I have a very large MAILv5 folder on macOS with 11 IMAP mail accounts over 1 TB of data so I don't want to re-download all but instead I want to use Gnus or other Emacs mail client to read mail without losing apple-ecosystem advantages like inserting mails in to reminder or finding them via Siri etc.. I want to have 2 different email clients to use same database on my hdd. How can I do this?

Note: AFAIK macOS mail.app uses mbox files


2 Answers 2


Sorry, but there is no Emacs package presently available that can use the Mail.app database. The only option will be to have 2 separate databases. To save space, consider just downloading the headers only (some or all) and sparingly download attachments as needed.

To see write-ups on several mail-related packages for Emacs, see:

Reading and writing email with emacs


Copied from my comment on reddit:

According to the docs, Dovecot supports the mbox format: https://wiki2.dovecot.org/MailboxFormat/mbox So if Mail.app uses that format, you could run Dovecot locally, powered by this MAILv5 folder: https://wiki2.dovecot.org/MailLocation/mbox

I use mbsync to download my mails to Maildir format and run Dovecot to serve it locally over IMAP. Gnus connects to that IMAP on localhost .

Now I fetch mails manually with mbsync, it would be nice if I could use the power of Mail.app to do this for me (because now I have my accounts configured in 2 places)

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