I would like to make them store data in a encrypted location.

I am also interested in Thunderbird, postbox etc...



Mail.app stores messages as .emlx files in ~/Library/Mail/TYPE-ACCOUNT/ eg. ~/Library/Mail/POP-user@example.com/


Thunderbird stores it's data in ~/Library/Thunderbird/Profiles/[string].default/. There are two folders, one called Mail that will hold the Local Folders and if you have an IMAP account a folder called ImapMail that will hold the IMAP messages if downloaded. The [string] is a random alphanumeric string.


Postbox which is based off of Thunderbird stores it in much the same manner but at ~/Library/Application Support/Postbox/[string].default/.


GyazMail stores it's data in ~/Library/Application Support/GyazMail (data)/


MailSmith stores it's data in ~/Documents/Mailsmith User Data/

To store you email in an encrypted location you can make an alias (ln -s ORIGINAL DESTINATION - eg. ln -s ~/Library/Mail /Volumes/EncrypedImage/) onto an encrypted disk image made using Disk Utility if you'd like. Just ensure that the disk image is available or you'll find the data is being stored in a folder at /Volumes/EncryptedImage instead of actually on the image.

Alternatively you could use FileVault that will encrypt your entire home folder. However if the messages are sitting on a server somewhere (eg. not removed by a POP account or using an IMAP account) then the messages are still available unencrypted on the mail server.


It's in ~/Library/Mail.

  • Wow awesome answer. Yes I am thinking FileVault in future, but space is a bit tight so I can't turn it on right now (as it needs space to do its work). Am also concerned over performance quirks with FileVault... – Michael Neale May 27 '09 at 6:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.