Mail Backup X

Does anyone have experiencie / comments about this product by Inventpure?

I am interested in this topic and not heard of this one, but after a days trial during which I received near immediate responses to my questions, I have bought it. It is not very Mac Like, but intuitive and very quick and easy to use. It ticks my four key boxes:
-restorable (eg back to a Mail client)
My previous experience of similar has been with DEVONthink and MailSteward, and IMHO this is superior.
DEVONthink is not (easily) schedulable, and quite a manual task if you have a few mail accounts.
MailSteward has been around for ever and looks like it. To me it has a quirky interface and is somewhat clunky but that could just be me. The database is browsable but is not organised by mailbox which Mail BackupX is.
Mail BackupX is much faster than either DT or MailSteward.
Mail BackupX can be set to backup continuously automatically or at fixed intervals.
Mail BackupX is cross platform and can backup several Mail clients. MailSteward seems to be Apple Mail centric but can backup manual exports from Outlook (though I have not tried this). DT can backup Outlook as well as Apple Mail.
License seems to be £50 one off but £17 for maintenance upgrades in the following years. I am happy with this.
Thanks very much for bringing it to my attention!

Very interesting. I am an email packrat. I use Mail’s “Archive” feature on nearly every email I receive, and I never delete any emails I send. I frequently use the search feature in Mail to find old emails (either sent or received). As an extra precaution, I also download the mail directory for my private domain from my ISP’s server once a week.

I’m not short on space locally, nor at my ISP. So I’m wondering how Mail Backup X might be of use to me? I did read several of the articles on their web site, but I have not posed this question to them yet. Was looking for some user feedback before doing so.

As I understand it the Archive feature in Apple Mail is no more than a single on-my-Mac mailbox within the Apple mail app. It is just a quick way of getting an email off IMAP with no possibility of organisation (as there is with a custom set of on-my-Mac mailboxes). It is not really a backup of mail. You can also export Mail Archives from Apple Mail, which are true restorable backups but not browsable or searchable.

The apps I mentioned (Mail BackupX, MailSteward, DEVONthink) create an independent searchable, browsable, restorable database of all your email. So they do a very different job from the Archive mailbox in Apple Mail.

Personally I have had more problems over the years with on-my-Mac mailboxes than iCloud/IMAP mail so regard on-my-mac mail as being at more risk. I don’t know whether the special Archive mailbox is any different, I suspect not.

This may be too late, but I am using a program called Mail Archiver X - which works very well. It puts all your mail into a SQL database (I think). You can search and view the mail and attachments there or export the mail as a MBOX. I had a big chunk of my archived email lost when I set up my macStudio last summer. It took a while to piece it all together, and I don’t want that to happen again. Mail Archiver X works fine and I am happy with my purchase.

The author of Mail Archiver X is a TidBITS member, BTW. I’ll let her reveal herself if she wants. In any event, support is almost instantaneous from her email.

Just tried Mail BackupX. It forces the app to look in ~/Library/Mail where my mail does not exist. It exists under ~/Library/Containers/ and there is no way in the app to change where it looks. (Running 12.6.2, so it is not a very old system.) Wonder if anyone else has this problem.

Aagrey1944: I’m running Monterey on 2015 rMBP and mail folder is in
~Library/Mail not the container folder. Not sure what is going on w your system. We are talking about Home Folder mail (~) and not any other. Best, Patrick

Not to upset an apple cart (sorry) but I’ve used Mail Steward in the past for years. My reason for stopping is the the databases would eventually get corrupted and not open. Probably something I was doing. I’m talking huge numbers of mail items and over 15 years or so. Best, Patrick

Thanks for the response.

It appears that some systems use ~/Library/Mail and others (namely both of my Monterey systems) use ~/Library/Containers/ Somewhere along the upgrade path from before Mojave to Monterey the default path changed and it did give me a
lot of trouble at the time.

I fixed Mail Backup X by making a symlink from ~/Library/Mail to ~/Library/Containers/ and it seems to work now. It is interesting that if I delete ~/Library/Mail folder, Mail will create an empty folder while still reading all of my mail ok, but that breaks Mail Backup X.

Seems silly to not allow a change in the path but perhaps one should know about this potential issue. Their support did not have a clue, but did answer promptly.

This touches on a more general issue about which I would appreciate feedback, please.

I tried InfoClick a while back but discovered that it only appeared to “see” local mailboxes, and not the iCloud ones. I wonder whether the above issue of ~/Library/Mail or ~/Library/Containers/ is related?

While I’d like to find a solution for Mail archiving, the issue of iCloud resident documents not being backed up (eg by CCC or SuperDuper) is more general. I think the argument is that every document will have been resident at some time and hence will have been backed up by TM, but I wonder about the adequacy of that approach.

iCloud Mail has local copies in the Library and is backed up by TM and CCC.

TM and CCC will not backup “optimised” documents or photos where the local full size version is replaced by a pointer to save space, but this doesn’t apply to iCloud mail. Backing up “optimised” Photos Lib or Documents is a lottery because there may or not be a full size copy.

InfoClick sees all my iCloud mail. I don’t have any on-my-mac mail.

My mail is in ~/Library/Mail

Thanks for the reply, Mike.

I’ve just tried InfoClick again and, for reasons which I don’t understand :sunglasses:, it IS now finding iCloud mails. Thanks for putting me right about that.