C-Command Software Forum

The return of the Mail Storage thread


I am really pleased by the 1.4 release, and there was one feature that looks really great. In the release notes, you say:

You can now drag messages out of mailboxes to convert them to freestanding .eml files. It’s less efficient to store messages individually rather than in mailbox files, but there are also several advantages: the messages can be stored alongside other types of files, they can be freely moved between folders, and they are searchable by Spotlight.

I have a few questions about this.

First, is “less efficient” means it takes more space, or it is slower too search? Would a folder with 10 000 eml messages be something to avoid completely?

Second, this format seems to be what I wanted for archiving my message: it works with spotlight, and messages can be moved freely. If I move them between libraries, do they keep their tags and notes?

And finally, is there a way to convert existing mailboxes to this format? I have several of them that are archived and that I need to split between libraries, and this would be a great way to do it (as many of the messages are already tagged). Also, is there a preference to import messages directly as eml?

Thanks a lot,


Less efficient means more disk space, more RAM use, slower to open the library, slower to search, slower to index, slower to back up. It also slows down Spotlight—I have several million messages in mailboxes, and I don’t want these clogging up my Spotlight index.

No—it’s no worse than a folder with 10,000 files—but it will be slower than a mailbox with 10,000 messages so make sure you’re gaining something by not using the mailbox.

Yes, just like any other file in EagleFiler.

Drag and drop is the only way, but it should be easy since you can select multiple mailboxes at once.


Thanks for your reply. I’m going to try to go this route (the advantages are too compelling).

One last question: is there a way to turn a bunch of eml messages into a mbox (I’m wondering how difficult it would be to go back if I realize it’s not manageable)?

Not currently, except perhaps to import the .eml files into a mail program. This is a feature I’m planning to add—it should definitely be possible to convert in both directions—but it didn’t make the cut for 1.4.

I am only able to drag and drop one email at a time. If I select more then one email, or a folder, I am unable to drop them into an Eagle Filer folder. If I select a single email and drag it to EF I get a green bubble with a “+” symbol in it and I can drop it wherever I want. If I select two or more emails I get a red bubble with the number of emails selected, but I can’t drop them into EF. If I select a mailbox I don’t get a bubble at all and I can’t drop it into EF.

What am I missing?

System is a Mac Pro, Leopard 10.5.5 and Mac Mail 3.5.


I was talking about dragging messages within EagleFiler. You seem to be trying to drag from Mail to EagleFiler. That will not work, in most situations, since Mail only wants you to drag one message at a time to another application. The recommended way to import from Mail is to press the capture key.

Ok, that explains it - I was trying to drag a folder from Mail to EF.


EagleFiler 1.5’s Merge Mailboxes/Message Files feature can do this.