Frequently Asked Questions The Ultimate Mac OS X Email Management Solution

After archiving my email with MailSteward, is it safe to delete it from the Mail application?
Yes, it is safe. MailSteward copies the email into its own database file. It does not alter or delete or depend on the email still in the Mail application. So you can leave the email alone or delete it. Of course, as with all important data, it is a good idea to make regular backups of your MailSteward database. In the case of MailSteward and MailSteward Lite, it is a single file like any other, and can be moved, copied, and renamed like any other file. In the case of MailSteward Pro, it is a MySQL database. Click here for information on backing up a MySQL database.

Is there an upper limit on the amount of email that can be archived in a single MailSteward database?
MailSteward is able to handle many millions of emails, but, practically speaking, performance will become unacceptable at some point. It depends on CPU speed and memory size. Currently, on an Intel iMac, 2 GHz Intel Core Duo with 1 GB RAM, performance becomes problematical, but still usable, somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 emails in a single database file using MailSteward. It is possible, however, to have multiple database files, based on date range, or mailbox, or other criteria. You can, for example, keep all of your email prior to 2005 in one database file, and all of the email since then in another database file. MailSteward Pro, which uses MySQL for its database software, can handle much larger volumes of email.

Can I schedule MailSteward to archive my email automatically?
Yes you can. Click on the Preferences button, and then click on the Schedule button in Preferences. MailSteward or MailSteward Pro can be scheduled to automatically archive your recent email at the time and dates of your choosing. This feature is not available in MailSteward Lite.

Can I export email from MailSteward into a MySQL database?
Yes you can. If you do a Search or a Browse, you can export the resulting list of email as SQL statements that can be imported into MySQL. Just click on the Export tab and select "SQL File". The exported SQL file will create a MySQL database with a name of your choosing when imported into MailSteward Pro. This SQL file, exported from MailSteward, can be imported into MailSteward Pro by choosing the "Import MailSteward SQL file..." item from the File menu.

Can I merge two MailSteward database files together?
Yes you can. If you select "Merge Database..." from the MailSteward File menu, you will be asked to pick a database file to be merged into the current database file. MailSteward will then merge all of the email from the chosen file into the current file. If there are any duplicates, the version in the current file is retained. This feature is not available in MailSteward Lite or MailSteward Pro.

Can I import the email in my MailSteward database back into my Mail application?
Yes, you can. If you do a Search or a Browse, you can export the resulting list of email as an Mbox file. Just click on the Export tab and select "mbox file". This file can be imported into the Mail application. Mail will import into a mailbox, so you will lose the original mailbox info, but everything else will be intact.

How does MailSteward handle attachments?
Attachments are stored in their original binary format. When an email is displayed, the attachments are listed as links at the bottom of the email. Clicking on a link gives you the option of either saving the attachment as a file or launching it with the default application, so, for example, if you click on a jpeg graphic attachment, it will launch Preview to display it, or whatever you have the default application set to for jpegs. You can choose not to archive attachments, and you can delete attachments that have been archived.

Can I search attachments?
MailSteward is unique in having the ability to search binary email attachments that contain text, such as Word docs, PowerPoint files, and spreadsheets. You can search based on the attachment file name and/or the attachment textual contents. PDF files are the exception. Their text is encoded such that it can't be searched.

What's the difference between MailSteward and MailSteward Pro
There's not much difference on the surface. MailSteward Pro and MailSteward have all of the same functionality of archiving, searching, tagging, importing, and exporting. The difference is that MailSteward uses the excellent SQLite relational database engine embedded in MailSteward, which produces a single database file. And MailSteward Pro uses the industrial grade MySQL database server for its database. If you have more than 100,000 emails, you should be thinking about MailSteward Pro. The other difference is that MailSteward comes with SQLite included within it, whereas MailSteward Pro requires that you already have a MySQL database server installed and running. The MailSteward Pro Help screens have detailed instructions for downloading, installing, and setting up MySQL.

Can I split my MailSteward database file into two separate database files?
If you do a Search or a Browse, you can export the resulting list of email as a MailSteward database file. Just click on the Export tab and select "database file". You can then delete the same list of email from the current database file by selecting "all email in list from db" from the Delete tab. You will then have split your email data between two database files. It's a good idea, after deleting a lot of email to compact the database by selecting "Compact Database" from the File menu. This will recover the space in the database file that was occupied by the deleted email, so that the file will be smaller, and performance will be slightly improved. Or you can do a browse and export all of the remaining email into another new database file. This export feature is not available in MailSteward Lite or MailSteward Pro.

Will MailSteward work with database files kept on a network server?
Starting with version 7.7.5, MailSteward now works with database files kept on remote network drives. However, there is an unlikely but real possibility of corrupting the database if two or more people are updating the database at the same time. So care should be taken. This is not a problem with MailSteward Pro, which works with any MySQL server, wherever it is located.

Does MailSteward work with email in Eudora?
MailSteward will archive Eudora email if you locate the Eudora email folder (usually in ~/Documents/Eudora Folder/Mail Folder/). You can then import Eudora mbox files by choosing "Import mbox files..." from the File menu. There is a problem with Eudora email attachments. Eudora removes the attachments from the email and stores them in a separate folder and puts a reference to them into the mbox file that it generates. The reference to the attachment does not say where the attachment is located. Its location is something known to Eudora, but is not defined in the mbox file itself. With a simple default Eudora folder hierarchy, MailSteward will find the attachments, but with a more complicated folder hierarchy, sometimes MailSteward is unable to find the attachments. The mail will be successfully imported, but the links to the attachments will not always be viable.

What about upgrades?
MailSteward has frequent upgrades which add new features and improvements. You can opt to be notified of new upgrades, which will be downloaded and installed automatically.