C-Command Software Forum

Outlook 2011 imports - SimpleText format or mbox


I just got EagleFiler 1.5.9 installed in my MacBookPro with Lion 10.7.3 and 14.1.4 Outlook for Mac 2011. I will be using EF to back my old emails, which will total around 30k items. I started backing up folder by folder and tried two different ways of importing the emails, and found out that EF creates different kinds of files, depending of the import method.

I first backed up a total of 10207 emails from my Sent Items folder. I did it using F1, and EF created a single SimpleText file with all emails embebed, with a size of 2,2Gb. It took a while doing so, around 10m (I am using a SSD, which speeds things up in terms of disk activity). It then started to index notes and some other internal stuff, which resulted in hours of work, and it didn’t allow more imports during that time (I cound see in the activity window that things were being executed and any other were waiting).

After that I started to import by dragging smaller folders directly into EF, not pressing F1. These imports result in mbox files, not SimpleText files… Not knowing any better, I think I prefer to have mbox files, which I can read also from within Apple Mail app, I don’t know were these SimpleText can be used elsewhere.

So my first questions are: is this the correct behaviour? Anyway, which format should I prefer? Which one will result in faster EF operations, either when importing (I still have around 20k items to import) or during normal usage of the application?

Another issue I am having now, by using drag and dropping to import those thousands of emails into EF (and get a mbox file out of it), is that it works fine for small number of email (tried with a folder of 200 emails, it worked fine) but it doesn’t work for a big number. I tried to import 10.300 items by dragging a folder, the CPU gets occupied with some Outlook processes, the eflibrary folder gets increased by more than 2Gb, but at the end nothing happens that is visible to me. Tried several times with no results except increasing 2Gb the eflibrary each time (exiting EF reduces back the eflibrary to normal size).

Thanks in advance for your help and support.

Best regards,

Roberto Silva

You can always queue new imports. EagleFiler can do multiple things at once, and it will give priority to imports even if other types of activities (such as indexing) were already waiting. You can also click the × button in the Activity window to stop indexing, and EagleFiler will resume it later.

First, the manual lists the recommended ways to import from each mail program. For Outlook, that’s currently the capture key.

When you drag and drop from Outlook to EagleFiler or the Finder, Outlook generates an mbox file. I do not recommend this because (a) you’ll lose metadata such as message flags and categories, and (b) in my experience it’s unreliable—sometimes Outlook won’t generate the file at all.

When you import via the capture key, EagleFiler queries Outlook for information about each message and uses this to create an mbox file. This is slower, since there is a lot of communication back and forth between the two applications, but it should be very reliable. Also, EagleFiler will get all the message metadata (that can’t be expressed in mbox format) and import it directly into its database.

In both cases you’ll end up with an mbox file, which sort of looks like a text file but really isn’t. mbox files can be imported into Apple Mail and virtually all mail programs. The difference is just that EagleFiler doesn’t put “.mbox” at the end of the filename. That’s never been a standard on the Mac, and though it’s not harmful it can lead to confusion because Apple Mail uses “.mbox” on its files (which aren’t actually in mbox format).