import mailbox from former user to new user in

Discussion in 'Apple' started by jackshown, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. jackshown

    jackshown Guest


    On a Mac mini running 10.6.8, a staff member has departed her position. The person who is replacing her needs access to the former employee's mailboxes which were local IMAP mailboxes. (This is just the way it is done -- not my idea).

    Is there any way in which these mailboxes can be imported to the new IMAP account? If so, how would I go about this?

    If a webpage explaining this could be pointed to or some words of advice to get me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it.

    jackshown, Jul 23, 2013
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  2. Depends on the email application and the email server. If this involves
    Exchange, you'd best look in a Microsoft news group. Someone there may
    be an Exchange admin.

    If it's standard email, do you have the password to the email account?
    If you're the administrator for the email server, you should have it or
    be able to reset it. If not, contact them to do that. If they've
    deleted her email, have them do a full restore of her account. There
    _must_ be a procedure for what to do with departed employees (e.g.
    remove any network access to their accounts, desktop, laptop and phone.
    Obtain any company property at the exit interview. Sign termination
    agreement aka gag order).

    Many companies don't think and wipe stuff when HR says "this person is
    leaving". Or they forget to remove accounts and stuff after a
    contractor departs. I don't know how many things I've cleaned up after
    coming on board and auditing my systems.

    If you don't have password access to the IMAP server, obtain it. Either
    have the new person login as the old person and drag the email to local
    folders. The problem with having email on local machines is that unless
    you have a remote desktop backup methodology setup, if that machine goes
    down, you've lost data.

    If your company doesn't have a exit procedure for employees AND
    contractors, you should push for one. Write yourself because most
    managers prefer someone who's already done the work, so they don't have
    Michael Vilain, Jul 23, 2013
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  3. jackshown

    Jack Shown Guest

    Thanks for your reply.

    It's not an Exchange server. It's a Linux box.

    I should note that I copied the ~/Library/Mail folder of the former employee to the /Users/Shared folder and then tried to use Apple Mail to import the mailboxes. It did so but all the import ended up being was a small hierarchy of empty folders which did not include the local IMAP folder which, apparently, was just skipped by
    Jack Shown, Jul 24, 2013
  4. (snip)
    Probably you already thought of this but:

    Are the permissions on the folder you copied to /Users/Shared
    sufficient for your new user so that when you are using Apple's Mail
    as the new user to copy in the folder from /Users/Shared, everything
    is readable?
    Doug Anderson, Jul 24, 2013
  5. Lucky it's Linux and that you control it. It could have been a
    corporate email account on some server "in the cloud" that they
    outsourced. Getting stuff done in that environment is very hard.

    I don't know if Apple Mail can read mbox format files, only import them.
    I'm assuming that's what your mail server is using for a storage format.

    If you want to 'do it all' for the user, you might look at

    They do a great job of offering importing files. They run on a
    subscription model, so you have to 'buy it again' if you want it
    upgraded. I used it to convert mbox files to Apple Mail and it worked
    like a charm with mime attachments.
    Michael Vilain, Jul 24, 2013
  6. jackshown

    Jack Shown Guest

    Yes. I changed the ownership on the entire hierarchy. Thanks for the thought.
    Jack Shown, Jul 24, 2013
  7. jackshown

    billy Guest

    One might have to put the mbox files into a folder, and then import
    the folder. If directly importing doesn't work, try this (depends on
    the version of Apple Mail, though I can't recall where this changed).

    Billy Y..
    billy, Jul 25, 2013
  8. If it's an imap account, why mess with importing actual files and
    folders? All you need is to set up the account, which requires, of
    course, the password.
    John McWilliams, Jul 25, 2013
  9. jackshown

    Paul Sture Guest

    I had this problem in a major company a dozen years ago. All the
    account names were based on a 3 character mnemonic from which you could
    derive their internal email address and look them up in the internal
    phone book etc. One department manager decided to ignore that and give
    new employees access to the accounts of departed employees.

    I was blissfully unaware of this so when I got the list of departed
    employees I started deleting stuff and had one very snotty manager
    sending me angry and threatening emails as a result. :)
    After the above episode I asked our security department what the
    official policy was regarding departed employees or contractors and it
    turned out they didn't have one. :-(

    So yes, push for an officially sanctioned policy on what to do with
    departed staff. Bear in mind that you may need to archive the emails of
    *at least* customer or supplier facing staff for audit or legal
    Paul Sture, Jul 28, 2013
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