Any Mac user with documents, music, photos, movies, email, and other valuable files already knows the need for a good backup plan. If you don’t have one then there will come a time when you will need one, whether before or after losing all your files.
Cloning a Mac does a good job of creating a backup of all files stored on the Mac itself, but leaves vulnerable one important component that is often overlooked. Email. No, not the email messages already saved and stored on your Mac. Those get backed up with the clone. I’m talking about IMAP email; the email messages that are visible on your Mac, but usually remained stored on the IMAP email server until you copy them to your Mac. How do those get backed up?
Many email servers and services keep redundant backups so in the event of a catastrophic loss, eventually those IMAP-based messages can be retrieved. There’s another way. It’s called Horcrux Email Backup.
Instead of backing up the email that’s already on your Mac, HEB backs up all your IMAP email accounts; those messages that are left on the IMAP server, and not necessarily on your Mac. The way HEB works is relatively simple. Setup each IMAP account in HEB the same way you do in Mail or whatever email app you use.
Once it’s setup, there’s not much to managing HEB. It sits in the background and works automatically. It handles multiple email accounts (IMAP only) and you can set the backup frequency. Messages can be archived as ZIP files for additional backup.
The restore process is straightforward and smart enough to skip over existing emails and restore only those lost from the IMAP server. Regardless, email messages that are exported and archived can be opened as standard .mbox messages, but other messages are stored in the .eml format which can be read by Apple’s Mail app.
There’s also a built-in option to find and delete messages from the archive (think eliminating incriminating evidence).
Unfortunately, IMAP isn’t IMAP all over the world, but Horcrux Email Backup works well with Apple’s iCloud, Google’s Gmail, Microsoft Exchange, and probably most IMAP email servers (it works on mine which is Linux-based). Your mileage may vary but the developer does have a 30-day free trial to try it out.
Remember, HEB is not backing up the messages in Mail or whatever email app you’re using on your Mac. Instead, it’s backing up the backed up messages that reside on your IMAP email account.