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Switching to an IMAP Account

Rather update your POP account?

IMAP is very handy for most people, as it allows one to view all the mail and folders from a variety of devices and email clients - it may take a little longer to set up, but will be well worth the extra effort. :)

The First Steps

Before you do anything else, if you have not already, make a folder (or folders, if you want to do a bit of organizing) on your computer to hold all the e-mail in your old POP account you don't want to risk losing. Don't forget your sent messages, if they are important to you.

To switch to IMAP incoming message protocol, you'll need to:

  • Create a new account in your email application - you can't switch an existing account from POP to IMAP - sorry. :)
  • DON'T delete your existing POP account just yet - we will come back to it later
  • DO disable your POP accounts now.
  • Don't try the initial setup on a mobile device - you may not have all the setup options you really need.
  • Use your computer, but do disable the POP accounts on your mobiles at this point before beginning your setup.
  • And last but not least, if you have secondary computers (a laptop for travel, or a desktop at home, for example) and receive mail from this account there as well, please disable those POP accounts.

Create an Account

When you first create the account in your email application (Outlook, Mail, Thunderbird, or whatnot), you should see an option to create it as a POP3 account or an IMAP account - choose IMAP. Input the following info:

  • Account Name: (however you want to identify the account for your own purposes)
  • Email Address:
  • Mail Server Username: name+domain.org (note the plus sign instead of an "at" sign)
  • Mail Server Password: use your old password, or the new one we sent

Mail Server Settings

You can choose to use the secure or non-secure mail server settings. It's your choice.

Mail Server settings - Non-Secure Option
Incoming Mail Server: mail.domain.org
Outgoing Mail Server: mail.domain.org (server requires authentication) port 2525 (unless you are using your ISP's outgoing servers - see below!)

Mail Server settings - Secure Option
Incoming Mail Server: (SSL) coppercup.webserversystems.com
Outgoing Mail Server: (SSL) coppercup.webserversystems.com (server requires authentication) port 465 (unless you are using your ISP's outgoing servers - see below!)

Be sure to set the port numbers in the outgoing server settings, which is usually in an Advanced tab or Advanced Settings area in the mail server settings pane. The Outgoing Mail Server "authentication" is the same username and password as the account.

If you use your internet service provider's outgoing servers, you may copy that information from your old POP account. They should work just fine!

Check Mail

Now that you have the IMAP account set up, and if you "Check Mail" and your old messages do not appear, it means your old POP settings were deleting them from the server (this is quite common), but not to worry! You can drag and drop the messages and folders from the old POP account to the new IMAP account. Depending on which email software you use, you may be able to move whole folders at a time, or you may need to recreate the folders in the IMAP account and then move the messages into them. Either way, this will copy your old messages to the server (where they will be visible to all your devices), so if you have quite a few, or a whole, whole lot! it could take a while for them to all upload.

Please note than any POP account that did not get disabled at the start will need to be disabled while the device it resides on is in a not connected mode (so they will not download and delete everything!) You may simply set up a new IMAP account on your mobile device or secondary computer using the same account and server settings as above. All the messages and folders you set up in your initial IMAP account on your primary computer should show up on your mobile devices and any secondary computers.

Delete Emails

Once you have all your computers and devices set up, you may delete the emails in all the POP accounts (this will free up space on your hard drive/s) and either disable or delete the account OR you may leave the disabled POP account and it's folders sitting about, as insurance, for as long as you like. If you leave an old POP account active, it will continue to download and probably delete the messages on the server, thereby undoing the benefits of your new IMAP account, so don't leave it active ;)

Webmail Access

(should work just fine with your new IMAP) - to browse your mail from a web browser, go to...
http://domain.org/webmail
Enter username (name+domain.org) and password
…for e-mail access via any browser.

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