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Every year I export from Apple Mail the previous year's email. I must have skipped a year as I have a single 2016-2017 file for those two combined years.

Unfortunately, the file is 136 MB in size, and I can't find any program that will open it up, I'm assuming because of its size. I've tried TextEdit, BBedit and Pages.

Any suggestions as to what else I can try to open up this file?
Wouldn't the export be in .mbox format?
  1. Re-import the.mbox file into Mail. It will create folders under an import mailbox.
  2. Re-export as you desire.
  3. Delete the import mailbox.
 


Wouldn't the export be in .mbox format?
  1. Re-import the.mbox file into Mail. It will create folders under an import mailbox.
  2. Re-export as you desire.
  3. Delete the import mailbox.
I was able to select the exported file when doing an "import mbox file", but got a "file unreadable" error.
 


I suspect there is some other issue causing the problem, as BBEdit easily handles significantly larger files. For example, I just opened a 400MB text file with BBEdit and scrolled from the beginning to the end of it in a matter of seconds.

Please be more specific about what happens when you try to open the file. Perhaps the file has been corrupted, or perhaps it contains unusual text encoding or unusual characters that are causing text editors to choke (unlikely).
Selecting the previously exported from Mail .rtfd file then selecting "show package contents", I see one 116 MB "Text.rtfd" file and numerous .png files. The Text.rtfd file does open in many text editors, but the text is showing some type of formatting code mixed in with the text. Doing a search for a text string does allow me to find the information required, but it was difficult.
 


Selecting the previously exported from Mail .rtfd file then selecting "show package contents", I see one 116 MB "Text.rtfd" file and numerous .png files. The Text.rtfd file does open in many text editors, but the text is showing some type of formatting code mixed in with the text. Doing a search for a text string does allow me to find the information required, but it was difficult.
RTFD is a macOS specific variation on Rich Text format, that allows for attachments. RTFD is generally only understood by TextEdit.

As you see, it creates a package. You may be able to open the Text.rtfd file in Microsoft Word or another word processor that can read Rich Text (.rtf) files. The .png files are probably the images that were embedded in the email messages.

Per the RTFD article in Wikipedia, Apple's Pages may be able to open the .rtfd package, just like TextEdit can. Maybe it doesn't have size limits.

I'm wondering how you exported multiple emails from Mail into a TextEdit file. Is that an option in Mail? When I export it creates an .mbox file.
 


Unfortunately, the file is 136 MB in size, and I can't find any program that will open it up, I'm assuming because of its size. I've tried TextEdit, BBedit and Pages.
I suspect there is some other issue causing the problem, as BBEdit easily handles significantly larger files. For example, I just opened a 400MB text file with BBEdit and scrolled from the beginning to the end of it in a matter of seconds.
I've also have had no problems with BBEdit opening (log) files that are multi-gigabytes in size, so it's definitely not a size issue. There must be something else going on with the file, though BBEdit will usually try opening anything, so depending on the error, it might be something more fundamental like a filesystem error.
 


I'm wondering how you exported multiple emails from Mail into a TextEdit file. Is that an option in Mail? When I export, it creates an .mbox file.
Maybe it was done as a save-as rather than an export.
Apple Support said:
Save emails as files or PDFs in Mail on Mac - Apple Support

… Choose how you want to save the messages.
  • Save messages as files: Choose File > Save As, then choose a format.
    Rich Text Format retains formatting (such as bold and italics)…
 


Catalina is starting to look like the first major release I just take a pass on. I reported a glaring issue with Apple Mail that cropped up around the second or third beta release and persists to the latest update. Apple has admitted that "more than 10" others have reported it, but it's still not fixed. I have exhausted my troubleshooting skills trying to narrow it down for them. It doesn't show up until I import my email to it. I have deleted every .plist I can find in ~/Library and ~/Containers, etc., and finally all of my mail, and it doesn't clear it up.

When you first load it, the main Message window does not open (the Progress window will open if set to), but you have to run it again (without quitting) to get the Message window to open.

#applequality
 


When you first load it, the main Message window does not open (the Progress window will open if set to), but you have to run it again (without quitting) to get the Message window to open.
I noticed this changed behaviour, but I considered it intentional. It doesn't bother me, as I am in the habit of having Mail run all day with the window closed and all its sounds and notifications disabled except the badge icon. I click the icon in the Dock when I want to use Mail, view incoming messages.
 


I noticed this changed behaviour, but I considered it intentional. It doesn't bother me, as I am in the habit of having Mail run all day with the window closed and all its sounds and notifications disabled except the badge icon. I click the icon in the Dock when I want to use Mail, view incoming messages.
Pretty sure it is not intentional. If I manually enter my email account setup into a clean Catalina install, it does not do it. Furthermore, Apple acknowledged it in Feedback Assistant.
 


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