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IMAP transfer procedure

Posted on 2003-10-28
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Last Modified: 2008-01-16
My small business is going to be changing webhosts.  Several of us use IMAP and thus our mail is located on our host's servers.  Can anyone recommend a procedure (or software solution?) that would allow us to easily transfer our folder structure and messages over to the new host?  I'm thinking that I just have to do it manually by creating the local folders, dragging and dropping the messages, and then on the new host doing the reverse.  Does anyone know of a more elegant solution?

Thanks!!!
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Question by:scotsmen
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qwaletee earned 250 total points
ID: 9638293
Just use an IMAP client in replicated mode (offline).  It should bring over the folder structure locally intact.  The foldr structure should then move over properly to the new IMAP service.

Honestly, if you are going beyond POP3, why don't you use a full-fledged corporate mail system -- Domino, Exchange, or GroupWise?
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by:ShineOn
ID: 9638595
You should be able to change your IMAP settings to actually transfer everything to local instead of leaving it on the server...
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by:qwaletee
ID: 9658955
Ahem, ShineOn, that's what offline replicated mode means :)
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by:ShineOn
ID: 9660668
But not all people understand that shorthand.  

If I walked up to the average Joe on the street and said, "what happens to your email if your client is set up in replicated mode?" 99% of the time I'd get an answer of "Huh?"

If I walked up to the same Joe and said "what happens if you set your email IMAP settings to transfer everything to local instead of leaving it on the server/" they'd probably still say "Huh?"

The difference is, if they had even a cursory knowledge of email, they MIGHT understand what I said, whereas they probably WOUDN'T understand what you said. ;)
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by:scotsmen
ID: 9660891
I used "replication" or offline mode to sync the accounts, though it's my understanding that if I change mail servers it wouldn't be able to find the folders on the IMAP server and would run into a problem.  What I ended up doing was creating both accounts and simply dragging and dropping between the accounts (manually recreating the folder structure as I went.)  Not elegant but very effective.  And to address your point about groupware, IMAP addresses different needs than those other application suites.  We have no need for group collaboration but simply offsite mail storage accessible from anywhere.  Thus the reason we went with IMAP as opposed to standard POP accounts.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 9660961
IMAP makes sense in your situation.

yes, if you change servers you won't be able to find the folders on the IMAP server anymore.  At that point, you would want to transfer all emai to local (replicate) before doing the transition to the new server...
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