Know How Apple Mail Export Mailbox with Attachments

Ashwani Tiwari ~ Modified: August 8th, 2022 ~ Email Client, Mac Software ~ 5 Minutes Reading

Apple Mail ( is the default email client of Mac OS and is quite popular with its easy-to-use interface and features. It makes use of Spotlight technology for sorting and searching email messages. Sometimes users simply want to export messages from Apple Mail. It can be the case of manually backing up Mail files on local system. Or moving the Mail data to another format/platform. That is why in this article users can know how Apple Mail export mailbox with attachments to save the emails on Mac system.

Supported File format of Apple Mail

Mac Mail saves all it mailboxes in .mbox files – the most popular file format, used by 15+ major email applications globally. This MBOX file contains the entire email and attachments of the associated mailbox folder. For example: Mac Mail creates Inbox.mbox and Sent.mbox email files for its Inbox and Sent mailbox folders respectively.

When it comes to individual email messages, Mac Mail creates an EMLX file for each email message.

These MBOX files can work as a backup file for all the Apple Mail emails and attachments. Moreover, they can also be transferred and used in various other application with/without conversion across multiple platforms.

How to Export Mac Mail to MBOX format

In Apple Mail export mailbox with attachments by following the below defined steps:

  1. Open the Apple Mail email client on the Mac system
  2. Now select the mailboxes that need to be exported
  3. Next navigate to the Mailbox menu and hit the Export Mailbox optionapple mail export mailbox with attachments
  4. You can also right-click on the mailboxes to choose the Export mailbox optionright click and export
  5. Select the destination folder where the output files will be saves and click Choose save location
  6. Now open the destination location on your system to find the selected folder saved as MBOX filesaved mbox files

How to Export Selective Emails from Apple Mail to MBOX

In order to save only selective messages in MBOX format, the following trick can be implemented:

  1. In the Mac Mail interface, create a new folder and name it accordingly
  2. Now select all the required email messages that need to be saved
  3. Right click on them and choose Move/Copy to and choose the newly created folder as destination
  4. Once done, select this newly created folder and repeat all steps of previous section to save these emails collectively in MBOX format.

Also read: How to import MBOX file in Apple Mail

How to Convert Apple Mail MBOX to Other file formats

There are cases when getting the files in MBOX is not enough. Several such instances are given below:

  • In case of Apple mail to Outlook migration, the .mbox files(not supported by Outlook) needs to be converted to PST format first.
  • Likewise for official or legal purposes, users often requires to convert Apple Mail emails to PDF.
  • Several other email migration scenarios require conversion of MBOX files from Apple Mail to different formats.

In such cases, knowing how Apple Mail export mailbox with attachments to MBOX format alone is just the first step. After that users can try SysTools Mac MBOX Converter which has the capability to transfer this MBOX file into 6 different formats i.e., PST, MSG, EML, EMLX, PDF and HTML. It will come handy for both selective or bulk migration. This utility also offers advance settings to users to customize the conversion process.

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Apple Mail is capable of exporting/importing emails and attachments stored in the MBOX file format. These files can be copied to other platforms as well as converted to other file types as per requirement. In here, we mentioned the procedure to export Apple Mail mailbox with attachments to the local system. Users can also export only selective messages instead of the complete mailbox folder with a simple trick as mentioned above.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I export Mac Mail emails manually?

Yes, in fact, the manual procedure is the best way to export Mac mail emails with attachments. It will provide you with MBOX files for both bulk export or selective email export.

My Apple mail export is not working. How to Fix it?

There are several possible fixes:
1. Try rebuilding or re-indexing the mailboxes before exporting.
2. Use the export option in a little gear icon at the bottom of the panel instead of the right-clicking process.
Don’t be confused with emails on your system and emails on the server. Generally, inactive accounts have this problem.

What to do if the ‘export mailbox’ option does not work at all?

Go to Library/Mail/V(x) where x is a number. Find your mailbox files and drag them to your desktop. You may have to make the library folder visible for this.

How to export Mac Mail messages to other formats (not MBOX)?

For such procedure, a professional solution is necessary. Apple Mail supports exporting the files to MBOX and EMLX extension only. To save bulk emails in PST or PDF, uses SysTools Mac MBOX Converter.