Compucast Helpdesk

POP3 → IMAP Migration

Did you previously have a POP3 mail account, and are trying to transition to an IMAP?  IMAP certainly has many benefits, but this leaves you with a problem: POP3 accounts move mail from server → computer; whereas IMAP accounts copy mail from the server → computer.  This means that some or all of the mail that you've received is only on your computer -- not the server.  Luckily, copying your mail back onto the server is easy using the IMAP protocol.

  • First step: Set up your new IMAP account: (Assuming Outlook)
    1. Click on Tools → Account Settings...
    2. Select "View or change existing email accounts" and click Next
    3. Click the New button to add a new account
    4. Select "Microsoft Exchange, POP3, IMAP or HTTP" and click Next
    5. Check the "Manually configure server settings or additional server types" and click Next
    6. Select "Internet Email" and click Next
    7. Enter the following information:
      • Name: (your name)
      • Email Address: (your full email address)
      • Account Type: IMAP
      • Incoming Server:
      • Outgoing Server:
      • Username: (your full email address)
      • Password: (your password)
      • Log on using Secure Password Authentication: unchecked
    8. Click on "More Settings..."
      • Outgoing Server tab
        • My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication: checked
        • Authentication type: Use same settings as my incoming mail server
      • Advanced tab
        • Incoming Server (IMAP) encrypted connection: SSL
        • Incoming Server Port: 993
        • Outgoing Server (SMTP) encrypted connection: SSL
        • Outgoing Server Port: 465
        • Root Folder Path: mail
    9. After returning to the settings for that account, click Next then Finish
    10. Before you close the last window, locate your old email account (labeled POP3/SMTP) and remove it.  This will not remove your email messages, but will prevent your computer from re-downloading the messages a second time.
  • Second Step: Upload your messages to the server
    1. When you return to the default message list view of Outlook, looking at the left side of the screen you should see your list of folders.  There should be a new top-level folder for the new IMAP account.  Your old POP account is probably named "Personal Folders" and your new IMAP is probably named after your email address.  If you're uncertain which is which, check the date of the oldest message in each Inbox.
    2. open your old Inbox and determine the number of messages.  If you have a large number of messages (over 1000), you'll want to do the following steps in chunks.  Start with a small chunk to estimate upload time.
    3. Select the messages that you'd like to move.  Once you have them selected, simply drag and drop them onto the new Inbox.  This will take some time (approx 5-10 mins for 1000 messages), so be patient.
    4. Once you've completed the Inbox, perform the same steps with any remaining folders that you'd like to transfer.
    5. Once the process is complete, you can hide (note: does not delete!) your old Inbox with a right-click on the top-level folder for your old Inbox (probably named "Personal Folders") and select "Close Personal Folders".