Knowledgebase: Email
Moving from POP3 to IMAP
Posted by Chris Atherton on 21 September 2012 04:46 PM

To move from POP3 to IMAP involves a few steps.  This article outlines those steps.  The type of software and operating system used in the document may differ from your own however the principles outlined in this document would still be valid.  


pop3 to imap 1


Here you can see you email account setup in your mail client.  First , let’s backup the emails you have got so that if anything goes wrong, you have a copy that you can retrieve.


If you are using windows 7 you can use the backup and restore feature that comes with Windows.  If you are not using Windows 7 you may need to purchase third party backup software.


For Windows 7 users go to the Start button and then in the search bar type “backup”.  This will show you the program “backup and restore” which looks like this:


pop3 to imap 2


Click Setup Backup, as is pointed out above.  It may take a little bit for the backup process to startup.  Please be patient. Choose a backup destination (DVD/CD RW), then click next.  Select ‘Let me choose’, untick the backup data for newly created users and libraries (if you want you could setup a backup for your PC now too).  Open up the C Drive and navigate down to the following location:




Please then back that folder up.  Replace ‘yourname’ in the line above with the user you are logged in as at the moment.  You should then see the following, please click next, then save setting and run backup:


pop3 to imap 3


You’re emails will then be backed up and saved to your CD/DVD RW drive.


So we have a backup of your data done.  You can recover it if anything unforseen should happen.  Don’t forget you can do this for any data on your PC.  Next we are going to add in an IMAP account to your mail client.


This is the same process to go through as if you were setting up a new email account, only this time we’re going to choose IMAP instead of POP3.


Open Outlook, click on the file tab, click on account settings.  On older versions of outlook this may be different, the point is find your way to the list of email accounts.


pop3 to imap 4Click New


pop3 to imap 5Select ‘E-mail Account’ then click next


pop3 to imap 6Select to manually configure the settings, select Internet E-mail then click next


pop3 to imap 7

From the ‘account type’ drop down box select IMAP.  Then fill in the rest of the details.  Please remember to select ‘My outgoing server requires password authentication’ from the more settings > Outgoing server tab area.  Now we should see this in our account area:


pop3 to imap 9


What we need to do now remove the POP3 email account then move the folders from within this account to the new IMAP folder.


pop3 to imap 10

If you look here you can see that there is a folder called Testing within the POP3 email account.  This needs to be moved to the new mail account.  In some cases you may have configured your mail client to store the emails within the outlook data file.  This would appear as only one inbox, this is ok, the same process still holds true.  To move the folders simply drag and drop, from the old email account to the new one.  To drag and drop please click and hold down the left mouse button for the file or folder you want to move.  Then while still holding down the mouse button, drag the file or folder to the place you want it moved to. You can also do this for emails.


Please do this for all folders and emails that you wish to save on your IMAP account.


Remember that anything within the IMAP account will be stored on the server, while anything in the outlook data file will be stored locally on your machine.  When archiving you will be storing your emails on your local machine and not on the server.  The more emails you have on the server the slower the email service will be.  For more information on archiving, please consult your mail client's documentation.


Be aware that this only serves as a guide.  eHosting Ltd takes no responsibility for the support or management of your own IT infrastructure or data loss incurred by anyone following this procedure.  You follow this procedure at your own risk.  


If you do have any queries relating to the software you are using, please consult the developers of that software for more information.  If you have any queries please do get back to us.

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