I recently was asked if it was possible to migrate emails from and old server to a new server. Unfortunately, to my knowledge this is not possible unless you migrate the emails manually. The easiest method of transferring emails from one server to another is by using matching IMAP email accounts in your local email software (e.g. Outlook). By using the IMAP protocol you avoid formatting and permission problems that may result when you move a raw email file.
To get started you need to make sure your servers and email software fits the following requirements:
- Both the new email server as well as the old email server must support the IMAP email protocol.
- You must have all the account details (username, password, etc.) of the email accounts you try to migrate.
- An email client such as Outlook, Apple Mail or Thunderbird that supports the IMAP protocol.
Doing the migration itself is straight forward, have a look at the steps below.
- Create the same email account on your new server, make sure you use the same spelling and capitalisation as on the old server.
- Give the new email account the same password as on the old server (you can change the password when the migration process id done).
- In your local email client you need to create two email accounts.
- These accounts will both be for the same email address.
- They will both use the same password.
- Both accounts need to be configured to connect to the email server using IMAP.
- The incoming server (or IMAP server) will be different for each account. For the new server you should use your IP address while for the old server you should use your access domain. TIP: it is better to use IP addresses for both the old and new server whenever possible during the migration to avoid possible DNS conflicts.
When both accounts are setup correctly, open the inbox for the account that connects to your old server. Drag the messages from this inbox to the inbox of your new server. When all is done your old emails will be in your mailbox on the new server.