C-Command Software Forum

Using EagleFiler to Archive Email

As a novice user, I am just now working with a trial version of EagleFiler to see if I can safely and comfortably combine old collections of decades and tens of thousands of emails with new and current email, eliminate possibly hundreds of duplicates, and set up a system for regularly moving email into matching folders in EagleFiler.

Although I have read the online manual, scanned discussions in these forums, etc. it seems that because EagleFiler is designed and used to store so many different kinds of documents, that I can’t seem to nail down a 1-2-3 etc. step by step set of instructions for a systematic use of it solely to archive Apple email.

  1. Is anyone on this forum using it the way I describe my concept of intended use for it? If so, can you pass on any tips, description of your step-by-step use etc.?
    And whether or not you are satisfied using EagleFiler this way? (I’m really not interested in using it as a general scrapbook of miscellany the way other users in the forums seem to do.)

  2. I have tentatively copied all my emails into EagleFiler, but I have gotten cold feet about now deleting them from Apple Mail. If I need to search for a prior conversation by emails, some of which are in Mail and some in EagleFiler, how would I do it? And would the emails look like they do in Apple Mail, or would they be in the teeny tiny faint barely readable font I see in the ones I have tentatively imported into EagleFiler?

  3. Why are there about 3 or 4 different ways described as to how to get email into EagleFiler, and why is the “preferred way” recommended by the author/developer the one that I find the most awkward? Michael recommends selecting all emails in each folder, one folder at a time, and then hitting command-option F1, whereas I would prefer using the traditional Mac way of using the Import command from within the EagleFiler menubar, and selecting Mailboxes, so as to be sure to preserve the hierarchical folder structure I have created within Mail.

Thanks in advance for any help or advice or answers to any of these questions!

I am. :slight_smile: Every month or so I import the largest mailboxes into EagleFiler and delete the messages from Apple Mail. Less frequently, I merge like-named mailboxes in EagleFiler to reduce clutter.

Generally speaking, you would need to search the two apps separately. It’s also possible (but less efficient) to store the EagleFiler messages as individual files in folders (rather than as mailbox files) in which case you could search everything at once via Spotlight.

You can pick whichever font you want in EagleFiler’s preferences. You can also double-click an individual message to view it in Apple Mail.

Depending on what you’re trying to do, a different way might be optimal.

Personally, I Shift-click to select a whole range of mailboxes in Apple Mail, Select All the messages, and press F1.

That’s valid if you want to import every mailbox in the hierarchy (which I usually don’t). Two caveats:

  1. If you go this route, I still recommend first selecting all the mailboxes in Mail. This will force it to completely load all the mailboxes from the server. Also, you’ll still have to select the messages in Mail in order to delete them. And if new messages are downloaded while EagleFiler is importing, it may not be clear which ones you should delete. Whereas, if you are importing the selected messages it’s obvious.
  2. This method may be good for a first import, but it will make a mess for subsequent imports because it will create a new hierarchy of folders. Whereas, if you just import mailboxes it’s easy to sort Records by Title and merge them into the existing hierarchy.

Could you please elaborate or explain your recommendation. When I select all my mailboxes in Mail and hit fn-F1 or fn-opt-F1, I get an error message telling me I have to select individual messages. How do you “select a whole range of mailboxes” and then Select All Messages?

Select All is greyed out when you have a range of mailboxes selected.

Or are you talking about doing this through the Mail file in Library the way I did an Import?

I don’t understand the simple mechanics of your instruction. Sorry.

And on followup imports, if I select groups individual messages, how do I know EF will put them in the same-named folders or sub-folders they come out of in Mail? How will EF know where they should go?

And how would I add groups of messages from earlier older sets of Mail from years back where my folder structure may have been different?

When you’ve selected the range of mailboxes at the left, the list at the right will show all of the messages. You can then click on one message (to move the focus from the mailbox list to the message list), then use Edit > Select All.

Each time you import via the capture key, EagleFiler will create new mailboxes based on the names of the messages’ mailboxes in Mail. These will appear at the top level in EagleFiler (for F1), or in whichever folder you chose (for Option-F1).

If you like, you can then merge them into mailboxes that you had previously captured into EagleFiler. If you merge a new mailbox (in Unfiled, say) with an older mailbox (perhaps filed deep into the hierarchy) EagleFiler will know to put the combined mailbox at the older mailbox’s location.

Perhaps if you gave a specific example I’d understand your question better.

–Quote (Originally by NateS)—
And how would I add groups of messages from earlier older sets of Mail from years back where my folder structure may have been different?
—End Quote—
Perhaps if you gave a specific example I’d understand your question better.


A folder structure in Mail evolves over years. A single mailbox from 5 years ago may have since been divided into 5 sub-folders for example. Sub-mailboxes may have been moved from one higher mailbox to a different higher mailbox. Mailboxes may have been re-named.

If I start out using EagleFiler to archive my current, existing mailbox structure and then I locate a set of Mail from five years ago and want to merge it into EagleFiler so as to eliminate overlapping duplicates and create one set of archives, how in the world will fn-F1 work to put everything in the right place? I don’t understand this. That’s why I thought I need to use the Import menu within EagleFiler instead of fn-F1 and then use Merge Mailboxes, but then I am worried that I will not get all the functions of EagleFiler as you say that is not the preferred method.

What you’re missing is that the two methods (F1 and File > Import) are pretty much identical in this respect. They both import the mailboxes into the top level (Unfiled). Neither method does anything “magic” to try to intuit your mailbox structure. In both cases, this is under your control to move/rename/merge as you see fit.

Secondly, EagleFiler can remove duplicate files, but it does not (currently) remove duplicate e-mail messages.

I guess I misunderstood. I thought there was some feature of EagleFiler which only worked when using F1. Also, I assumed that, when the feature list described removing duplicate files, that included mail files. That’s unfortunate, because a prime motivator for me is the need to merge on old set of email folders on a recovered hard disk with my current email folders on my current disk, and simultaneously eliminate overlapping duplicate messages, of which I am sure there are many hundreds if not thousands.*

Also, I discovered when trying to follow the instructions to create a total archive from Mail that selecting a primary mail folder in Mail does NOT mean the sub-folders are selected, which is rather “unMaclike”. You might want to clarify or warn about this in your instructions, even though it is a characteristic of Apple Mail and not EagleFiler’s fault.

*If you are not able to add duplicate elimination of email messages at this time, do you have any other suggestions for me?

It’s a feature that I’m planning to add. However, there are various scripts that can do this.

The Remove Duplicate Messages script is now available.