Restoring a KMail folder from a generic backup

Kevin Krammer krammer at
Tue Jul 15 14:58:35 BST 2014

On Tuesday, 2014-07-15, 09:27:52, John M Cavallo wrote:
> On Tuesday, July 15, 2014 01:28:10 PM Frank Steinmetzger wrote:
> > On Sun, Jul 13, 2014 at 01:04:57PM -0400, John M Cavallo wrote:
> > > I am using KMail 4.10.5 on a Linux system and have a regular backup of
> > > my
> > > entire home directory. I was manually cleaning up my KMail folders using
> > > 'Archive Folder...' with the 'Delete folder and subfolders after
> completion'
> > > when I accidentally overwrote an archive of another folder. Is there a
> > > way
> of
> > > restoring the lost mail folder from the backup?
> > 
> > Well, go to the backup folder and live folder¹ with $file_manager and copy
> > it back. AFAIK, KMail uses a Maildir “dialect”, so you can even copy
> > single mails. If you don’t trust that or fear you would overwrite even
> > more in the process, then create a new subfolder in KMail, exit KMail,
> > and copy your backup in there. You can then start KMail again and sort
> > out the emails from there.
> > 
> > ¹ In the past, emails were stored in ~/.kde4/share/apps/kmail/Mail. But
> > with KMail 2, at some point the switch was made to
> > ~/.local/share/local-mail for your local folders.
> Thanks Frank, unfortunately things have changed recently. I checked both
> ~/.kde/share/apps/kmail and ~/.local/share/local-mail, and came up empty. I
> have previously restored the plain text files when I made this type of
> blunder before. Some recent changes in kmail have moved the mail storage to
> someplace else. I fear that it might be in a database (akonadi?) along with
> all of the rest KDE configuration, which would make a targeted restoration
> very difficult.

The database is not used for storing mails. If the folder is of a local 
storage backend, e.g. maildir, then the folder is a directory and the mails 
are files.

Check the account's settings for the base path.

Kevin Krammer, KDE developer, xdg-utils developer
KDE user support, developer mentoring
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