Although iData Pro requires OS 10.7 or later, it is capable of importing Apple Mail folders going back to OS 10.4.
However, the way Apple Mail folders are stored changed after OS 10.6.
To learn how to import Apple Mail files from OS 10.4 through 10.6,
Mail File Location
Beginning with OS 10.7, the Library folder has been hidden, so the following steps are required to access your Mail folder.
If you created folders in the Mail
application for different kinds of email, those folders are strored in the Mail
folder with .mbox after the
name. The following explains how to find those folders.
1. In the Finder, select Go to Folder...
under the Go
menu. This will bring up the following window:
2. Type in ~/Library
and click the Go
button. This will open the Library
3. Look for the Mail
folder. This is easiest if you click at the top of the Name
column to sort the folders in alphabetical order.
4. Drag the Mail
folder to the favorites list at the left of the window.
Once you have done
this, you can select that folder in the favorites list and open various
subfolders to see what they contain.
HOWEVER, it is important that you DO NOT move or delete any files or subfolders within the Mail folder, as that could result in the Mail app being unable to locate your emails.
5. In iData Pro, select Apple Mail - OS 10.4 or Later
in the Import
sub-menu, under the File
6. In the Open
dialog, click on Mail
in the favorites list, then open the V3
7. Open the various folders that have the long alphanumeric names until you find the .mbox
that you want to import. Then highlight it and click the Select
Other Mail Folder Locations
The .mbox folders are how Apple Mail stores your mailboxes.
If you have created sub-mailboxes within other "root" mailboxes, you
can open a root mailbox to import a sub-mailbox. The previous image is
from my personal Mac. Here's what Chinese List.mbox
looks like when it is opened:
If I select Chinese List.mbox
, both the main-level folder emails and the Beijing Sounds.mbox
will be imported. If I want only Beijing Sounds.mbox
, I can just select that one.
Oddly, the other three folders with the long names each contain the same set of sub-folders. Here's the first one:
They have different dates. I'm not sure why there are three of them.
If you haven't created folders and Rules
for directing all your email messages into folders, your messages may
be in the Inbox. The Inbox
is in a slightly different place. In the same folder as the Mailboxes (folder listed above), you will find a
folder that begins POP-
and includes your email address. In that folder will be an INBOX.mbox folder. This is where your Inbox
Completing the Import Action
Once you have selected folder to import, click the Open button. A dialog will appear giving you
If a datafile with the exact field
structure needed for email import is not open, the only option will be
to create a new
datafile. This is always the safest option. You can later adjust the
structure and merge datafiles if needed.
If you have a datafile open with the
appropriate fields, you can add or merge the imported records into the
Add to current datafile
This will append the imported records to
the current datafile. No attempt will be made to determine if a message
already exists in the datafile. To avoid duplicate records, you must be
sure that messages you previously imported are not in the folder that
you are now importing.
Merge into current datafile
This will sort the current datafile and
only import messages that are not already in the datafile. If there is
the slightest difference, iData Pro will see it as a new message.
Email Record Structure
iData Pro places the message portion of
imported email message into the Freeform Text Area of a record. In
any existing data of the following types will be put into matching
To import an email file
an existing datafile, that datafile must have eight fields, and
they should be in the same order as specified above, although the
precise names of the fields may vary. (Even though not every email has
data in all those fields, there is no way to predict this, so the iData
format is generalized to cover the most common cases. When viewing
imported email datafiles in
List View, you can use the Modify
function to specify that some fields should be hidden. Please see the
Modify Fields topic in the Edit chapter for details.)
Depending on the speed of your particular
machine and the percentage of HTML-based messages, importing a mailbox
with, say, 2000 messages may take anywhere from 20 seconds up to about
2 minutes. HTML messages take longer than plain text, as they require
an additional translation stage. A single HTML message can take as much
three seconds. Plain text messages mixed in with HTML
messages will not take as long.
Old HTML messages that contain links to images that no longer exist on
the Web are a particular problem, as the system may spend as much as a
minute (which feels like forever) trying to find the image before
giving up. In a few cases, the system will not be able to process
such a message, and will return an error code. In these cases, iData
will place a message saying, "HTML could not be processed." in the
If you notice that you have a record containing an unprocessed message,
you can look at the File Name
field to find the name of the .emlx file. Find that file in the Finder
and double-click it to open it in Mail. Then, you can copy the message
content in Mail and paste it into the iData record.
If it seems that the import is going on
for longer than normal, you can abort the import process at any time by
typing the esc key or command-period. However, if you know that the mailbox
being imported is large, it's probably best to be patient. When the
process is aborted,
messages that have already been imported will show up in the datafile.