Resolved Question

How to export and import Mail preferences?

Is it possible to export the preference settings from Mail so that they can be imported into a new setup? I especially want my Rules saved because they are so extensive - the rest don't matter too much.

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Best Answer

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Time Machine is your friend here

You can restore everything to do with mail using the wonders of time Machine.

Just go back in time to the date you want and restore all the mail settings and preferences.

Should be good to go after that


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How exactly do I do that?

I can't replace the Mail app from Time Machine - all I get is an error message saying the OS needs Mail and I can't delete or replace it. If I enter TM from within Mail, all I can do is recover mailboxes - I don't see a way to access the preferences.

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Open you Library

the one in your Home folder, and find the Mail folder and open it.
Mail should be closed at this point

Open Time Machine, this should show you the same thing.

Go from there


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That doesn't work for me.

I did the following:

Open Mail preferences and enter a new rule.
Quit Mail.
Run a Time Machine backup.
Open Mail and remove the new rule from its preferences.
Quit mail and restore as above from the minutes-old backup.
Open Mail and check the preferences.

And the new rule is NOT there. So the TM backup does not appear to have restored the preferences. Can you please see if you can verify this?

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Unable to check right now but,
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Now V5, not V3

Your URL contains this snippet:

"What worked here was to go back to an earlier version of the ~Library/Mail/V3/MailData directory (note that it is in the V3 directory-- not the V2 directory)."

In fact, in OS10.13.4, the folder is in V5. There is also a MailData folder in V2 but it contains only the Accounts.plist file. I'm sure they make these changes just to keep us mystified.

I'll check out the effect of restoration of the folder.

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Nope, that didn't work either

I'd be grateful if you could give it a try when you have a moment to spare.

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