Mac OS X 10.3: How to Restore Mailboxes From a Backup on a Burned Disc

Learn how to restore mailboxes you backed up to a CD or DVD in Mac OS X 10.2 so you can use them with Mail in Mac OS X Panther.

Note: For best results, follow the steps in this document before using Mail in Mac OS X Panther for the first time. If you've already used Mail, see the warning below before proceeding.
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If you saved a backup of Mail messages or mailboxes (whose filename extension is ".mbox") to a CD or DVD in Mac OS X 10.2, copy the .mbox files to a certain folder in your home directory so you can use them in Mac OS X Panther Mail.

Warning: If you've already used Mail in Mac OS X Panther, you must take certain steps to prevent any messages you've received from being lost when you restore your backup. To keep any messages you may have received since you made the backup, copy them to a new mailbox that has a special name first. To do this, create a new On My Mac mailbox with a unique name (one you didn't use in Mac OS 10.2), drag the newer messages to it, then follow the steps below.

Restoring from a backup

  1. Start from Mac OS X Panther if you haven't already, and insert the disc you used to make your backup.
  2. Quit Mail if it's open.
  3. From the Go menu, choose Go to Folder.
  4. Type: ~/Library/Mail/Mailboxes
  5. Click Go.
  6. From the File menu, choose New Finder Window and open the folder on the disc where your backed up mailboxes are saved.
  7. Drag the .mbox files from your backup disc to the Mailboxes folder you opened in Step 5. If the Finder alerts you that you're replacing newer mailboxes, see the warning above to make sure you won't lose messages. If you're sure you've saved your mail in Mac OS X Panther, click Replace.
  8. Open Mail. The restored mailboxes automatically appear in Mail.

At this point, you may wish to make a backup of your Mac OS X Panther mailboxes.
Last Modified: Feb 17, 2012

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