Frequently Asked Questions
For MailSteward and MailSteward Pro
After archiving my e-mail with MailSteward, is it safe to delete it from the Mail application?
Yes, it is safe. MailSteward copies the e-mail into its own database file. It does not alter or delete or depend on the e-mail still in the Mail application. So you can leave the e-mail 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 e-mail that can be archived in a single MailSteward database?
MailSteward is able to handle many millions of e-mails, but, practically speaking, performance will become unacceptable at some point. It depends on CPU speed and memory size. On most recent Macs, performance is acceptable up to 250,000 e-mails 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 could, for example, keep all of your e-mail prior to 2010 in one database file, and all of the e-mail since then in another database file. MailSteward Pro, which uses MySQL for its database software, can handle much larger volumes of e-mail.
Can I schedule MailSteward to archive my e-mail 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 e-mail at the time and dates of your choosing. This feature is not available in MailSteward Lite.
Can I export from MailSteward into a MySQL database?
Yes. If you do a Search or a Browse, you can export the resulting list of e-mail as SQL statements which can then 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. 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 e-mail 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.
Is it possible to import the e-mail from my MailSteward database back into Apple Mail?
Yes. Do a Search or a Browse, then you can export that resulting list of e-mail as an Mbox file. Just click on the Export tab and select "mbox file". This file can be imported into the Mail application. The e-mails will be imported into a mailbox, so you will lose the original mailbox identification, but everything else will remain intact.
How does MailSteward handle attachments?
Attachments are stored in their original binary format. When an e-mail is displayed, the attachments are listed as links below the main message pane. Clicking on a link gives you the option of either saving the attachment to another location or launching/viewing it with the default application. For example, if you click on a PDF attachment, it will launch Preview to display it, or whatever you've set as the default application to handle PDFs. You can choose not to archive attachments, and you can delete attachments that have been archived.
Can I search inside attachments?
Yes, mostly. MailSteward is unique in having the ability to search binary e-mail 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 text content. Note: PDF files are an exception, as their text is encoded and not searchable by MailSteward.
What's the difference between MailSteward and MailSteward Pro?
There's not much difference on the surface. MailSteward and MailSteward Pro share 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. MailSteward Pro uses the industrial-grade MySQL database server for its database. If you have much more than 250,000 e-mails, you should be thinking about MailSteward Pro. The other difference is that, while MailSteward comes with SQLite embedded within it, MailSteward Pro requires that you 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 e-mail as a MailSteward database file. Just click on the Export tab and select "database file". You can then delete the same list of e-mail from the current database file by selecting "all e-mail in list from db" from the Delete tab. You will then have split your e-mail data between two database files. It's a good idea, after deleting a lot of e-mail 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 e-mail, so the file will be smaller, and performance will be somewhat improved. Or you can do a browse/export-all of the remaining e-mail 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 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.
Will MailSteward work with database files kept on a network server?
MailSteward 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. Care should be taken. (This is *not* a problem with MailSteward Pro, which works with any MySQL server, wherever it is located, even on an Amazon Web Services instance)
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.