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Backing Up Apple Mail, Address Book and iCal

Backing up Apple Mail:

1. Quit Mail if it's open.

2. From the Finder's Go menu, choose Home:


3. Open the Library folder:

4. Copy the folder "Mail" to your backup location, such as a different volume or burnable disc. Important: Do not remove the Mail folder from ~/Library. If you're backing up to the same volume, hold the Option key as you drag the folder to make a copy instead of moving it (a "+" cursor appears):


To Restore:

Quit Mail and following the above steps, except for the last step where you copy your backed up Mail folder to ~/Library, instead of from it.

Mail Preferences must also be backed up:

Note: These steps back up Mail preferences, but do not back up Mail messages (emails).

1. Create a uniquely-named folder on your desktop (or other favorite location). For example, you might call it "Mail Prefs Backups May_15_2005" (adding a date is a good idea):


2. Quit Mail if it's running.

3. In the Finder choose Home from the Go menu:


4. Open the Library folder:


5. Open the Preferences folder:


6. Copy the "com.apple.mail.plist" file to the folder you made in step 1 by Option-dragging the file. Don't remove the original file from its current location (this file contains your Mail accounts information):


7. Close the Preferences folder.

8. Open the Mail folder:


9. Copy the "MessageRules.plist" file to the folder you made in step 1 by Option-dragging the file (this file contains your Mail rules):


10. Copy the "SmartMailboxes.plist" file to the folder you made in step 1 by Option-dragging the file (you guessed it, this file contains Smart Mailboxes information):


11. Finally, copy the Signatures folder to the folder you made in step 1 by Option-dragging the folder. (Your custom signatures, if you use them, are stored here):


To restore:

Move all copies of the files and folders from your uniquely-named folder to the original locations from which they came, as listed above.

Backing up iCal:

1. To make a backup copy of all your iCal calendars (including events and To Do items), open iCal and choose File > "Back up Database." Then name the backup file and choose where you want to keep it on your hard disk and click "Save":


To restore: To revert iCal back to the information you had at your last backup, choose File > "Revert to Database Backup." When you revert to the backup, any changes you've made since the last backup are lost:


Backing up Address Book:

1. Open Address Book and choose Back up Address Book from the File menu. A dialog appears, asking you to choose a save locationit also adds the current date to the saved file name too. Choose where you want to save the backup, then click Save:


To Restore: In Address Book, choose Revert to Address Book Backup from the File menu. In the resulting dialog, locate your backup file (it ends with a .abbu extension), select it, and click Open:

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