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E-mail backup for Mac users

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Posted by MadaboutDana
Sep 21, 2020 at 09:58 AM


I thought I’d update people on our quest for a competent e-mail backup app that isn’t MailStore (MailStore is by far the best option for Windows users!).

We’ve had a very frustrating time trying to find something running on macOS that – smoothly, competently and above all reliably – backs up ALL e-mails. There are quite a few e-mail backup apps around, but very few of them are reliable or comprehensive.

Well, we may have found it: we currently have Mail Backup X running in test mode (up to 5 accounts, for 15 days). So far, it’s proved totally reliable, backing up some very large e-mail accounts with extreme precision (i.e. to the last e-mail). It regularly and automatically updates all accounts, keeps a running tally of all e-mails archived, allows you to search through e-mails (not as fast as MailStore, but still competently enough), and is capable of exporting archives in PDF format (NOTE: we haven’t tried this yet, because the test version is limited to 10 PDF files, which is a bit risible, frankly).

Finally, the price is very reasonable (USD 80). So fingers crossed, we may have solved one of the last obstacles to moving right away from Windows (previously I had MailStore running on Parallels Desktop, but this was far from satisfactory for a very wide variety of reasons).

While a mail backup app is not exactly an outliner, I have to say that the app’s viewer for consulting the e-mail archives does qualify as a two-pane outliner in more or less every respect (read-only, obviously!)

I hope that’s useful to somebody!



Posted by Amontillado
Sep 21, 2020 at 02:33 PM


Hey, Bill, I back up my email with Devonthink. The archive versus import thing is worth reading about, but after some initial adjustments to how DT does that, it seems to be doing a reasonable job.

Of course, I use Devonthink for everything. Of course I would use it for email…

I’m so stuck in a rut.


Posted by MadaboutDana
Sep 21, 2020 at 02:42 PM


Yes, I did contemplate doing that, in fact, because DevonThink is so powerful.

It’s still an option, in fact, not least because of its useful web server (although the price for the latter has shot up to stratospheric heights). But until I’ve had a chance to evaluate the latest version of DevonThink properly, I’m reluctant to use it for something so specific – if we ended up using DevonThink for e-mail backup alone, I fear that would be overkill!

But Mail Backup X exports mail as PDFs, so we could easily import stuff into DevonThink retrospectively, if we decided to use DevonThink as a main repository.

Thanks for the tip, however – and no need to apologise for the conservative approach. DevonThink is one of those solid, reliable apps that could/should serve as a backbone. I’m not entirely convinced it’s suitable for our purposes across the board, however, because of remote workers etc.



Posted by Simon
Sep 22, 2020 at 01:07 PM


I use Eaglefiler for this purpose. I currently have 62K emails in there and it opens in 5 seconds. Search a is little slower, but still good.


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