How to Export macOS Mail Messages as Mbox Files

macOS Mail allows you to export your emails in a more transferrable format

Mail on doorstep

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Your email is safe and searchable in macOS Mail — accessible anywhere on an IMAP server and downloadable as a mbox file.

Mbox files keep emails in a simple, transferable format that can be easily imported into other email programs and operating systems.

How to Export a macOS Mail Folder to an Mbox File

Exporting from macOS Mail is very easy. Follow these simple instructions to save an email folder as a mbox file using macOS Mail:

  1. With Mail open, select the mailbox or folder you would like to convert to a mbox file.

    You can select multiple mailboxes or folders by holding the Command key and then selecting the individual folders you would like to include. To highlight multiple folders in a continuous row, select the first item, then hold the Shift key and select the last item; macOS will highlight all of the items included between the two selected items.

  2. From the menu bar, select Mailbox > Export Mailbox...

  3. Choose a destination folder for the mbox file, then select Choose. The new mbox file will save to the selected destination.

The default destination folder will be the Desktop.