How to recover mail with Time Machine on MacOS?

by Ugnius Kiguolis - -


Issue: How to recover mail with Time Machine on MacOS?

I have recently deleted all emails from the mailbox to make some free space on my computer. Unfortunately, I have also get rid of essential documents from my mail, so I need them ASAP. Is there a way how I could recover mail folder on MacOS?

Solved Answer

Recover mailbox with time machine

Many readers have asked us how to recover mail folder on MacOS. Fortunately, if you have deleted it or some potentially unwanted program (PUP)[1] has compromised the data, you can retrieve it with Time Machine. 

Time Machine[2] is an inbuilt feature on Mac which allows the users to travel back in time. Luckily, this feature is free of charge and backups apps, data and other essential information every 24 hours. Also, you can alter the parameters to fit your needs. 

Users can do the following with the help of Time Machine software:

  • Retrieve older versions of files and applications;
  • Recover the whole system from the backup;
  • Get back missing files that have been deleted or corrupted.

Therefore, if you want to recover mail folder, we recommend using Time Machine. It is a helpful tool that can quickly help you get back access to valuable information. Although, if your computer is infected, there is a substantial risk that this feature won't be effective.

Recover mail with Time Machine

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Keep in mind that if you are using Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP)[3], you can try an alternative way to recover mail. First, go to Mail and select Mailbox. Then click Synchronize and hit Mail Account Name. This should restore your messages that have been deleted or corrupted. 

Additionally, if your computer is infected, you won't be able to use Time Machine. In this case, you must clean your Mac first. For that we recommend using MacOS version of Reimage. This is a helpful tool which will also help you recover from malware attacks.

Mail recovery with Time Machine:

  1. Open System Preferences and click on Time Machine icon;
    Time machine image
  2. Enter the Time Machine mode;
    Enter time machine
  3. Search for the Home directory;
    Mail recovery with time machine
  4. Double-click on Library and Mail folders;
  5. Open the folder starting with the letter V and check if it has the most recent modification date;
  6. Check the folders with long hexadecimal strings and find the one which has the mailbox you need;
  7. Restore the document with the name of the deleted/corrupted mailbox on the desktop;
  8. Exit Time Machine and open Mail;
  9. Go to File and Select Import Mailboxes;
  10. Hit Apple Mail and click continue;
  11. Select the folder you have restored on the desktop and click Choose;
  12. The recovered mailbox will appear at the bottom. 

Recover files and other system components automatically

To recover your files and other system components, you can use free guides by experts. However, if you feel that you are not experienced enough to implement the whole recovery process yourself, we recommend using recovery solutions listed below. We have tested each of these programs and their effectiveness for you, so all you need to do is to let these tools do all the work.

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Recover your lost files quickly

Once you delete a file, it does not vanish into thin air – it remains on your system as long as no new data is written on top of it. Data Recovery Pro is a recovery software that searchers for working copies of deleted files within your hard drive. By using the tool, you can prevent loss of important documents, school work, personal pictures, and other crucial files. 

About the author

Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The problem solver

Ugnius Kiguolis is the founder and editor-in-chief of UGetFix. He is a professional security specialist and malware analyst who has been working in IT industry for over 20 years.

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