How do I import my mail rules to my new Mac?

victoria January 18, 2012
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I’ve moved over all my mail and folders but I cant figure out how to import the mail rules I set up on the old system. My old system is using OS X 10.5.8 new system is 10.7.2

  1. Mulder
    January 18, 2012 at 5:01 am

    First you have to quit Mail on both the Leopard and Lion system, then you have to show your Home/Library folder in Lion, which is hidden by default to prevent people from deleting things they have no knowledge about. To do that:

    1. Launch Terminal (in /Applications/Utilities)
    2. Copy/Paste this command and press Enter: chflags nohidden ~/Library/

    Next, go to Home/Library/Mail onn your 10.5.8 Mac and copy the MessageRules.plist file, and put that copy in your Home/Library/Mail folder on the Lion machine. It will say a file already exists with that name and ask if you want to replace it: say 'Yes' if that's what you want to do.

    Saying 'Yes' to that will get rid of any existing Rules that were there when you installed Lion, as well as any you may have created before replacing that file.

    When you're done, copy/paste this command in Terminal on your Lion system and press Enter: chflags hidden ~/Library/

    Quit Terminal

    • Guest
      April 5, 2012 at 9:34 am

      I have no idea how it happened cause I usually don't open Terminal, but it worked. Thank you for a very helpful description!

    • Kristen
      July 17, 2012 at 10:34 pm

      I wish this had worked! Since the Lion Library has nested folders in Home/Library/Mail (V2 is the only folder I saw when I opened the folder), I had to search for messagerules.plist - it's a few levels down.

      It looks like everything is in the right place... but still, no signatures when I open the new mail. :(

      I'll keep trying. If you had success, maybe there's still hope.

      By the way, a trick for finding the Library is to hold down "option" and then click the Go menu.

      • Mike
        July 18, 2012 at 11:21 am

        As the name suggests the MessageRules.plist only contains mail rules not signatures.

        Copying the file to the folder you said does work in Lion/Mountain Lion. I tested it backwards with a plist file from 10.5 Mail.

        As for signatures I suggest this way:
        1. open Apple Mail
        2. go into settings, create a new signature and assign it to your account
        ** quit Apple Mail (cmd ? + Q)
        3. go into ~/Library/Mail/V2/MailData/Signatures
        4. copy the UID (file name) of the new signature
        5. rename your old "...signature.webarchive" to "UID.webarchiv"
        6. copy/move the renamed old signature to the above folder and replace the existing file

        Now you should have your old signature within Apple Mail.