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How to Restore Mail Folder after macOS High Sierra Upgrade?

Apple mail application files are often stored in ~/Library/Mail (where ~ is your user’s home folder). After macOS High Sierra upgrade, some users found Mac mail folders disappeared and they are not there anymore. When I searched this problem in forum, many people met this situation, and some solutions offered in forum is not work. 

Although they met the same problem, maybe the same method wasn’t suitable for everyone. We need to try others when we are in different conditions. Here introduce some ways about recovering mac mail folders disappeared through setting, time machine, best data recovery software, etc. If you want to restore mailbox, you can try the most suitable one according to your situation. In addition, as the old saying goes, the best offense is a good defense. So we also need to pay attention to data recovery on Mac to prevent the similar situation from occurring again, several tips for data backup will also be supplied for you.

Firstly, restore mail with data recovery software while no backup

People say, “I lost all of my Mail files but I didn't backup system by Time Machine, and also didn’t do any other backups, how can I restore my Mail files?” And some people don’t know how to restore lost messages by Time Machine or other ways doesn’t work for them, what would they do? Is there a simple way for everyone to restore Mail files Mac after High Sierra upgrade? 

Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac is a powerful software that allows users to recover lost or deleted photos, videos, documents, etc. on Mac hard drive and external devices. If you lost important files and precious memories, don't give up, Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac will help you to recover mac mail mailboxes disappeared from any Mac supported data storage media, including internal/external hard drives, USB drives, SD card, digital cameras, iPods etc. Just use it, all of your Mail files will be recovered within five minutes. More important, Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac provides a free trial for each user, you to scan and preview all your lost files.

The steps of restoring mail folder from Time Machine is complicated, but Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac is super easy-to-use, just follow my steps, you will learn how to restore deleted or lost mail files easily.

  1. Download & Run the Cisdem Data Recovery for free trial.
  2. As picture shown, Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac provides two five recovery solutions for any situation you may meet, including Basic Data Recovery, Trash Recovery, Formatted Drive Recovery, External Devices Recovery and Advanced File Recovery, which covers all of file formats stored on your Mac. Here, we choose Advanced File Recovery.
  3. Next, you need to choose the disk since there may be several disk on your Mac, you need to choose the target one where your mail files stored.
  4. And then you just click “Scan”, it will start scanning your hard drive, and wait a moment, all of lost mail files will be found and listed for you. You need to find your each of the email files in mbox format and choose them to restore them on your Mac.
  5. At last, open Mail and go to File > Import Mailboxes. Choose "Files in mbox format" and click Continue. Navigate to your Mail folder restored in above step and click Choose, then Import. Mail should then import the mbox files stored in the Mailboxes folder. Click Continue to begin importing your restored files into Apple Mail. After it finishes, click Done.

Undoubtedly, this is the easiest way to restore Mail files as there is little complicated operation. Users can learn it easily. And all of your mail files can be recovered without any other loss, this data recovery software will not damage your other data, you can it safely.

Secondly, restore email account by setting preferences

When opening mail, you found that all the folders previously associated with your iCloud account are not showing, but when you choose 'Get Account Info' they are all listed, they just didn't display in the mailbox. If you are in this condition, you can go to "Preferences" and change the settings. After that, your mail folders will be restored. Parts of people think that is useful.

And the specific operation is also simple, just need to follow my presentation, you will finish that easily.

1. Open your Mail, and then you should go to "Mail" on the top bar.

2. Select "Preferences", a window will pop up, choose the second item "Accounts".

3. Uncheck the "Enable this account" option and then re-check it.

4. Just save settings, and turn down this window and go to Mail to view whether this solve your problem or not.

If it does, you are lucky, and if it doesn’t, you need to try another solutions below.

