Move Email from Server to Desktop - OS X 10.7 - 10.8

Why move old email from the email server to your desktop?

Email servers are not designed for high volume long term storage. Better is to sort old email, typically by the year, save it to a desktop computer, then archive it to an encrypted external drive, as well as durable, inexpensive encrypted offsite storage. The email may be retrieved from storage as needed.

The following steps describe how to set up a new mailbox on the desktop, name it, then move email from the email server into the new mailbox, removing the old mail from the server. The server will continue to save new mail.

  1. Open the Apple Mail on the computer that contains the messages you wish to move off the email server.
  2. Click on Mailbox located in the top menu bar.

  3. Select New Mailbox from the dropdown menu.
    New Mailbox

  4. You will be prompted to choose the location of the new mailbox. Select On My Mac from the dropdown menu. Type in a name for the new mailbox. For example the name might be 2012 Customer Email.
    New Mailbox Data

  5. Click the OK button to continue.
  6. Navigate first to the mailbox on your desktop where the email on the server appears. Then select the emails you need move. Note that you can select the email using View/Columns to sort by To, From, Subject, Date, etc.
  7. Click on Message from the top Menu.

  8. Select Move To and then choose the new mailbox name you created above. The selected emails will be moved from the email server to local storage on the desktop.
    Move To

  9. You have successfully moved messages into the new mailbox. You can now browse the messages by clicking on the folder under the On My Mac section of the left hand pane in the mail application. In this example the New Mailbox is named 2012 Customer Email.
    On My Mac