How to Find Where Mac OS X Mail Stores Your Emails

You may want to find your emails one day

MacBook Air


Apple OS X Mail keeps your email files in .mbox folders that you can find and open in Finder. You may never need to open those files, but it is good to know where Mac OS X Mail stores your emails in case you want to copy your mailboxes to a different computer or back them up.

Find and Open the Folder Where OS X Mail Stores Mail

To go to the folder that holds your OS X Mail messages:

  1. Open a new Finder window or click on the desktop of your Mac.

  2. Select Go in the menu bar and Go to Folder from the menu. You can also press Command > Shift G to open this window.

  3. Type ~/Library/Mail/V5.

  4. Select Go.

You can find your folders and messages in subfolders of the V5 folder. The messages are stored in .mbox folders, one per OS X Mail email folder. Open and explore these folders to discover and open or copy the emails.

Find and Open the Folder for Older Mac OS X Mail Versions

To open the folder where Mac OS X Mail versions 5 through 8 keep your messages:

  1. Select Go in the menu bar and Go to Folder from the menu.

  2. Type ~/Library/Mail/V2.

  3. Select OK.

Mac OS X Mail stores the mailboxes in subfolders to the ​Mail directory, one subfolder per account. POP accounts ​start with POP- and IMAP accounts with IMAP-.

To locate the folder where Mac OS X Mail versions 1 through 4 store mail:

  1. Open a new Finder window.

  2. Go to your home directory. by using the Home toolbar button or by selecting Go > Home from the menu bar.

  3. Open the Library/Mail directory to find your emails.