Thirdly, re-indexing mailboxes to recover Mac mail folders disappeared

When the Email accounts were working OK but all of you mailboxes have disappeared, setting “Preferences” would not be helpful for you. On Apple Discussions, many people posted on this forum, they all had the same problem. They lost their all mailboxes, which made them very distressed. Or you tried the above measure, but it did nothing, you can try re-indexing the mailboxes to finish Email recovery on Mac. A Mac veteran provided this method on the forum, and many people tried it, it did work and helped people recovered hundreds of emails by re-indexing. As for how to re-indexing the mailboxes, next I will show you the detailed steps.

  1. At first, you need to go to the Apple menu, and choose "System Preferences".
  2. Then you need to select “Spotlight”, just as shown in chart tags.
  3. After selecting, you will go to another interface, you need to click the Privacy tab. And then you can drag a folder or an entire volume (such as your hard drive) to the list. If prompted for confirmation, just click OK.
  4. Next, you should remove the item or volume you just added to the list, you need to click it and then click the minus ("-") button on the bottom. And close "Spotlight preferences". The Spotlight will re-index the contents of the folder or volume.

If this method is useful for you, I will be very happy. But there are also some users think this method doesn’t work for them, they rebuilt the mailbox and still can't get the messages to appear. And other people tried the re-indexing but no such folder exists on their Mac. Unfortunately, if you are one of them, that means your mail folder is lost, you need to try another solutions to restore your Mail folder.

Fourthly, restore mail from time machine while have backup

Usually, some people are used to backup system by Time Machine. And if you have recently lost plenty of messages on Mail, you can restore mail from time machine. I found an article on the MacIssues, it shared three options for you to manually restore your Mail folder from Time Machine. If you are interested in this measure, you can click the hyperlink to visit this article, there are very detailed steps provided for you. Here, I won't repeat it.

But what I want to emphasize is this: if you just access to Time Machine backups, find and restore your messages from Time Machine, that only allows your to recover a few messages. And if you are not lucky, you will fail since this approach may simply not work in some cases. And if you want to restore your entire system to a prior backup, you need to guess what if something terrible happen and we need to give up one of the three. Because the whole process of the full system restore will take you some time, and you lose some third-party application registrations, which will take some terrible things for you. You'd better have a mental preparation. What’s more, It is not an easy thing if you want to perform this process, although this article provides detailed steps for you, many users still don't know how to operate. If you are a Mac newbie, it's better not to attempt that.

Several tips for backup mail folder on Mac OS X

1. Remember the folder that contains all your emails is called "Mail", if you want to go to it, you can click "Go", and select "Go to folder", and fill in "Drive/Users/username/Library/Mail".

2. Before backup Mail folder, you should close the Mail app, then go to the above location and copy the folder on other storage devices.

3. When you restore Mail folder by simply copy it back, the system will ask if you want well replace the existing folder, if you lost all of your messages, simply confirm with the Yes button.

4. Remember to backup mail or other important files regularly.

2018-03-05 03:37:01 / Posted by to Data Recovery Mac Follow @ Rosa

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7 Responses

  • uniontom

    I was lucky the 1st explanation was the correct one for me.

    10 months ago REPLY
  • fabrice

    Yup, for me too. Nice; simple and quick! Thank you!!

    8 months ago REPLY
  • Jinnie Baizley

    Thank heavens for your site - the first action - preferences unchecking and checking the little box worked for me - thank you

    1 years ago REPLY
  • Kevin

    I love you! Seriously. I have been dying here since 7 am (It's almost one in the afternoon now) All my mailboxes saved disappeared when I launched Mail this morning. My airline and hotel reservation for my SEMA trip to Vegas. Everything gone. And it's all back!! Yeah!!!

    2 years ago REPLY
  • Brett

    Hi Kevin, what was the code for recovering your mailboxes or what did you restore? I am panicking for the same reason! Please help.

    2 years ago REPLY
  • Anonymous

    Excellent article. A big thank you

    2 years ago REPLY
  • Sade

    Hey, your article is excellent. And i tried cisdem data recovery, the scanning process was smooth, but the trial version didn't allow me to restore, and i consider to buy one. Thank you.

    2 years ago REPLY

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