Transferring mail from Mac 10.4 to Mac 10.8.2

The process of transferring mail using Migration Assistant didn’t work.  It showed a message along the lines of “Upgrade Migration Assistant in the source Mac”.  I have not been able to upgrade the app.

Instead, I opened Mail for the first time in the new Mac and that created the necessary folders in the Mail folder (

Trying to display the Mail folder under the Library in order to copy and paste can be done with (

Launch Terminal from Spotlight or Launchpad -> Utilities, and enter the following command to show or hide the directory:
chflags nohidden ~/Library/

The users Library folder will immediately become visible again. Reverting this back to the standard Lion setting is simple too:

This returns to the default setting of hiding the user Library directory:
chflags hidden ~/Library/

Changes take effect immediately again, and Library becomes invisible to the user.

After doing that, I copied the Mail folder from the old Mac into the Library with a name Mail_old.

I overwrote INBOX.mbox and Sent Messages.mbox in the  Mail/V2/POP-user@incoming.server  with the old contents.

Ensure you quit Mail.

Delete the Mail/V2/MailData/Envelope Index* to force Mail to reindex upon starting it again.  See

Upon reopening Mail, the Mail Message  Import process gets started and the mail shows in the Inbox and Sent boxes.


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