Preserving prior Outlook IMAP email when going to new email host

Ben Conner
Ben Conner used Ask the Experts™
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Hi,

I have a new email client who was using Office 365.  They had 2 IMAP accounts  pointing (I assume) to Microsoft.  If I remove them so I can configure their email to point to us, will that kill the existing email?   I've attached a screenshot of their accounts now.  

How can I do this gracefully w/o killing prior email, or is that a non-issue?

Thanks!

--Ben
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Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Hi Ben,

They had 2 IMAP accounts  pointing (I assume) to Microsoft.  If I remove them so I can configure their email to point to us, will that kill the existing email?
Yes, from the Outlook client. Shouldn't affect what's being stored on the server.

Your best bet would be to first export the current IMAP accounts into their own PST files, then delete the IMAP accounts, then either access the old messages from the PST files by simply opening them in Outlook, or, importing the messages back into your new IMAP or PST accounts. Just use Outlook's rules to separate the different accounts if importing all of them into one OST file if necessary.

I've attached a screenshot of their accounts now.  
No screenshot is there. Perhaps you forgot to upload it?

How can I do this gracefully w/o killing prior email, or is that a non-issue?
With IMAP accounts, it's really a non-issue. Consider an IMAP account as just a mirror of what is stored on an email server. When an account is removed locally, the messages stored in the OST (offline storage table) on a computer are removed, however recreating that same IMAP account will cause Outlook to synchronize again and repopulate it with the number of messages you tell it to from the server again.

I hope that's helpful.

Regards, Andrew
CTO, SAS developer
Commented:
Hi Andrew,

Thanks for the feedback.  I played around some more and found I could export a pst file and import it later.  Before I offered this solution, the client decided to change directions and never got a chance to test the solution.

I appreciate the help nevertheless!

--Ben

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