Where to Put Your Email Files
Written and published April 22, 1999
Before getting off on the Stationery tangent, I discussed the placement of data files. Data files, I wrote, "are what I call files that specifically belong to an application and are called on by that program to provide you with your information." I mentioned that I don't store my Consultant data file in the Consultant (application) folder, but in my own folder, called "Deb's Personal files" which I back up regularly. (Personal docs must be backed up because they can't be replaced.) And then came the issue of email data files... That's our topic of the week. Following the Eudora information, you'll find Emailer and Outlook Express info.
I don't use Eudora, so I asked if any of you could tell us where we might store Eudora's files. As soon as I asked responses poured in. I was quite impressed. Thanks to everyone who wrote in.
Eudora Folder Euphoria
Here's the story in the words of your fellow readers:
To sum up Eudora:
"Probably the best thing someone can do to organize/move Eudora files around is to move the Eudora Folder out of the System Folder and place it where ever they want (in a "Documents" file/partition, for example). Then create an alias to that folder and move the alias to the System Folder, renaming the alias "Eudora Folder" (without quotes, and without the space at the end that people tend to leave when renaming an alias). Eudora will recreate the Eudora Folder in the System Folder if one is not found there unless Eudora is opened by opening a Eudora Settings file found elsewhere." - Hank Zimmerman (Hank is the author of The [Unofficial] Eudora Web Site.) He addresses this particular issue in detail at http://www.emailman.com/eudora/mac/eudoraf.html and also maintains the comp.mail.eudora.mac FAQ.)
I use OE and can speak about it from first-hand experience. If you are an OE user, you will find your complete email files within the main Outlook Express folder, in a folder called "OE User(s)." If you are the only user, your folder is "Main User." If you have several people using your hard drive and OE, you'll find a folder with each person's name, as you named their usage. As with all of your work, you want to be sure to back up your email. You can make this simple by opening the "OE User(s)" folder, making an alias of your email folder (Main User, or another), then keeping the alias inside the "OE User(s)" folder and dragging the real folder into your personal files folder. OE doesn't care whether you call the folder "Main User alias," or "Main User." It also doesn't mind whether you change the alias name directly in the OE folder, or within the Change User dialog box that OE provides for changing users or creating a new user. Once the physical User folder is in your personal data files folder, you can back it up along with your other files. To launch OE, double-click the OE application as you normally do. If you're the only user, your email will open right up. If you have multiple users, OE will open as you've designated within the program. Although this isn't the place to get into this, you can even take your User folder to another person's hard drive (with OE installed) and place your folder, or an alias to it, in that OE User(s) folder to collect your email. Your messages will land in your folder. Of course, you'd need to copy that folder in place of the one on your hard drive at home just like you always need to replace old files with new.
Claris Emailer isn't as flexible as OE or Eudora. The program simply won't open if you move the Mail folder from the Claris Emailer Files folder and replace it with an alias, or if you try to alias the entire Claris Emailer Files. When I used Emailer, I simply kept the entire program folder outside of my Applications or Communications applications folder, then backed up the entire folder.
Other Mail Programs
I didn't hear from anyone about MailKeeper or Netscape's email. I'd still love to share knowledge on whether it is possible to move the mail files to an alternate folder for easy backup. PS: If you write to share ideas please let me know whether I can use your name and if you want your email address and/or URL printed.