Export/Copy/Backup Emails

It would be nice to be able to export/copy/backup emails as .eml and .mbox files or any compatible format; being able to use local (or remote) folders so users can free server space in those cases where they have inbox size restrictions.

Are there any plans to work in this somehow or are there any existing solution people use without an additional email client?

(Originally posted by sebastian-code on GitHub.)

(Original post had 18 upvotes.)

Related issues:

Have a look at Em-Client (as noted above by Iski). It manages to import EVERYTHING + keep local copies. M$ only, unfortunately, but it is miles above their awful Outlook in every way. If Mailspring could do what Em-C does, it would immediately become the hottest client for sure!

(Originally posted by Hope2Code on GitHub.)

i’m exactly in that position: using emclient on windows and altough i want to switch so badly to mailspring, this is a core feature for me so until they implement it i can’t get along

(Originally posted by Azertooth on GitHub.)

Here’s my use case.
I have tons of emails from an account that is not active anymore (I changed job). I thought I could export them from Mailspring and store them away. Instead, I’m stuck with a disabled account that I can not delete and a corresponding error message that I can not fix. Any help would be highly appreciated.

(Originally posted by franapoli on GitHub.)

(Post had three upvotes.)

There are workspaces that use .msg and .eml files as attachments, like user requests, system request, bug evidence, etc. Would be very useful can open these formats in Mailspring.

Where I work today people love to use .msg files instead of a more universal format as .pdf disappointed. Although .eml would be great too, since is more acceptable by e-mail applications.

(Originally posted by carlosmichelin on GitHub.)

The “eml” file format is actually the most common email file type, thunderbird saves them by default. And if one wants to archive a one particular e-mail to disk, there have to be an option to save the message to file. It is very common in enterprise use that one have to transfer email to at least some file format, for example to attach it into CRM or ERP software used.

The best thing it is you can just dump the output you get from IMAP/POP3 server and you’ll get an eml file.

Hopefully Mailspring will get saving and opening functionality for eml files.

(Originally posted by adamkruszewski on GitHub.)

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Speaking for myself, I use this feature a lot in Evolution or Thunderbird, especially when filing spam reports with registrars. It would be a fairly simple thing to implement, but a very useful feature.

As an “old school” user, I would also like to have this feature. I classify important emails by saving them as EML files, which serves me very well; attachments are bundled with the actual message itself. Something one can not do by printing to a PDF…

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Make sure you actually “Vote” for the issue at the top!

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Using eM Client on Windows, I will often drag-drop emails (which get automatically saved as .eml files) so I can keep discussions in a given place for quick reference.

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I would love to see that feature. On macOS you can drag and drop messages onto any folder on your desktop and the .eml file with all attachments and so on is there. Beside the “normal” export mailbox function. Both are missing in mailspring.

Furthermore i would love to see a better “move” message / threads handling, which is kind of an export. At the moment you can not move a message from mailbox 1 to mailbox 2.
You can only move messages into subfolder of the same mailbox.

All the best

Exporting email as .eml file should be a core functionality of email client.

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It would be nice if I don’t have to keep Thunderbird installed just to open .eml files.

Exactly like @lephuongbg I would like to not have to use Thunderbird whem I want to export or read .eml files.


I would also very much like to be able to back up my emails locally as .eml files and delete them from my email provider’s server. Perhaps an ideal solution would be the ability to sync a Mailspring folder with a folder on my desktop, so that any emails moved to that folder in Mailspring would be automatically saved as .eml files to the corresponding local folder, and automatically deleted from the provider’s server.

I have started working on this feature


Download an email as .eml format - Foundry376/Mailspring#2422
Backup at folder or account level
Opening a .eml file will preview the email in its own window (rather than attaching it)


  • Exporting/Backing up:
    • I think both a folder and account level backup would provide enough diversity and be better for UX, thoughts appreciated
    • At a folder level, right-click on the folder to reveal the backup option
    • At an account level, not sure whether to:
      • have it in the Preferences => Account and then either: in the options, reveal on right-click of the account or hovering over reveals the option, or
      • right click on an account name in the main window to reveal it (when there are multiple accounts have it available when right-clicking on each account’s custom folders header [which is also the account name])
  • Other formats:
    • are the other formats just a different extension with the same contents? If so, this would be easy to implement
  • Local storage:
    • You mention a local storage option. There is a plugin request for this so I will leave work on that alone (hilarious, request opened by me)
  • Importing:
    • This is a massive maybe, other email clients allow the import of .eml files - possibly add this feature depending on… well, my competence in the new codebase

So, I thought I could edit my above comment days later… I was wrong. So, from now on just status updates and discussion points :grin:

So, Status Update:
The PR now gives the option to download an entire email folder of messages to a system folder. There is one issue currently that (again), is a mailsync issue - damn I wish I knew C++. Downloading messages ties up the worker process, so anything else (like opening an email) will be queued until all messages have downloaded

Anyone know C++ that can help with my suggestion over at the PR?

Discussion point: Can I have thoughts on exporting sub-folders?

Currently, exporting a folder will ignore subfolders (not ideal, I think) - it will only export the emails specific to the folder you have selected. Do we just recurse over them and create the subdirectories within that folder (by default)? Also, maybe have an extra option to say “Export just this folder”?