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Recover messages from a deleted mail account in Mail for macOS

Sometimes you make a rookie mistake, like shutting down a hosted email account before you—well, before I—download all the messages that are stored on the server and synced to my Macs and iOS devices via IMAP. I felt like a dope. I had already contacted the mail hosting company, which retains deleted accounts for seven days for just this reason, when I realized I should have a full backup cached on my iMac.

This Mac is always on and the Mail app is always running. The account I’d just deleted should be fully synced with the cached download in Mail, so long as I didn’t restart my Mac or even quit Mail. If you quit or restart, it’s hard to know exactly what cached content would be temporarily deleted by Mail or macOS.

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