Ensuring the continuity of mail

At the end of The Mystery of Dustin Curtis’s Locked Apple ID Josh writes “… what about iCloud Mail and iCloud Drive?” and “Ensuring the continuity of certain services is yet another facet of a modern backup strategy…” I use iCloud mail as my main personal mail. I realized that I have not thought my backup strategy through. I have backup of my mail back to 26/10/1993 both on a local Asustor NAS and Google Cloud Cold Storage using Arq Backup. I also have a crontab based rsync script that makes a copy of my iCloud drive on my 2010 MacPro.

# *     *     *     *     *  command to be executed
# -     -    -    -    -
# |     |     |     |     |
# |     |     |     |     +----- day of week (0 - 6) (Sunday=0)
# |     |     |     +------- month (1 - 12)
# |     |     +--------- day of month (1 - 31)
# |     +----------- hour (0 - 23)
# +------------- min (0 - 59)
  45    13    *     *     *  rsync -avE  /Users/<you>/Documents/* /Volumes/Extra/rsync_from_iCloud/ 2>&1 | /usr/bin/logger

If you try this check your iCloud document path. It can be like this as well: /Users//Library/Mobile\ Documents/com~apple~CloudDocs/Documents. Drag and drop into terminal is your friend.

I backup that copy to my NAS and Google Cloud Cold Storage too.

But I have not even started to prepare for being locked out of iCloud mail. Have you? If yes, what is your plan?

Are you better off moving your mail to a service like Fastmail?

I use Mail Steward to archive my emails (I only go back to 1996 :). It converts emails (and attachments, if you want) to mySQL. Once in a while I burn a copy of the Mail Steward database file onto Bluray disk for extra backup.
The advantage is that Mail Steward has been consistent across numerous updates to OSX/macOS and my changing email accounts (due to ISP changes). Any email account managed in Mail on my Mac can be archived.

1 Like

I can’t quite tell from your post if you’re actually backing up iCloud Mail or not. I would think Mail would have the local copy of the files, but my experience is that you can’t necessarily assume Mail will have all data locally.

If you really concerned about having email backed up locally, something like MailSteward or MailArchiver X or EagleFiler or DEVONthink would be the way to go.

As far as ensuring the continuity of email, there’s always going to be a point of failure. However, I run all my my mail through ace@tidbits.com, which is a mailbox at easyMail that forwards to Gmail. So, if Gmail became a problem, I could repoint the forward. Of course, if easyMail has the problem, I’m just hosed for receiving most email, but I could send from my Gmail or iCloud accounts.

1 Like

My experience is that it is sufficient to have a backup of Users//Library/Mail. At work I often give users a new mac, connect to the old one with Target Disk Mode, and copy over the Mail folder. No problems with that.

I also have an old Macmini that receive all my mail and works as a SpamSieve Spam Filtering Drone https://c-command.com/spamsieve/help/customization.html#id378 So I can rely on finding all mail that has been sent to me before something bad happened. I export my mail now and then and import it into Postbox. Postbox is great for searching in old mail. So I think regarding to mail already received all is well.

I am more concerned with Apple for some reason deciding to a “Dustin” on me :slight_smile: I think the way you do it @ace is better. I already have my own domain and will move all my important mail over to a hosted email service.

1 Like