User Reference: MiniClass

The MiniClass are 7 shortish emails that will teach you how to use Mail Archiver. You can get the emails when you download Mail Archiver.

Or you read the information from the emails here at once.

Mail Archiver MiniClass Day 1

Welcome to the first part of the Mail Archiver miniclass.

What is the difference between a backup and an archive?

When you make a backup then usually the data is copied 1:1 to the backup. That means when you delete the original data then the data is deleted from the backup, too. In contrast, an archive means that data you delete from the original is NOT removed from the archive. This also means that you need a backup for your archive. You always need multiple copies of your data.

Mail Archiver can be used both as archive and as backup.

Mail Archiver as Backup

Mail Archiver as Backup Mail Archiver as Backup

Mail Archiver as Archive

You add emails to a Mail Archiver archive and delete the emails from your accounts or email clients - all emails or only some of them. You don't have all the original data, only the copy in Mail Archiver. Therefore, you need to make a backup of your Mail Archiver databases.

Mail Archiver as Archive Mail Archiver as Archive

Between using Mail Archiver as archive or as backup there is only one option called "Move to trash" which you have to activate yourself. When the option is active emails that are in the archive are moved to the trash for the email client or IMAP account after archiving. We will have a look later where the option is located.

Mail Archiver will never delete emails from the archive on it's own.

You want to use "Move to trash" when your email client is slow or your Imap accounts are full. If you use Gmail and want a copy of all your Gmail emails then you use Mail Archiver as a backup.

That's it for today. Tomorrow we will have a look at the possible data format available in Mail Archiver.

Mail Archiver MiniClass Day 2

Yesterday we had a look at how the basic usage of Mail Archiver can be defined. Today we are going start looking at the interface. Specifically, the Setup.

How do you want to keep your emails?

On the toolbar click Setup. You should be in the Plans area. Click on the plus button to add a plan. Open the Data Format section.

Select data format

In Data Format you have the following options:

  • Internal Database
  • Filemaker
  • PDF

When you don't know what data format you need use the Internal Database because you can always export your data. The Internal Database has a polished viewer for the emails. You can do a search, view attachments, delete emails, reorganise your mailboxes and much more.

When your emails have been exported it's not possible to change to another format. Emails in the Internal Database can always be exported to the other formats above.

The alternatives to the "Internal Database" are:



If you have a Filemaker license you can use Filemaker. The Filemaker file is a very simple one that can be changed.



PDF is a platform independent file format from Adobe. You can use the PDFs of your emails for your lawyer. Or you could put the PDFs on iCloud or a document management system.

Each data format has their own options. The location of the archive for Filemaker, the Internal Database and PDF. For Filemaker and PDF you can tell the app if you want to archive the attachments or not. PDF has some options for the filename. But these you had better check in the rest of the manual.

That's it for today. Tomorrow we are going to look at archiving from email clients versus IMAP accounts.

Mail Archiver MiniClass Day 3

We had a look at the difference between archive and backup in mail 1. The topic of mail 2 was where you want to end up your emails. Today we are going to have a look at what you can archive.

Email client or IMAP account?

Mail Archiver allows you to archive from email clients or IMAP accounts. Which is better?

Both have benefits and drawbacks.

Email client:

  • The emails are already on your computer. You won’t need to download all the data again.
  • When archiving Mail Archiver needs to talk to your email client to get the emails out. This may make the email client appear busy and slower than normal.
  • There is no magic way to see if there are new emails.

Imap account:

  • You will need to add the accounts one by one to Mail Archiver.
  • You will need to download all emails again.
  • Archiving again is much faster.

So which should you use?

Mail Archiver only directly supports email clients that have AppleScript support (Mail, Outlook) or a simple mbox structure (Thunderbird, Postbox). For the latter two moving to the trash/bin isn't supported.

If you use another email client - all of the newer ones - then you have use IMAP anyway.

If you have a slow internet connection or a limitation on how much you can download then archiving from the email client is the better option.

