How to Backup Apple Mail Emails?

Email backup comes in handy in case you lose emails due to accidental deletion, application crash, software or hardware issues, virus/malware attacks, etc. You can back up your older emails and then delete them if your mailbox becomes large. You may need to back up your emails when upgrading/switching the application. So, it is important to always have a backup of your emails as it can help you to easily restore your important emails in case of any incident or issue. If you’re an Apple Mail user and want to backup you emails, then read this article to know different ways to back up Apple Mail emails.

Methods to Backup Apple Mail Emails

If you want to backup only a few important Apple Mail emails, then you can save them in EML or PDF files. To save emails in EML format, just select the email, click File > Save As and then select Raw Message Source. This will save the selected email in .EML file. To save the emails in PDF format, select the email, choose File, and then select Export as PDF. However, if you need to back up the emails in bulk or the entire mailbox, then follow the below methods.

Method 1: Backup Apple Mail Emails using Time Machine

Time Machine is a built-in feature in Mac that can help you to take backup of entire system, including emails and other data. This feature is quite helpful in recovering data in situations, such as crashing of Mac, accidental data deletion, and hardware failure. You can back up your Apple Mail emails using Time Machine by following the below procedure:

  • Connect the external hard drive to your Mac device where you want to create Time Machine backup.
  • Then, go to Apple menu and select System Preferences.

  • Click on Time Machine and turn it on (if it is not already on).
  • From the Time Machine dialog box, click on ‘Select Backup Disk’ and choose the external hard drive that you connected to your device.

  • Now, click on the ‘Options’ at the bottom right and select the data that you want to backup. Here, select Mac Mail. Press ‘Save’ to apply the changes.

  • Now, this will back up the data regularly from Apple Mail.

To access the data backup, you can click on the Time Machine icon from the menu bar. Alternatively, you can also open the Time Machine app from the application folder of your device.

Method 2: Backup Apple Mail Emails using Export Mailbox Feature

Apple Mail has a feature, called Export Mailbox that allows to back up entire mailbox or mailboxes in MBOX file. To back up the emails in bulk, you can use the Export Mailbox option in the Apple Mail application. Follow the steps given below:

  • First, create a new mailbox. For this, open Apple Mail, click on Mailbox, and then select New Mailbox.
  • Then, select the emails that you want to back up and then drag and drop the selected emails to the New Mailbox you have created.
  • Now, right-click on the mailbox and then choose Export Mailbox.

  • Now, select the destination location to save the mailbox and then click ‘Choose’.

This will save the exported mailbox in the .MBOX file format.


You should always keep a backup of your Apple Mail emails even if you think that there are very less chances of any data loss incident or cyber-attack. Above, we have mentioned some easy and accessible methods to backup Apple Mail emails. You can use the ‘Time Machine’ feature to back up Apple Mail data on an external drive. You can also use the Apple Mail’s ‘Export Mailbox’ feature to back up the email data in MBOX file format.

In case you want to export Apple Mail emails to any other email client, like Outlook, then you can convert the MBOX file (created using Export Mailbox feature) using a professional tool, like Stellar Converter for MBOX. This advanced tool is specifically designed to convert MBOX to Outlook PST file quickly and efficiently. It can also save your Apple Mail MBOX file to various other file formats, like EML, MSG, etc. The tool is extremely easy-to-use and does not require any technical skills to perform the process.

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