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Archive Mail.app email with Gmail Internet
Wondering what to do with all those GMail invites? One use I've found is to archive the four years of email I have accummulated in my Mail account. This amount of email can take up a lot of space and slow down Mail, so I'm always looking for a solution to my email archiving problem. Why not use the 2GB+ of storage on Gmail to archive everything for you? Here's how I sent my entire archive to Gmail.
  1. Create a Gmail account for yourself... you.archive@gmail.com might be good.
  2. Create a New Rule in Mail: Make it for "Every Message," and set it to Forward Message to your Gmail account.
  3. Deactivate (uncheck) all the other Rules except your new Forwarding one. I did this to avoid sending my new and incoming mail to Gmail as well, and to keep Mail from sorting my archives into other folders by mistake.
  4. Select all your archived messages (Command-A).
  5. Control-Click on the selection and select "Apply Rules." Mail will now go through each selected message and forward each one to your GMail account.
After you're done, just check your Gmail account and make sure the number of messages matches. If it does, you can delete your local email and have snappy Mail performance once again! And remember, you can still check GMail with your Mail.app using POP. Don't forget to switch this rule off and turn on your other rules when you're done...
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Archive Mail.app email with Gmail | 27 comments | Create New Account
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Archive Mail.app email with Gmail
Authored by: lazyatom on Apr 07, '05 10:19:26AM

Will this method preserve the arrival date information when the mails arrive in your Gmail account? Or you end up with hundreds of messages with exactly the same date timestamp (or even worse... mixed up!)?

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-- james



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What about getting it back?
Authored by: mithras on Apr 07, '05 10:33:10AM

Nice hint. But what about if I decide I want those emails again, say after I upgrade to Tiger, or when my hard disk is 1 terabyte? Is there an easy way to download them all again, other than forwarding them again?

And I agree with the other commentor's concerns about losing timestamps...

Maybe this is better as a backup...


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--
Listen To My iTunes Library (6500+ songs, iTunes 4 required)



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What about getting it back?
Authored by: kikan on Apr 07, '05 10:52:56AM

Just create a new account in Mail.app pointing to this you.archive@gmail.com.

Get all mail an dispatch it in the folders of another account.

But I think with this archive method, you loose :
- timestamps
- folders / subfolders

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--
Christian



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Archive Mail.app email with Gmail
Authored by: nekkets on Apr 07, '05 10:49:08AM

nice trick
i am not too concern about the timestamps :)
so it's a very good way for me to backup my emails
thanks a lot



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Archive Mail.app email with Gmail
Authored by: janpeeters on Apr 07, '05 11:04:39AM

It's a fast and easy way of archiving your mail, but you do indeed lose the timestamp.

There is a little app called GMail Loader (http://www.marklyon.org/gmail/), it's a python app that should let you upload your mail to GMail and retain your timestamp. It can even recode your 'sent emails' to end up in your GMail 'sent mail' folder.
I have not been able to get it to work though because you have to install some additional pythonbinaries (tKinter).
Hopefully some brave programmer can use this app to create a OS X app with UI for it. Because with the growing GMail storage (already 2067Mb) it's a great way to archive.



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Archive Mail.app email with Gmail
Authored by: jmc on Apr 07, '05 11:20:32AM

If you use 'Redirect' instead of 'Forward' in the rule, it preserves the original timestamp, sender and recipient. Seems to work fine for me.



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Archive Mail.app email with Gmail
Authored by: earlshango on Apr 07, '05 12:16:52PM

Really?

When I redirect, Gmail still doesn't display the proper date - it displays the date of redirection - nor sender - it says "me" for the sender, since I was the one who redirected it.

However, this is only when the mail is contained in a list, such as in the Inbox or All Mail folders. When you click on the message and view it alone, it displays the correct sender and date.



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Archive Mail.app email with Gmail
Authored by: neilio on Apr 07, '05 11:33:39AM

If you host with a web hosting company that has a domain control panel like Cpanel (which is very common), you can create a forward for your email address which automatically forwards a copy of all email received to your Gmail account.

This is what I do - I then get a copy stored on my server which I retrieve with Mail.app, and a copy gets sent to Gmail for storage.

