to commonly asked questions.

Use time machine to recover old email

Hi Scotty,
I had used your consulting services awhile ago, and now I have a friend who may be in need.  I said I would reach out on his behalf to ask if you might be able to assist.  Then, we could use your site to schedule an appointment and appropriate timeframe, based on how my friend wants to proceed.

My friend has been using Time Machine to do backups, and is now in need to checking for email from this year 2016 as an email appears to be deleted and the files that were it in, not saved/ download as he thought had occurred.  When he goes to Time Machine for the start of October 2016…the emails are only returning 218 messages and they are from 2014.  He’s not sure how to confirm that emails from this year (September/October ) are available or how to get to them.

Are you able to help with retrieving backups for emails?  Does it involve restoring the full email inbox, or can certain emails be retrieved?  For this type of activity, is a short appointment sufficient or is the hour and half likely needed.

If you can let me know, I can share the details and your website for scheduling.  I know he was trying to google more information, so he might try this first, but I recalled how you assisted me so wanted to ask a few questions.


Good questions.  Time Machine is SUPPOSED to allow you to retrieve individual emails within the history of backups but it doesn’t always work.  So, what I might suggest is we use a test computer to restore the entire email contents to a fresh unused user.  Then your friend may be able to find the specific items he was looking for.  Worth a shot.  Not an easy task but possible.  I would say 1.5 hours to be safe.  If time machine has a healthy set of backups dating back over a year or so, there’s a good chance we can get what they need.  We would then just have to move or forward the emails to his current account.  
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