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Backup Apple Mail to External Hard Drive – Move & Save Data

Published By Deepa Pandey
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On October 28th, 2022
Reading Time 5 Minutes Reading
Category Hard Drive

Backup Apple Mail to External Hard Drive

Are you inquiring about a solution for how to backup Apple Mail to external hard drive in a simple way? Then you are on the right blog. This article provides a proper explanation of why one needs to archive his email account. It also includes the manual steps to perform Mac Mail backup. It also provides an automated solution that will help you directly save your emails to the local system.

In today’s arena, archiving has a vital role in organizations or individuals who make use of email services. Therefore archiving is the only solution to save your data safely. Because when the time arrives, one may have to go through the consequences of not storing the emails since he/she might have lost all the emails!

Why the User Needs to Archive Apple Mail Emails

Nowadays taking email data backup is a necessary task to be performed. If you are working for an organization or you are storing all your personal data in the email account, then it is ideal to archive the mailbox, both your sent and received. Now you may be thinking about why it is relevant to backup Apple Mail to external hard drive. Here are some good reasons for it:

  • It would be much cheaper to archive the emails rather than recover them after it has been permanently deleted from the email account.
  • Email applications provide you with a limited amount of storage space which will get filled soon. Then you can remove the emails that are currently unnecessary after saving the emails locally.
  • A received email will get saved only on the email server and if your account gets hacked or lost due to some reason, all your important emails may get lost.
  • Saving emails to an external hard drive ensures business continuity even when the server is down. But this would only be possible with regular archiving where the frequency of backup will be high.

Manual Procedure to Export Mac Mail to Hard Drive

One can backup Apple Mail to external hard drive by exporting their emails from the mailbox to the local system. Therefore to transfer the mailbox from the Apple Mail account, follow the steps given below:

  • Open the Mac Mail account.
  • A select mailbox from the sidebar.
  • Choose Mailbox >> Export Mailbox (or you can right-click on the mailbox >> Export Mailbox).
Backup Apple Mail to External Hard Drive
  • Now choose the destination for the .mbox file and then click on Choose option.
Backup Apple Mail to External Hard Drive

Note: If you want to export the same mailbox after it gets filled up again with new messages, then the Mail does not overwrite the first exported MBOX file but creates a new one.

But this manual technique to backup Apple Mail to an external hard drive has many flaws, like the mailbox that transferred does not clear out all its contents. i.e. after exporting, you have to get rid of the email messages to create space in your account. This method also doesn’t provide any guarantee of completely storing your data without any loss. The exported data may lack integrity.

Alternative Solution to Save/Backup Apple Mail to External Hard Drive

The above-described manual solution moves Apple Mail to External Hard Drive in only 1 file format. You have no choice other than MBOX.

Therefore, this blog also introduces an all-around software called MBOX Conversion software for Mac, which can move all MBOX files in either PST, EML, EMLX, PDF, CSV, TXT, or HTML format locally. It is a perfectly guaranteed solution that allows you to copy/store Apple Mail to an external hard drive by converting MBOX files into the required format.

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This utility is having many other characteristics that attract Mac Mail users who need to perform email backup in formats other than MBOX. This tool can retain the email properties even after conversion. Also, it can move multiple Mac MBOX files at a time from its server.

Other Characteristics of This Software

  • It can also maintain inline images and HTML formatting of the email message.
  • The tool is only supported on Mac operating system.
  • It provides a naming convention while archiving mails to local drives.
  • It provides an option to filter emails with respect to date and time.
  • Moving emails to local storage doesn’t affect its message properties like cc, bcc, header information, and attachments.


This blog is meant for Mac email users who are inquiring about a way to copy/backup Apple Mail to external hard drive. It talks about the major reasons why a user needs to store emails in the local system and then it provides an available manual solution for it. Since the manual method doesn’t guarantee the complete migration of email data to the local drive.

This article provides an alternative third-party solution for solving Mac Mail data download smoothly, efficiently, and quickly. It supports mirror backups and distributed backups of important emails. One can also select the folders that need to archive from the Apple Mail account so that unnecessary emails are not saved locally.

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