Open Bug 688166 Opened 10 years ago Updated 3 years ago

[Lion] OS X Apple Mail Import broken - "No mailboxes were found to import"


(MailNews Core :: Import, defect)

Not set


(Not tracked)


(Reporter:, Unassigned)




(Whiteboard: [gs])

User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_7_1) AppleWebKit/534.48.3 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Safari/534.48.3

Steps to reproduce:

OS X 10.7.1, Thunderbird 6.0.2, No mail accounts in thunderbird.  Several mail accounts and saved ("On My Mac") folders in Apple Mail

Tools, Import menu.  Select to import mail from dialog.  Select Apple Mail from list (shows options Apple mail and Eudora).  Press Next

Actual results:

Message displayed "No mailboxes were found to import"
New folder appears under "Local Folders" called Apple Mail Import" which is emplt and has no sub-folders

Expected results:

Mailboxes should have been imported (I would expect)
The closest is bug 621417 but in that case the top level folder(s) are being imported without sub-folders.  In my case nothing at all is being imported.

Tried it again with Error Console (cleared before starting) and nothing appears in the "All" section through doing the import (that does nothing).

In my case I have around 4 POP/SMTP mail accounts (that are not configured in Thunderbird) and a large number of folders/sub-folders/messages under "On My Mac".  I also have a large number of RSS feeds in Apple Mail.
Confirming the same problem here.

Running Intel Mac OSX Lion 10.7.1 and Thunderbird 6.0.2 or Thunderbird 3.1.14 and it reports:

No mailboxes were found to import

No account settings and no mail whatsoever is imported.

Also, when selecting the Import wizard the "Everything" option is greyed out.

Similar posting on the Apple discussions forums sees other users having the same problem.

Possibly Lion has broken a dependency for Thunderbird's Apple Mail Import features?
Wayne do we have a Lion tracker bug ?
Summary: OS X Apple Mail Import → [Lion] OS X Apple Mail Import
Ever confirmed: true
If this is a confirmed bug, any idea of how long before a fix might make it into a release version or beta build?

I know you devs are busy (and awesome), just wondering if I should try waiting this out or try finding an older pre-lion computer and moving my mail there, then importing with TB, then transferring it all back to my Lion computer.
Confirming the issues is still present with v7.0.1 of Thunderbird.
(In reply to seanspratt from comment #7)
> Confirming the issues is still present with v7.0.1 of Thunderbird.

and will be until someone fixes it :)
you'll see activity in this bug when it happens.
sorry, no ETA
Any news on this?  A lot of us are so desperate ;)
A patch would be welcomed
The lot of us that are desperate should vote for this bug - I was suprised to see that it only has 2 votes.

Now that Thunderbird is nicely supporting Retina, has everyone else figured out some way to get their mail out of Mail?   Care to share?

It seems that the reason things are broken is because Apple Mail has inserted a new level of directory into its mbox.  The actual mbox for import is _inside_ the directory called folder.mbox (or so I am deducing).

There is a workaround for manual transfer.     It's laborious if you have a lot of folders:

• Download the ImportExportTools add-on and install it in TB using the Add-ons Manager.
• Download and install emlx to mbox
• In a finder window go to ~/Library/Mail/POPmyaccount name/Inbox/Messages/ and select ALL messages.
• Launch TB and the emlx to mbox Converter.
• Drag the selected messages and drop them in the Converter window and click Save mbox... 
A file "Messages.mbox" will be created on Desktop.
• In the TB Folder pane R-click on e.g. Inbox and in the context menu choose Import/Export -> Import mbox file -> OK
• in the Finder window select the "Messages.mbox" file, then "mbox" and click "Open".
• The imported message file will appear as a sub-folder (called "mbox") of the TB Inbox folder.
The next imported Messages.mbox file would appear as a sub-folder named somewhat like mbox790, 
but you may rename the imported folders to Inbox, Sent, Drafts, ... etc to distinguish the import folders and 
later copy the imported messages to the genuine TB folders or other sub-folders you will have created.
Anyone willing to write a patch for this, we would accept it and would help you get the pacth in
Duplicate of this bug: 801597
nightmare and silly. should allow manual selection of Mail folder.
I'm not sure if comment #12 is referring to the same format.  They had updated the format around Oct 2012 in Mountain Lion; the one that's included in Mavericks uses the same layout.

The top level directory is ~/Library/Mail/V2; beyond that it's tough to make heads or tails of what's going on.
(In reply to Frank Solensky from comment #16)
> updated the format around Oct 2012 in Mountain Lion;
Make that Oct 2013
I installed Thunderbird just a couple days ago. When I tried to import my mail from Apple's Mail app, Thunderbird just said, "nothing found."  
I beg to differ, of course, because there are many megs of mail in the (confusing) Apple Mail folders.
I'd love to use Thunderbird, guys, but I need my previous mail ... :-(
Removing myslef on all the bugs I'm cced on. Please NI me if you need something on MailNews Core bugs from me.
Duplicate of this bug: 1210324
Summary: [Lion] OS X Apple Mail Import → [Lion] OS X Apple Mail Import broken - "No mailboxes were found to import"
I find it quite unbelievable that this bug has not been fixed yet. 
I have some 20 Gb of local emails in that I cannot easily import to Thunderbird. I am running OSX 10.9.5 on a 2011 PowerBook Pro.
It's open source, you can fix it yourself ;-) (or hire someone to do it).
Best work around I found is given here:

In short: Quit TB. In select the folder to be transferred to TB, then Mailbox/Export Mailbox it. The exported .mbox folder contains a file called simply mbox that contains all messages. Rename this file to that of the original folder (or choose a new name), then copy it to the TB "Local Folders" folder at user/Library/Thunderbird/Profiles/xxxxxxxx.default/Mail/Local Folders. Repeat for all other folders to be transferred. Restart TB and the folders will appear as subfolders in the Local Folder.
Duplicate of this bug: 621417
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