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Moving to new server, must move imap email on Mac OS

Posted on 2013-05-16
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Last Modified: 2013-06-19
We brought on a client who uses imap to sync emails between their devices. Sadly their old IT company put their website on a locked down shared hosting server (whereas we only have dedicated servers). The client syncs the emails on their server with their iPad, iPhone and Macbook Pro.

We are moving their entire website (data, email accounts, email data, databases, etc...) from the shared hosting server (no root access or SSH) to our dedicated server (root access, SSH, etc...)

The clients email account has 10GB of data on their server. I synced up their email account in Outlook on my machine and downloaded headers/content/attachments. So I have a complete copy in a .PST if need be.

Research and talking with a few friends at Microsoft suggests that on the clients machine I can keep the current imap email account on their machine and to create another imap email account called "whatever NEW." I will need to change the old imap email and new imap email to their respective IP's for the incoming/outgoing imap/smtp and test both are working. Then I recreate the folders in the new imap email with those in the old imap email we're shutting down in a few days. I then drag/drop the emails from the old imap email account into the new account and everything "syncs" and the emails I move over actually transfer on to my server and after synchronizing we are ready to shut down the old server and make the DNS changes to direct to our server. 2-3 hours later all is well and  the client has their emails on my server.

Can someone jump in and confirm this or point me into the right direct of what I'll need to do to insure the client does not lose their emails? They are the type of client where emails are essential and the loss of them cannot occur YET they still want them to be on the server vs. just backing them up and archiving them and accessing them when necessary in regular folders as if they were downloaded via POP.

Any help, tips, tricks, etc... would be GREATLY appreciated and I'm glad I finally joined E-E!
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Question by:MONSTERSTYLE
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Eoin OSullivan earned 500 total points
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Your process is fairly good

1. Create new IMAP account on Mail Client in addition to the current IMAP account
2. Drag & Drop emails (on Outlook you can COPY instead of MOVE & on Apple Mail you can drag entire folders to copy to the 2nd IMAP account)

If a folder has thousands of emails .. it may be better to copy the emails in batches of a few hundred at a time to reduce the risk of any drop-outs.

Are you planning to do this in Outlook and then import the PST into Apple Mail?  Or do this on the macBook in Apple Mail itself
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by:MONSTERSTYLE
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I've been successfully migrating them over in batches via Outlook on my Windows machine. Then synced up the Mac devices and pointed them to my IP address (vs. domain name) so that I KNOW they are pointing at the right server and they all are syncing up rather nicely and (so far) the customer is happy!! There's just 10Gb and I'm only done with 1GB, lol. When I get a drop out or a failure, I just restart Outlook and copy the files over again. Never any duplicates!!
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