Apple Mail Setup

I have been using the excellent Postbox email app for quite some time now as you know. However, I am always keeping an eye on Apple Mail to see if it is viable for heavy usage. With my recent move of all my websites (and email accounts) to a new hosting service I decided to give Apple Mail a try again.


The Setup

The only thing I really had to move was the “On My Mac” Folders that I had setup in Postbox. All my email accounts are IMAP so all I had to do was set them up again in the Mail app after deleting the old ones. The setup of the accounts (running about 12 different accounts right now) was still not as seamless as Postbox, but it was doable.

But, the main thing I wanted was the “On My Mac” folders from Postbox, there was a lot of important stuff in there. I tried moving those folders manually for a bit, but then decided to do some research on the Postbox website and found this information:

Importing email from Postbox Local Folders
The instructions for local folders are essentially the same except for the following differences:

In Step 4 above, instead of selecting Netscape/Mozilla, please select Files in mbox format.
Then navigate to [your home folder]/Library/Application Support/Postbox/Profiles/[your active profile name]/Mail/Local Folders
Select the folder that you wish to import that does not have a .msf file extension on it. For example, you will see “vacation” and “vacation.msf”, only choose “vacation”.
Click the Continue button. Your messages will then be imported into Apple Mail under the ON MY MAC heading in the folder pane.
– via Postbox Support

This procedure worked pretty well. This is what this looks like inside Apple Mail. From the “File” menu select “Import Mailboxes”. Then, according to the instructions select “Files in mbox format”:

In this case I am choosing the “Software” folder.

Click for larger image

When you “Choose” the folder (actually, you can choose several at once) Mail goes into import mode. It puts them in a folder called “Import” at the bottom of your “On My Mac” area like so:

All you have to do is drag that folder out of the “Import” folder up into the “On My Mac” area. As you can see, the emails come in as unread, just have to mark them as read and you are off and running. This procedure sure was easier than trying to do it manually let me tell you.

Don’t get me wrong, I am still using Postbox for email, but I am going to be trailing the Apple Mail app along as well. I still miss the cool third part extensions that you can use in Apple Mail, but it has to function well for me or no dice. So, I will just use both programs for now and see how it goes.


If you have been using Postbox or another mail app as a substitute for Apple Mail you can always go back. You just have to determine if it is worth it with all of Apple Mails quirkiness, YMMV.