C-Command Software Forum

.eml files/msgs Back into an Mbox file?

I have now successfully imported a couple of my Apple Mail mailboxes, but then, after a process I’m too embarrassed to describe, I have wound up with all the messages that had been in Mail’s “Sent” mailbox residing in an EF folder as individual .eml files, not an mbox. I didn’t intend that, but now I know what I did wrong. (Yes, it would help enormously to read the manual BEFORE fooling around with things you don’t understand.)

My question: is it possible to put the genie back in the bottle, i.e., to get these messages (nearly 5000) back into an mbox file, either in EF or back in Apple Mail so I can start over again? (They no longer exist in Apple Mail. When I thought I’d gotten them correctly into EF, I deleted them from Mail and emptied the trash.)

If you still have the mailboxes in EagleFiler, you could simply show the deleted messages and undelete them.

As far as I’m aware, Microsoft Entourage is the only Mac e-mail program that can import .eml files. You might even be able to use the demo to do that. A Google search turned up various utilities/scripts, such as eml2mbox.

Thanks! Turns out I was so inefficient in deleting my .eml files/msgs in EF (one of the steps I was too embarrassed to describe) I was able to get them back moving the “Sent” mailbox out of trash and then showing deleted records! In fact I had a couple of “Sent” mboxes and have now merged them into one. So, all’s well. And once again I see that if only I had looked hard enough in your manual I would have seen that. Thanks again for your incredibly fast and helpful support.

I also had an ugly and heterogeneous mix of meaningless mbox mailboxes, so I merged them. I then moved some of the messages to folders labeled by year or period (e.g., “2006 and previous”). Such folders, of course, have a great many messages. EF seems to work fine, but I only moved perhaps 3000 out of 30,000 messages to such folders, with the rest still being in a single mbox. It would seem that to neaten things up I could:

  1. Continue to put messages into folders as .eml files, but with loss of efficiency, perhaps significant loss.

  2. Do so, but then import a given folder’s .eml files into Entourage, recapture them in EF as an mbox, name that mbox appropriately, and get rid of the original folder of .eml files. The final result, then, would be the set of year-by-year mboxes that I would have had from the outset if I had been using EF for years, and doing so intelligently.

Is that second option a sensible thing to do and, if so, how does one import the files into Entourage? That is, which of the Entourage options does one use?

Finally, are there any disadvantages of mboxes when one is using something like FileVault and/or TimeMachine? For example, a TimeMachine backup will only record changes, which is fast unless the changes are inside a huge file that has to be saved as a whole (as in an earlier version of Entourage).Does TimeMachine see an mbox as one monster file or as a bunch of individual messages? I’m not sure how to pose the question for FileVault.

I don’t think it makes sense to go through the .eml format and Entourage. You could instead:

  • Use tags or smart folders to select the messages that you want. Then use EagleFiler’s Export feature to generate a new mbox containing those messages.
  • Or, simply use smart folders and/or tags to display the messages in different ways, without changing how they are stored in EagleFiler.

Mboxes are very efficient because Time Machine sees them as big files that never change. (EagleFiler stores metadata such as tags and notes elsewhere.)

Thanks. This is all making sense to me now.