Best Solution to Deal With “no valid MBOX files found” Error

Apple Mail is a popular email client used by many individuals and organizations. It stores mailbox data in MBOX files locally. Sometimes, you encounter the “no valid MBOX files found”error, while accessing the MBOX files. So, what causes this error, and how can you fix it?

Causes Behind “no valid MBOX files found” Error

You may encounter the “no valid MBOX files found” error while, • Trying to access MBOX files in the wrong directory. • Trying to transfer MBOX files from one Mac OS version to another, which causes file compatibility issues.

Solutions for Fixing “No Valid MBOX Files Found” Error

To fix the ‘no valid MBOX files found’ error, you can use these methods:

Method #1: Ensure You are Accessing the Correct Directory

Apple Mail mailboxes, i.e. MBOX files, are located in /home/library/mail/mailboxes directory. So, make sure to select this location while accessing the MBOX file. 

Apple Mail mailboxes, i.e. MBOX files, are located in /home/library/mail/mailboxes directory. So, make sure to select this location while accessing the MBOX file.

Note: Don’t select the .mbox folder (folder with .mbox name). It will throw “no valid MBOX files were found” error. Instead, select Apple Mail mailbox folder where the required .mbox folder is located. In other words, don’t specify the path of the .mbox file but rather the folder where the file is located.

Want to move from Apple Mail or any other MBOX-based email client to Outlook or Office 365? Try Stellar MBOX converter software that offers the simplest and safest solution. This software supports many MBOX email clients such as Apple Mail, Thunderbird, Entourage, etc. and allows you to convert MBOX file into Outlook importable PST file in a few easy steps.

Method #2: Transfer MBOX Files on a Newer Mac OS by Following the Correct Method

Many users encounter “no valid MBOX files found” error when they migrate to a newer Mac OS and try to import the MBOX files created on the older OS. To fix the issue, follow the given steps:

  1. Take a backup of ~/Library/Mail/ and ~/Library/Preferences/
  2. Transfer the Mail rules. For this, copy MessageRules.plist from the old Mail folder to the new Mail folder. If the new Mail folder already has MessageRules.plist backup, delete it.
  3. Open Apple Mail in the new OS and check Preferences to ensure that the new rules are there.
  4. Import the MBOX file by selecting File and then selecting Import Mailboxes.

Import window will open.

  1. Select Apple Mail and click Continue. The program will ask you to select the Apple Mail folder you want to import.
  2. Click Choose and select the Mail folder where the MBOX file is located. Note: Make sure you select the mailbox folder and not the .mbox file itself. You can preview all the emails stored in the mbox file.
  1. Select the mailbox items you want to import and click Continue to initiate the import process.

After the mailbox is imported, follow these steps to ensure that the process was successful:

  1. Close and open Mail application again.
  2. Check that all emails are imported successfully.
  3. Check if the search tools works properly. In case it doesn’t, you can recreate Spotlight index by using the following shell command:
sudo mdutil -E /
  1. Check that all mail rules are available in Preferences.

You can fix the “no avoid MBOX files found” error by following the methods discussed in this post. However, if you continue to face the error even after trying these methods, you can install another MBOX-based email client such as Thunderbird on your system. You can import the MBOX file in the new email client to view your MBOX items.   

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