If you have dozens of IMAP accounts (no, this is not an exaggeration) then you might not want to recreate those all at once in Mail Archiver.

Of course, you can mix and match archiving from different email clients and IMAP accounts at the same time. You could archive what is in the email client and then continue to archive with IMAP.

That's it for today. Tomorrow we will have a look at the Setup and select some email clients, create an IMAP account and select mailboxes.

Mail Archiver MiniClass Day 4

We had a look at the difference between archive and backup. Then we had an overview over the different formats in Mail Archiver. This was followed by the benefits and drawbacks of archiving from email clients or IMAP accounts. Today we finally will select some mailboxes for archiving.

Email clients AND Imap accounts

Mail Archiver allows you to archive from all email clients at the same time as well as all IMAP accounts that are in Mail Archiver. Remember that you need at least one plan to be able to add an email client or an IMAP account.

IMAP Accounts

If you want to archive an IMAP account go to the Accounts area in the Setup. Click on the plus sign to add a new account. You can select a preset if you use iCloud or Gmail. Then enter your email address and password. After clicking next you can check user name, server name, password and authentication.

Edit account details

The FAQ has multiple articles on how to find this information for your account. Keep the Authentication method Password. For both Gmail and iCloud you will have to use an application specific password. Again, there is information in the FAQ on how to set those up. Click on the Check button to see if everything works. Go back to the plans.

Plans -> Email Info

A plan allows you to conveniently save frequently-used templates for combinations of the sub-areas listed below for later use. You must have at least one plan but you can use multiple plans.

Go back to the Plans area, then open the Email Info section. Click on the plus button in the Email Info section. You will see a list of email clients and the IMAP accounts:

Add account or email client to Plan

Select either an email client or an IMAP account and click on the Add button. Your mailboxes will now load:

Load Mailboxes

Mailbox Selection

After selecting your email clients and IMAP accounts it's time to select mailboxes. A video will make things more clear:

Mail Archiver MiniClass Day 5

We have selected the format for archiving, the email clients and IMAP accounts and their mailboxes. Today we will look at some additional options for archiving. In your plan now open the Options section.

”Archive in range"

"Archive emails in range" is a practical option when you don't want to move all your emails to Mail Archiver but only some of them. In Email Info we could restrict by mailbox. "Archive emails in range" allows you to do this for dates and ages of your email.

Archive by day or date

"By Date" gives you one or two dates. You can have an upper date, a lower date or a date range. Let's say it's 2018 and you want to archive all your emails in 2017. Then you select the From date 01-Jan-2017 and the To date 31-Dec-2017. Or you want to archive every email older than 01-Jan-2018. Then you only select the Older Than date 01-Jan-2018.

"By Days" works similar. But here the range is floating and not fixed. "Archive emails older than 365 days" archives all emails that are older than a year without having to change the dates each time:

Archive by age of emails

"Since last archival date" archives mailboxes fully when they are archived the first time. On every subsequent archival only new emails are archived.

Delete/move to trash

Moving emails to the trash was mentioned at the beginning of the miniclass as the difference between archive and backup.

Similar to archiving you can delete/move emails to the trash in a date or day range.

Move emails to trash/bin

For email clients the emails aren't deleted, but are only moved to the trash. If you made an error you can still restore the emails. However, the original mailbox can't be recovered.

Also, if your email client is set to automatically delete mails after a certain amount of days your emails may be deleted automatically. The following screenshot shows this option for Mail:

Delete emails in Mail

For IMAP accounts the mails are always deleted.

Moving emails to the trash or deleting them isn't what you want to do when you start using Mail Archiver. Start by archiving the emails. Make sure that everything is in the archive as you would expect to. Then activate the option "move to trash" and archive again. The already archived emails will be skipped as duplicate, but after archiving the emails will be moved to the trash or deleted.

That's it for today. Tomorrow we will have a look at making your email archiving automatic.

