How to backup/restore email using Apple Mail

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  • Applies to: All Services
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Time Needed: 5
    • Tools Required: Apple Mail


Apple Mail is the default email client that comes with every Mac using OS X 10.0 or later. The following guide will show you how to backup & restore your Apple Mail inbox and other folders.

If you are looking for information on setting up an account in Apple Mail, feel free to review the additional article below:

This article is primarily for Mail version 10.2 on Sierra (OSX 10.12.32). Your version of Apple Mail may vary depending on the version of Mac OSX you are using.

Please keep in mind that troubleshooting the configuration/functionality of third-party applications is not covered by our statement of support. These resources were provided as a courtesy to assist you to the extent of our abilities. For more information on our statement of support, feel free to click here.



  1. Select the mailbox you wish to backup. In this example, we've selected the Inbox.
  2. Right click, and select Export Mailbox....


  3. Save your backup file.
  4. That's it! Your backup should now be saved as an .mbox file.



  1.  While in Apple Mail, select File. Then select Import Mailboxes...


  2. Select where the data is coming from. In this example, we are importing an Apple Mail file. Then click Continue.


  3. Select the desired file. Then click Continue.


  4. The imported mailbox will be on the side-bar under "Import". If you wish, you can reorganize the files by dragging your desired messages into new or existing mailboxes.


We hope this guide has been helpful! Do keep in mind that Media Temple is not the developer of Apple Mail. For further assistance, we recommend viewing the Resources link below, contacting Apple Support directly, or contacting your local IT specialist.