Although iData Pro requires OS 10.10
or later, it is capable of importing Apple Mail folders going
back to OS 10.4.
However, the way Apple Mail folders are stored changed after OS
10.6. To learn how to import Apple Mail files from OS 10.4 through
10.6, click here
To learn how to import Apple Mail files while running under OS
10.7 through 10.13
Importing Apple Mail Files Under OS 10.14 and Later
Beginning with MacOS 10.14, Apple added more security to Mail file
access. In order for iData Pro to import your email files, you
have to explicitly give it permission to do so. Here's how:
1. Open System Preferences. (Select System
under the Apple menu.
2. Click the Security & Privacy
3. In the Security & Privacy
window, select the Privacy
4. In the left-hand column, select Full
5. Click the padlock icon at the bottom of the
screen, and enter your Mac password when requested.
6. Click the +
button in the right-hand
7. In the Open dialog that comes up next,
navigate to iData Pro.app
(probably in the Applications
folder), select it, and click the Open
8. At this point, the Security &
window should look like this.
9. Click the padlock icon to prevent further
changes, and close the window.
Now you can use iData Pro to import your Apple
These mailboxes will have a .mbox
name extension. Apple stores different mailboxes in folders that
have long alphanumeric names.
Importing a Mailbox Under OS 10.14 and Later
The name of the folder that
Mail uses to store email mailboxes and files changes with each
change in the OS version. In 10.14, it is V6
; in 10.15, it
; and so on. We'll refer to this folder as the V-folder
1. In iData Pro, select the Apple Mail - OS
10.4 or Later
in the Import
sub-menu, under the File
2. The Open
dialog will open the Mail
folder, showing the V-folder
3. Open the various folders that have the long
alphanumeric names until you find the .mbox
that you want to import. Then highlight it
and click the Select
Other Mail Folder Locations
If you have created sub-mailboxes within other "root" mailboxes,
you can open a root mailbox to import a sub-mailbox. The previous
image is from my personal Mac. Here's what Chinese List.mbox
when it is opened:
If I select Chinese List.mbox
both the main-level folder emails and the Beijing Sounds.mbox
imported. If I want only Beijing
, I can just select that one.
Some of your messages may be in the
Inbox, especially if you haven't created folders
and Rules for directing all your email messages into folders,
The Inbox is in a slightly different place. In the same folder
as the Mailboxes (folder listed above), you will find a folder that
and includes your email address. In that folder will be an INBOX.mbox folder. This is where your Inbox
messages are located. The POP- folder will also
contain your Sent and Drafts folders.
Completing the Import Action
Once you have selected folder to import, click the Open button. A dialog will appear
giving you several options.
If a datafile with the exact field structure needed for email
import is not open, the only option will be to create a new
datafile. This is always the safest option. You can later adjust
the field structure and merge datafiles if needed.
If you have a datafile open with the appropriate fields, you can
add or merge the imported records into the existing datafile.
Add to current datafile
This will append the imported records to the current datafile. No
attempt will be made to determine if a message already exists in
the datafile. To avoid duplicate records, you must be sure that
messages you previously imported are not in the folder that you
are now importing.
Merge into current datafile
This will sort the current datafile and only import messages that
are not already in the datafile. If there is the slightest
difference, iData Pro will see it as a new message.
Email Record Structure
iData Pro places the message portion of each imported email
message into the Freeform Text Area of a record. In addition, any
existing data of the following types will be put into matching
To import an email file into
an existing datafile, that datafile
must have eight fields, and they should be in the same order
as specified above, although the precise names of the fields
may vary. (Even though not every email has data in all those
fields, there is no way to predict this, so the iData format
is generalized to cover the most common cases. When viewing
imported email datafiles in List View, you can use the Modify Fields
function to specify that some fields should be hidden. Please
see the Modify Fields topic in the Edit chapter for details.)
Depending on the speed of your particular machine and the
percentage of HTML-based messages, importing a mailbox with, say,
2000 messages may take anywhere from 20 seconds up to about 2
minutes. HTML messages take longer than plain text, as they
require an additional translation stage. A single HTML message can
take as much as three seconds. Plain text messages mixed in with
HTML messages will not take as long.
Old HTML messages that contain links to images that no longer
exist on the Web are a particular problem, as the system may spend
as much as a minute (which feels like forever) trying to find the
image before giving up. In a few cases, the system will not
be able to process such a message, and will return an error code.
In these cases, iData will place a message saying, "HTML could not
be processed." in the Message area.
If you notice that you have a record containing an unprocessed
message, you can look at the File
field to find the name of the .emlx file. Find that
file in the Finder and double-click it to open it in Mail. Then,
you can copy the message content in Mail and paste it into the
If it seems that the import is going on for longer than normal,
you can abort the import process at any time by typing the esc key or command-period. However, if you know that the
mailbox being imported is large, it's probably best to be
patient. When the process is aborted, messages that have already
been imported will show up in the datafile.