Review: MailSteward – Email Archiving and Management

September 2, 2009 in Reviews by Bob Faulhaber

As we are inundated with more and more emails on a daily basis and in many cases there’s a need to archive and save certain or all email messages. Companies often need to retain emails to comply with legal requirements. MailSteward lets you archive and manage your email traffic and easily access the information using powerful search tools.

MailSteward from comes in three different flavors; MailSteward, MailSteward Lite and MailSteward Pro. MailSteward is the primary version that uses SQLite supports archiving, advanced search, tagging and exporting features. MailSteward Lite does not have all the advanced search, tagging and exporting features, while MailSteward Pro is the high-end version, suitable for businesses and requires a MySQL database server. Our review will look at the MailSteward version.

After downloading MailSteward from, the application is installed by double-clicking the MailSteward package.


Once installed, you will be presented with the MailSteward menu window, which defines the basic application functions.


Before being able to archive your email, you will need to configure the application’s setting. When you click on the Settings icon you are presented with General settings for the application, allowing you to set the database path and what to include or exclude from the process.


The Accounts pane lets you select the email accounts and specific mailboxes that you want archived. Unless you have a need to archive all email traffic, omitting your Trash might be a good idea. MailSteward will automatically recognize all email accounts that are configured in Apple’s Mail app.


One of my favorite new features is the ability to schedule MailSteward to automatically archive new email as needed.


Indexing is much improved where you can define how to index the mail database. So, depending on the type of searches you need to do, you can select the appropriate criteria.


That’s pretty much all you need to do to get MailSteward setup and running. Once setup, click on the Archive icon and you will be presented with an option window to define the archive period. For the initial archive, you probably will want to select the entire date range.


Once started the archiving time frame will depend on the number of email messages and the indexing options selected. In our test case, 376 email messages took a little under two minutes. When completed, a status window will appear along with the listing of all messages from the current archiving session. From that window you can print, save, delete, export and tag messages, along with performing any searches and even viewing the raw email message. MailSteward also saves any attachments associated with the email messages.


Tagging allows you to associate keyword tags to messages to make searching and organizing easier.


Once back at the main menu, you are able to browse and search for messages. Since MailSteward is based on SQLite, searches can be as simple or as complicated as needed and even includes the ability to manually edit the SQL statement.


Browsing through the database lets you manually scroll through the message list and perform actions on individual emails as required.


I have personally been using MailSteward since late 2007 and the since the new features have been added, my email archiving life has been simplified. With the built-in scheduling and tagging of messages, along with the improved and lightning-fast search capabilities, any one of the several thousand email messages in my database are just a few steps away.

MailSteward is a must-have tool for your email management toolbox to keep your messages organized and safe without cluttering your inbox.

MailSteward is available in three different versions:

MailSteward Lite    $24.95
MailSteward            $49.95
MailSteward Pro    $99.95