To see if your host uses Cpanel, look at the URL when you log into your domain's control panel - if it ends with "2082" (i.e. http://www.mydomain.com:2082) then your host uses Cpanel. This might also work with Plesk-based domains, but I'm not positive.

---
Slumming at http://www.beatnikpad.com/

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Redirect instead of Forward?
Authored by: zzen on Apr 07, '05 11:51:00AM

I think if you use redirect instead of forward in the mail action, then you might be able to preserve the 'time sent' timestamp. Obviously the 'time delivered' timestamp is not recoverable, but I think the 'time sent' is what get's displayed.

Anybody trying it should verify my claim first, though.



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why bother?
Authored by: rbenezra on Apr 07, '05 12:10:20PM

If you just want to speed up mail and have enough hard disk space, just drag your archive mail folder from the Mail.app list of mailboxes to the desktop and you have a nicely archived mbox. Delete all the e-mail you just stored and you're done. If you ever want to go back to these messages, just redrag the mbox to the Mail.app list and everything is as it was.



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why bother?
Authored by: mudpup on Apr 07, '05 03:02:04PM

This is just what the doctor ordered. Drag that .mbox file over into a folder that gets backed up regularly... sweet!



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why bother?
Authored by: rbenezra on Apr 07, '05 04:34:43PM

Glad to be of help. This is really the best way to do it. I have 2 new .mboxs for each year ("in" and "sent") and store them on a hard drive that is backed up. Anytime I need to see an email from last year, its a snap to
re-place the appropriate mbox in the mail.app list of boxes.



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why bother?
Authored by: mudpup on Apr 08, '05 11:06:52AM

You can double click those mbox files with out moving them, and mail opens a new window for that file.



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Archive Mail.app email with Gmail
Authored by: cilly on Apr 07, '05 01:50:36PM

I do not recommend this hint!

All your personal Mail will be stored on someones server, i.e. readable by the government and google. If you don't concern about your privacy... feel free to follow this hint.

I do concern about my privacy and so I must say this hint is dangerous!

Btw, Mail.app does not slow down, if you create a new local mailbox and put all the mail their.

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cilly @ http://www.cilly.dyndns.org



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Gmail is Spymail.
Authored by: ratzfatz on Apr 07, '05 03:03:21PM

I fully agree with cilly! Due the fact that google is spying the mails and makes the content part of their advertisement activities I would NEVER - NEVER - use that location as a backup of my sensitive data.

Anyway - having 2 Gigs of space is quite appealing, so I decided to use it anyway for my files - BUT - I upload my data as email attachement which have been stuffed into a pasword protected .sitx archive, segmented in 8 MB slices which overcomes the limitation to upload mail with attachements exceeding the 10 MB barrier of Gmail.

The upload is managed by some stupid Windows machine in my network running Gmail drive software which makes uploading a piece of drag and drop.

Works.



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Gmail is Spymail.
Authored by: alani on Apr 08, '05 11:43:51AM

Uh, are you guys encrypting all your email?
Do you realize how many servers your email visits on its way to its destination? Some of those servers are even owned by The Government.
Your concerns about Google are fair enough, but it's like worrying about a tidal wave flooding Manhattan while you're walking down the middle of Fifth Avenue with a blindfold on.
If you're really worried about this (and I'm not saying you shouldn't be), you need to encrypt your email with something like PGP.



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clarification
Authored by: sjk on Apr 09, '05 07:58:07PM
Do you realize how many servers your email visits on its way to its destination?

You do realize how SMTP works? Maybe you meant to say routers instead of servers?

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Archive Mail.app email with Gmail
Authored by: paulsomm on Apr 11, '05 10:47:25AM

While the concerns with privacy are valid, which is one reason I'd never do this, people should realize there is no such thing as secure or private email on the Internet. Unless you employ some sort of encryption of the message as it goes from sender to recipient (as opposed to simply using the "ssl" option for sending/receiving) then your email is readable by anyone sitting along the path that message takes.

I'd venture to say anyone willing to give Gmail all of their email to parse, advertise against, etc, isn't too concerned with privacy as it is. In that situation, this is a decent hint (especially the python hint in the comments).

