Macbook pro 2010
I set up Mail years ago [so I've forgotten how I did it and what I knew], but didn't use it. I have always used the email on comcast.net in case the house burned down and to be able to access it from different computers. Recently I decided to download all the mail in my comcast inbox as a second line of BU. Unfortunately I know of no way to download the sent folder at Comcast. I'd also like to backup my mail on my mac to my ext HD.
The only directions I could find for BUing Mail was for 4.5, which said there were two folders in User>Library - a Mail folder and a Mail download folder for attachments that you copied over. I can only find a Mail folder and it doesn't appear to me to have the actual emails in it unless it's in the POP_myemailaddress comcast.net folder and in the file inbox.mbox. If that's the BU are the attachment included? It''s an awfully small file [211 MB] to include my 2137 emails. The metadata folder is empty.
The location of the Mail mbox files will be:
[hard drive name]:Users:[username]:Library:Mail:V2:
The V2 might be different for newer or older versions of macOS (I am running 10.10 at the moment).
At that location, you will find a number of folders...one for each email account you might have. The folder will be named typically in such a way that you know which email account it is. That folder will then contain all the mbox files for that account. For a POP email account, that should only be one mbox file for the Inbox. For IMAP accounts, you can have multiple mbox files for the various folders as IMAP accounts can download more than just the Inbox.
From what I recall, Mail does NOT store the attachments in the mbox file. This is why your mbox file is only about 200 MB...it is mainly just text. For reference, the Inbox of one of my email accounts has about 6000 messages in it, but is still about the same size as your mbox file at about 200 MB.
Where it stores attachments will depend on the version of the macOS you are using. This page gives possible locations:http://kb.mit.edu/confluence/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=4259946
In my case, it was the last one.
As to backing up Mail, I will offer what I have offered in the past. The best way is to backup your entire computer. Do something like clone your drive periodically or use a backup program like Time Machine to back up the entire Mac, then Mail is being backed up as well.
There are some programs out there for backing up and/or archiving email messages from Apple Mail. Since I don't use any such program, I don't have one to suggest. I believe others have asked in the past, you might want to look through the old threads in this forum.
Under Mailbox on the I-forget-the-name bar w/ the drop down options there is an option "archive", which is probably how you backup. Will that BU my emails and their attachments?
To my knowledge, that will just move the email message within Mail to another folder called "Archive". In other words, just get it out of the Inbox.
The most "manual" way to backup a specific email message is to highlight the message, then drag the message from the Mail window to a folder in a Finder window. That will same the message as an eml file in the Finder and this WILL include any attachments. I believe, however, you can only do this one email message at a time (at least I could not do more than 1 at a time).
Is there any way to download the Sent box from the Comcast server to my Sent folder in mail? I guess I could set up another email address and forward them all there and then download that inbox, but I'd rather not if I can avoid it.
Comcast now support IMAP email accounts. IMAP accounts can download more than just the Inbox (unlike POP accounts). Just keep in mind that IMAP accounts are synced accounts. That means when you read a message on one device, it will show up as read on all devices setup with that IMAP account. If you delete a message on your computer, then it will be deleted on the server and all other devices using the IMAP account. But, when using a email client like Mail, you message will be downloaded to the computer as well as remain on the server and be downloaded to any other computer connected to the IMAP account and using an email client (things like smartphones and tablets are a bit more complicated). So, the message will physically reside in multiple locations...but it is deleted from all locations when you delete it.
So, if you setup your Comcast account as an IMAP account, it will can download all folders for that Comcast account including Sent.
Now, one thing to keep in mind is that it may not just download by default. It will depend on how you have the IMAP account setup in your email client as well as the email client. Some clients will not download a folder until you go to it. Some just download it automatically. I believe that Mail is the latter, but I am not 100% sure.
If you leave it as a POP account, then you will have to go the path of using the forward command.
Also, is there any way to upload an email in my Sent box in Mail to my Sent box on comcast?
If you add your Comcast account as IMAP, then you can just copy those messages into the Sent folder of the IMAP account and they will upload to the server (just keep in mind it might take a while depending on your Internet connection...i.e. your general speed, but then upload speeds are typically lower than download speeds for any Internet connection).
You will potentially want to be careful in how you do it, however. My suggestion would be to create a new local email folder (what Mail calls a "mailbox"). The process would nominally be the following (it might be different since you are still using 10.6 and I am using 10.10):
1) Go to the Mailbox menu and select "New Mailbox..."
2) You will get a dialog box asking where you want the mailbox to be created and for a name
3) For the location, find and select "On My Mac"
4) Type in a name for it
5) Click OK
6) Now, in the navigation list on the left side of mail (i.e. where it lists Inbox, Sent, etc), scroll down to the part that says "On My Mac". You should see the new folder/mailbox
7) Move all the messages from the current Sent folder of your Comcast account to the newly created folder
Now, no matter how you setup the IMAP account (i.e. whether just change the server settings for the current account or just add the account again just as an IMAP account), those messages will be protected. Once the IMAP account is added, you can then move those messages from the folder you created to the Sent folder for the IMAP account. And it will then sync them to the server. You might want to do this for any other folder associated with your existing Comcast account setup to be safe.