Time Machine doesn't back up mail. Who knew?

Feb 26, 2020
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I've just spent another 30 mins on to Apple Care, having been given incorrect info in the past, and this seems fairly concerning if you use iCloud as a mail service for anything important. Correct me / them if I'm wrong...

In the past I've been told that Time Machine will back up all mail if iCloud mail is used through the mail app via IMAP. Today I looked for an old mail in TM and there are none, so I called. They said, "yes, TM definitely backs up iCloud mail", went through steps...screen sharing...senior advisers...30 mins...

"no, iCloud mail is definitely not backed up by TM."

They said the only way to back up iCloud/me mail is to use POP mail!! Who does that?! What they also said is that TM won't/might not back up documents saved in iCloud because iCloud takes priority over time machine. So they might, but they might not. I've just checked iCloud Drive in my backups on TM and they seem ok, but all this seems v sketchy and the TM backups I thought were fairly solid for so many years, appear not to be.

They suggested dragging and dropping mail files into a folder on my desktop to back up...Not a great solution.