds accounts, all that. The third and probably the most important reason is that you can drag messages out of Mail, but you actually cannot drag messages back into Mail. This is actually the only manual way to transfer Mail messages from one computer to another.

Let’s get started with the backup process. The first thing you need to do is make sure that Mail is closed. If it isn’t already, go ahead and quit Mail. Then open up a new Finder window, go to the Library under your username, and then go down to Mail. In this folder, you will see all the different files and folders that make up Mail on your Mac.

Now, you need to open up an external hard drive or whatever you’re going to be using to back up Mail. Just go ahead and drag in this Mail folder to your external drive, and it’s copying/backing up right now. But there’s actually one more thing that we need to get. Go down to preferences still under library, then go down to, and this is all your different preferences for Mail. Go ahead and drag this over, just remember that when we restore from this backup or transfer this backup to another computer, you have to put it in the preference folder. After this is all done transferring over to the external hard drive, Mail is all backed up.

Now, let’s switch over to restoring from this backup or transferring to another computer. Go ahead and quit Mail just like before, then open up a new Finder window and go to the Library. Now, open up your external hard drive or whatever you use to back up Mail. Then go ahead and drag the Mail folder into the Library, and it will ask you if you want to replace it. Confirm that you do want to replace it.

Then go down to preferences, pop that up, and then get that plist and drag that in and confirm that you want to replace it. Once this is all done copying over, all your mail settings accounts, RSS feeds, everything from your MacBook Pro will now be on your iMac just like how it was. The only thing is that you will have to enter in your passwords for all your different mail accounts because those passwords are saved in Keychain Access to that utility, and they’re not saved in preferences or any of those library files. Besides that, everything is just like how it was.

In conclusion, you should always back up your important files, and we hope this guide helps you back up your Mail on your Mac. If you have any comments or any questions about this process, leave a comment below, and we’ll do our best to get to them.