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How to Save IMAP Emails Locally on Mac Computer Hard Drive?

Published By Chirag Arora
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On December 18th, 2023
Reading Time 6 Minutes Reading

Summary: In this article, we will talk about methods to save IMAP emails locally on Mac-based computers. So, if you are a Mac user and looking for a safe solution backup from an IMAP server. Then, this article is for you. Here, we will explain different methods to store IMAP email on a desktop without any hassle. 

IMAP is known as the Internet Message Access Protocol. When you read emails on a device, you’re reading them directly from the IMAP server. That’s why you can access your emails from anywhere and on any device. Therefore, your emails aren’t downloading on your device but rather stored on the server. So, you have to backup IMAP email locally.

IMAP emails can be easily saved, downloaded, moved, and printed without any trouble. So, here we are suggesting two possible solutions for this task. The first one is the professional solution without any turbulence and another way is a freeway manual method.

Here, we will understand the entire process of saving IMAP email locally on your Mac machine. Let’s first start with the professional method.

Backup IMAP Email locally on Mac Using a Professional Solution

To experience a hassle-free backup of IMAP emails, you can opt for MacWareTools IMAP Email Backup Utility. This professional tool will help you store all emails along with their attachments on your Mac computer.

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The tool has immense capability to save IMAP file format emails.  Moreover, it is comprehensive software that can save IMAP emails on your hard drive in bulk. That means you can operate this tool for storing emails and contacts in several file formats such as PDF, PST, MBOX, EMLX, MSG, CSV, TXT, and others. 

Read More: If you want to migrate IMAP emails into Office 365.

You may also store up to some limited IMAP emails on a hard drive for free with its free demo Version on a Mac computer. Once you are done with the process, you can even free up the storage by using the Delete After Download option.

Steps to Save IMAP Emails Locally on Mac Instantly

First of all, download the software on any version of a Mac machine for storing IMAP emails. After this, follow the step-by-step guide as mentioned below

    • Run the utility, and open it on your Mac-based computer.

run the tool

    • Now, fill in the login details on the software panel of any domain, and tap Login.

enter log in credentials

    • Then, select the desired saving file format option to save IMAP emails locally.

choose pst to save imap email locally in pst format

    • After that, apply the special Advance Settings filter option as per your requirements for the resultant file.

select advance setting

    • Now, choose the desired Destination Location to securely archive IMAP emails to the computer.

Select destination

    • Eventually, hit the Start Backup option to backup IMAP email locally on Mac.

start the backup

    • After that, you will get notified of the completion of the process, Hit the OK button.

in the end click on ok

Note: For the manual method we’ve taken Outlook as an example. And, the approach could be different if you’re using an IMAP email client other than Outlook.

Manual Method to Backup IMAP Email Locally

As mentioned earlier, here we are using the Apple Mail method to transfer IMAP email on Mac manually. It’s a simple approach for saving a single folder or item at a time. To finish the procedure, follow the steps below.

  1. Open Apple Mail and Configure your IMAP account.
  2. After that, select the emails that you want to back up.
  3. Now click on the Export Mailbox option and select the destination.
  4. Lastly, select the Choose Button and your IMAP Emails will saved in MBOX file format.

NOTE- Here you can save IMAP file format in MBOX  format, but if you need to download direct emails in PST file format only you can use MBOX to PST converter.

Drawbacks of the Manual Method to Save IMAP Emails Locally

  • For this method, you need to have an Apple Mail App on your system.
  • The emails you choose will be stored in a folder on your Mac. This method must be repeated if you wish to preserve a large number of emails.
  • Although the following manual approaches answer how to save IMAP email locally on Mac, they are time-consuming since they can only save a single email or folder at a time.
  • Furthermore, due to their complexity, these solutions are inaccessible to all non-technical users.

Final Words

We’ve covered how to backup IMAP email on Mac in this article. Here, the manual technique has been listed for your convenience. Furthermore, the manual approach does need to require the Apple Mail in Mac. So, we recommend you use a professional solution to save IMAP emails locally to a computer hard drive on a Mac. It’s a standalone, efficient, trustworthy, and user-friendly piece of software.


Q. What if I received new emails during the backup process, can I save them too?

Yes. When you use the above-mentioned tool then through the Incremental backup option, you can easily save the newly arrived IMAP emails on your Mac device.

Q. Will saving my emails locally remove them from the server?

It certainly is not. When you take a backup, IMAP keeps both on the server and your local device until and unless you have selected an option to Delete after the Download.

Q. Why one should save IMAP emails locally? 

Here are some of the core reasons for saving them on the system:

  • Offline Access: With an extra copy of emails by your side,l you can access them even when you’re not connected to the internet.
  • Backup: Storing emails locally can save you from remote server disasters. Also, it’ll serve as a backup if you accidentally delete messages.
  • Archiving: You will have quick and easy access to your important emails whenever you need to reference them.
  • Privacy: Keeping sensitive emails offline enhances your privacy and security.

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