Personally, I'd never upload my email anywhere but my own machine, even though I don't care about whats in it. It just bothers me to think that some sysadmin or company could, with a few clicks, run a search against my entire archive. not to mention if anything you do/say ever does become illegal/politically unfavorable, you have a fully subpoena-able mail store outside your control. (These are all reasons why I don't use the free mail services as it is;-) )



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Gmail is Spymail!
Authored by: ratzfatz on Apr 07, '05 03:22:35PM

I fully agree with cilly! Due the fact that google is spying the mails and makes the content part of their advertisement activities I would NEVER - NEVER - use that location as a backup of my sensitive data.

Anyway - having 2 Gigs of space is quite appealing, so I decided to use it anyway for my files - BUT - I upload my data as email attachement which have been stuffed into a pasword protected .sitx archive, segmented in 8 MB slices which overcomes the limitation to upload mail with attachements exceeding the 10 MB barrier of Gmail.

The upload is managed by some stupid Windows machine in my network running Gmail drive software which makes uploading a piece of drag and drop.

Works.



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Archive Mail.app email with Gmail
Authored by: Steve_Martyr on Apr 07, '05 04:27:40PM

If you truly want to archive your Mail.app email go to:

~/Library/Mail

Copy that entire folder to a CD-R. It contains all your mail boxes, account info and rules you created. Also these folders/info can be opened in Entourage (only program checked) if you need to import. Seems a lot easier.

If you don't know "~" means your home folder. So when you click the Finder icon on your dock, click the house icon.



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Archive Mail.app email with Gmail
Authored by: genericuser on Apr 07, '05 10:55:26PM
Sorry to be really annoying, but I'm really curious. Has anyone got any spare invitations they can give me. You all probably sick of being asked this, sorry!

email: sr@studiorobot.com.au

thanks!

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Bugmenot public account

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Archive Mail.app email with Gmail
Authored by: whenders0n on Apr 08, '05 12:34:08AM

http://isnoop.net/gmail/



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Archive Mail.app email with Gmail
Authored by: tomgregiv on Apr 08, '05 12:04:26AM

Sounds like a good idea to archive mail. Doesn't make much sense that Gmail has been around for a year and it is still beta. I would sure like an invitation to a Gmail account if there are any left.



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Archive Mail.app email with Gmail
Authored by: jpgetty on Apr 08, '05 05:58:29PM

gotta post your email address if you want a free invite...



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...and nobody uses Zoë?
Authored by: dille on Apr 09, '05 03:17:42AM

I've been using Zoë (http://zoe.nu) for well over a year now. Zoë sits in the background and retrieves my email, indexes it, and stores it. I also keep my mail in Mail.app, but I could delete it and use Zoë as a mail archive -- with kick-ass search capabilities to boot. Highly recommended.

It sure is a lot "safer" than using someone else's servers (Google's), even if they weren't spying on your mail. What if they decide to charge for it next year? The thing being in beta after a year means that Google simply doesn't have a sound business model for it, yet. Apart from that, there's the timestamping issues, the long time it might take to store your mail, etc.

And please don't say your disks are full. Storage is too cheap nowadays. =]



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...and nobody uses Zoë?
Authored by: sjk on Apr 09, '05 08:00:12PM

Two words: offsite backup.



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Archive Mail.app email with Gmail
Authored by: Billieh on Apr 20, '05 06:54:04PM

Be careful when using this hint - do it in small stages. I attempted to send 200 messages, which worked great! When I went to the next folder (another 300 or so) it could no longer authenticate to Gmail's SMTP.
After logging in to the site, I found I could not send emails at all anymore. I was getting the error: "Oops, the system was unable to perform your operation. Please try again in a few seconds."
After about an hour of this, I figured maybe it was cached or something, so I went to HTML view.
When I tried to send a message that way, I got this:

Our system has detected unusual usage of your Gmail account. For your
protection, we have temporarily disabled all access to your account.

If you suspect that the unusual usage of your account has been caused by a
third party, we recommend that you change your password and secret
question once you are able to log back in to Gmail. You should be able to
access your account again within 24 hours.

If you are using any software that automatically logs in to your account,
or automatically sends and receives messages, we ask that you disable the
software before accessing Gmail again. Please note that the use of such
third-party software is not supported by Gmail.

So, just a heads up if you plan on using this hint. Do it in stages.

---
-Meep



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