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Ideas for archiving & searching large MBOX?
Posted by: reezekeys
Date: August 02, 2022 10:11AM
I've had Gmail accounts since around 2010 and due to space issues on my SSD I configured Mail to only keep the last 60 days' worth locally. I use Safari to browse mail.google.com when I want to access an older Gmail message.

I got an email from Google saying "Your Gmail storage is almost full", so I decided I should download & archive my mail to an external drive, so I could then delete a few years' worth from Google's servers to make more room.

I did the download, which was an almost 11GB Mbox file. I thought I needed a tool that lets me search and display messages & attachments in this Mbox - basically the same thing I was doing on mail.google.com. Of course I know I can import it into Mail, but the whole point was to not use 11GB of my internal SSD's space for messages I may not need to look at very often (if at all, for a great many anyway).

I found a free app called MacUncle Mbox Viewer but it seems pretty limited - no search function I can see, and a non-resizable window (I guess you get what you pay for!).

I might be approaching this wrong, so I'm wondering if anyone else has been down this road and what I might be missing. Basically, I need to make room in my Gmail storage so I continue getting emails, so the older ones need to go - but I want to archive them and be able to easily search them if/when I need to, and hopefully not use space on my internal SSD. Any ideas? Thanks in advance!
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Re: Ideas for archiving & searching large MBOX?
Posted by: mikebw
Date: August 02, 2022 10:26AM
I am also interested in a solution to this. What I have done already is similar- downloaded the mbox file with the idea that if I ever needed something from that I would somehow open it and search. It's been well over 12 months since that, and so far I have not needed to go back so I am beginning to doubt that I will ever need it. But still would be nice to have a means to go about that.
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Re: Ideas for archiving & searching large MBOX?
Posted by: hal
Date: August 02, 2022 10:57AM
you can import to Apple mail

[support.apple.com]
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Re: Ideas for archiving & searching large MBOX?
Posted by: ka jowct
Date: August 02, 2022 11:14AM
Something like this?
Mail Steward

Seems like it could allow you to set up and access an archive on something other than your internal drive.



My life goes smoothly and in regular intervals
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Re: Ideas for archiving & searching large MBOX?
Posted by: reezekeys
Date: August 02, 2022 11:24AM
Quote
hal
you can import to Apple mail

Yes I made that point in my original post - of course Mail will import the Mbox file - but why use over 10GB of space on my internal SSD for archiving these old messages? The point is to have them on an external, yet be easily searchable if the need arises.

Quote
ka jowct
Something like this?
Mail Steward

Seems like it could allow you to set up and access an archive on something other than your internal drive.

That looks like a program that would work for me, except for this:

"All versions of MailSteward require macOS 10.15 or higher"

I'm still on Mojave. Thanks for pointing me to this though, I may be going to an M1 Mac in the coming year, so good to know.

Here's a thought: import into Apple Mail, but use a symbolic link to the Mbox file on the external drive. I wonder if that would work.
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Re: Ideas for archiving & searching large MBOX?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: August 02, 2022 11:40AM




_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Ideas for archiving & searching large MBOX?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: August 02, 2022 12:13PM
Reeze and Mike,

Looks like you need an app like Email Archiver Pro:

[emailarchiverpro.com]

I use an older non-subscription version. Does the job nicely. Might be worth a subscription just to download and archive all of the email into PDF format.

There are a handful of other apps that do the job, too. Just need to find them.

Robert
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Re: Ideas for archiving & searching large MBOX?
Posted by: reezekeys
Date: August 02, 2022 12:40PM
Thanks for the suggestions so far. Options seem to be opening up the more I look into this. I can avoid any more work by simply increasing my Google One Storage to 100GB for $1.99/month. That's less than half the price for archiving three email accounts with Email Archiver Pro ($5/month). Looking further, I see that my current total usage of 13GB is still a ways from the limit of 17GB on my free account. So, no rush - but I'm happy to learn more about the subject of archiving MBOX files. It's always a good thing to have all your information with you, not just in the cloud. Thanks again for everyone's input and keep it coming!
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Re: Ideas for archiving & searching large MBOX?
Posted by: GGD
Date: August 02, 2022 12:53PM
You could possibly create another user account on your computer and move it's mail database to an external drive, setup links to point to it, and then import your archive. Not sure what potential road blocks one might stumble on doing this, but it's free. But it also might not be all that convenient when you want to do something with a message from the archive since you're logged in as a different user.
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Re: Ideas for archiving & searching large MBOX?
Posted by: Gareth
Date: August 02, 2022 01:20PM
Quote
reezekeys
I can avoid any more work by simply increasing my Google One Storage to 100GB for $1.99/month.

Looking further, I see that my current total usage of 13GB is still a ways from the limit of 17GB on my free account.

Or $20/year, which I do for my personal account. My work account is 1.8GB away from the limit, so eventually I'll go for the $20/year option there as well, but I'm not doing it until I'm about 100MB away!
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Re: Ideas for archiving & searching large MBOX?
Posted by: reezekeys
Date: August 02, 2022 06:17PM
Quote
GGD
You could possibly create another user account on your computer and move it's mail database to an external drive, setup links to point to it, and then import your archive.

I was thinking it would be easier to add an additional "On My Mac" mailbox with my archived Gmail messages, then move that one Mbox file to an external, create a symlink to it and put that in ~/Library/Mail. Then I looked inside my ~/Library/Mail folder! It's not that simple. There are multiple Gmail Mboxes spread across folders with gibberish names like "7C709266-0397-7653-4F10-751E12832018." This is above my pay grade, so $20/year to not worry about running out of room while maintaining easy access to all my Gmail seems like the way to go. Like Gareth, I'll wait until I'm close to my storage limit - I have 4GB to go.
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Re: Ideas for archiving & searching large MBOX?
Posted by: DewGuy
Date: August 02, 2022 07:55PM
Quote
reezekeys
I did the download, which was an almost 11GB Mbox file. I thought I needed a tool that lets me search and display messages & attachments in this Mbox - basically the same thing I was doing on mail.google.com. Of course I know I can import it into Mail, but the whole point was to not use 11GB of my internal SSD's space for messages I may not need to look at very often (if at all, for a great many anyway).

I believe that you could use the Thunderbird email client (200 MB) to do this with the messages stored on an external drive. See this thread:

Need To Move & Access Mac Thunderbird Emails On External
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Re: Ideas for archiving & searching large MBOX?
Posted by: Tiangou
Date: August 02, 2022 08:57PM
You can search thru an Mbox with Spotlight.



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