Mail Archiver MiniClass Day 6

Everything is now set up. You have selected your mailboxes and the options for archiving. You should have archived at least once. Now we want to make sure that archiving happens at regular intervals like your TimeMachine backup. Enter the Schedules.


Open Setup -> Schedules and have a look at the available options. Click on the plus button to add a new schedule. You can archive daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly. For the weekly schedule you can select a weekday. For the monthly schedule you can set the day of the month.


Additionally, there are some options for each schedule.


Select "Quit when finished" when you want Mail Archiver X to quit after the scheduled archival is finished.

When your computer was turned off when an archival was scheduled you can catch up with the schedule with the last option "Start the missed schedule".

With "Email Notification" you can send yourself an email after the schedule has finished. To do this you enter a valid email address if you want to use the built-in functionality to send emails. Alternatively, you can use an account from the Accounts area. The account needs an email address and an SMTP server. Click on "Send Test Email" to check if sending emails works fine.

Click on the plus button next to "Plans for Schedule" to add one or more plans to the schedule. Only active plans can be added to a schedule.

That's it for today. Tomorrow - the last email in the Miniclass - we will recap what we have learned..

Mail Archiver MiniClass Day 7

Today is the last day of the MiniClass.

What we have done so far

In the first email I explained the difference between a backup and an archive. Then we started going through the archival process. We started at the very end with the format we want the emails to end up in.

I explained the benefits and drawbacks of archiving either from the email client or an IMAP account.

We finally selected some mailboxes.

I explained some options how to restrict archival by date or day range. The scheduler was introduced.

Cheat Sheet for using Mail Archiver

How you use your email client can vary very much. Many users have a complicated mailbox setup (up to hundreds). Some leave everything in the Inbox. I've also seen the trash used as sort of general storage. How you use your email client is your email workflow. The workflow for Mail Archiver must fit to your email workflow. I can give only some general advice because Mail Archiver must work for all situations.

Do you want to archive from an email client or IMAP account?

You can archive from both an email client or IMAP account. Archiving from an IMAP account with a short day range is fastest. But the initial download may take longer than archiving from an email client. The only exception is that archiving Gmails accounts from Mail is always slower than archiving Gmail accounts from IMAP.

Which mailboxes do you need to archive from which email client or IMAP account?

You can archive all mailboxes or you can select/exclude mailboxes.

Try to simplify the email client workflow. The less accounts and mailboxes you have the better. Which mailboxes aren't in use anymore? Think about transferring those completely to Mail Archiver.

Do you want to archive emails in a date or day range?

You can archive all emails. Alternatively, you can archive in a fixed ("date": 1-Jan-2021 to 31-Dec-2021) or floating ("day": older than 7 days) range.

Do you want to delete emails from your email client or IMAP account?

Deleting emails or moving them to the trash is optional. If you delete emails in the email client/IMAP account they remain in Mail Archiver.

Without deleting emails you use Mail Archiver as a backup. If you delete emails then you use Mail Archive as archive. Always remember that an archive needs a backup.

How do you need your emails?

You can archive to Internal Database, PDF or Filemaker (if you have a license). You can export emails from the Internal Database to PDF or Filemaker.

How often do you need to archive?

For a backup you want to use Mail Archiver as often as possible. If you use Mail Archiver as archive you may want to use the application only once a quarter or even once a year only. Or once per project.

How many emails go into an archive?

The size of the archive doesn't matter to much, only the number of email in the archive matters. The largest archive I know about has 1 million emails. Some users like yearly archives. But if you have less than 100 k emails a year then I would recommend one single archive.

Which plans do you need?

A plan allows you to conveniently save frequently-used templates for combinations of areas for later use.

All available options can be mixed and matched. Archive a mailbox from Mail in a specific date range to Internal Database. Archive another mailbox from Outlook in a day range to PDF.

Start with one plan and go from there.

The End

This is Mail Archiver in a nutshell.

Do you like this Miniclass? Did it answer all your questions?