Changing form POP to IMAP

If you still collect your emails usign POP but are using multiple devices to access your emails such as PC, phone and tablet, then you are strongly advised to change to usign IMAP.  See the differences between POP and IMAP here.

Exactly how you do this depends on what software you use to access your emails but the principle is the same.  This guide explains how to do this for Microsoft Outlook 2010, most other email software is similar so the same approach can be followed.

The simplest process is to reconfigure all other devices

Step 1: Update to not keep messages online on your main PC

  1. Start Outlook.
  2. On the File menu, click Info and click Account Settings.
  3. Select the existing Account under E-mail Panel
  4. Click Change
  5. Click More Settings
  6. Select Advanced Tab under Internet E-mail Settings
  7. Off the check box for “Leave a copy of messages on the server”
  8. Click OK
  9. Click Next
  10. Close
  11. Finish
  12. Quit/Close Outlook
  13. Reopen Outlook and "Send and Receive" making sure you now have ALL messages you want to keep downloaded onto your PC.  If the messages aren't visible on your PC they will be lost in the below process.

Step 2: Remove the account from all devices EXCEPT your main PC

  1. Totally remove the account from all other devices (phones, tablets, other PCs, etc) but make sure you do NOT remove it from your main PC just yet.

Step 3: Exporting emails from POP account on your main PC

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Click Options.
  3. Click Advanced.
  4. Under Export, click Export. - Note:- The Import and Export Wizard can also be opened by clicking the File tab, clicking Open, and then clicking Import.
  5. Click Export to a file, and then click Next.
  6. Click Outlook Data File (.pst), and then click Next.
  7. Select the account — a top level folder — that you want to export. This enables exporting all mail, calendar, contacts, tasks, and notes if available for that account. - Note    Only information for one account can be exported information at a time.
  8. Make sure that the Include subfolders check box is selected.
  9. Click Next.
  10. Click Browse to select where you want to save the Outlook Data File (.pst) and click Browse to select the desktop as the location for exporting to then. Click OK to continue. -  Note    If you have previously used the export feature, the previous folder location and file name appear. Make sure that you change the file name if you want to create a new file instead of using the existing file.
  11. If you are exporting to an existing Outlook Data File (.pst), under Options, specify what to do when exporting items that already exist in the file.
  12. Click Finish.
  13. Quit/Close Outlook

The export begins immediately unless a new Outlook Data File (.pst) is created or the export is to an existing file that is password protected. You simply need to click OK.

  • If you are creating a new Outlook Data File (.pst), an optional password can help protect the file. When the Create Outlook Data File dialog box appears, enter the password in the Password and Verify Password boxes, and then click OK. In the Outlook Data File Password dialog box, enter the password, and then click OK.
  • If you are exporting to an existing Outlook Data File (.pst) that is password protected, in the Outlook Data File Password dialog box, enter the password, and then click OK.

Please ensure if you have archived emails, please follow the same above steps to create a backup of archived emails so you can import these as well to the new IMAP account as detailed later on.

Step 4: Removing your old POP email account from your main PC

  1. Start Outlook.
  2. On the File menu, click Info and click Account Settings.
  3. Select the existing Account under E-mail Panel
  4. Select the email account you want to remove and click on “REMOVE”
  5. Select the existing Account under DATA Files Panel
  6. Select the email account you want to remove and click on “REMOVE”
  7. Quit/Close Outlook

Step 5: Adding your new IMAP email account on your main PC

Follow the directions at https://my.slightlydifferent.co.nz/knowledgebase/8/General-Email-Server-Settings.html making sure your select IMAP and not POP when prompted.

Step 6: Importing emails from POP .pst file on your main PC

  1. Start Outlook.
  2. Click the File tab.
  3. Click Open.
  4. Click Import.
  5. In the Import and Export Wizard, click Import from another program or file, and the click Next.

  6. Click Outlook Data File (.pst), and then click Next. 

  7. Click Browse, and then choose the file to import, this should be on your desktop.
Note: Under Options, it is recommended that you click Do not import duplicates unless you want the imported information to replace or duplicate items already in Outlook.

  8. Click Next.
  9. If a password was assigned to the Outlook Data File (.pst), you are prompted to enter the password, and then click OK.
  10. Set the options for importing items. The default settings usually don’t need to be changed. 


- The top folder — usually Personal Folders, Outlook Data File, or your email address — is selected automatically.
  11. Include subfolders is selected by default. All folders under the folder selected will be imported.
  12. The default selection of Import items into the same folder in matches the folders from the imported file to the folders in Outlook. If a folder doesn’t exist in Outlook, it will be created. This should be importing into the new IMAP email account you have setup so it will go into that data file.
  13. Click Finish.

Wait for import to start and finish this can take 5 minutes to 5 hours depending on your mailbox size and then restart Outlook.

Now all of your emails will be uploaded to our server, please note this will take some time depending on your internet connection so you might want to leave it running overnight.

Check that your emails are being uploading by accessing your webmail via the access webmail link on our site. Enter in your email and password to check that your emails are being uploaded.

If you have archived emails, please follow the same above steps to restore the export/backup of archived emails.

See Microsoft article online for further information http://office.microsoft.com/en-nz/outlook-help/import-outlook-items-from-an-outlook-data-file-pst-HA102505743.aspx?CTT=5&origin=HA102534110 

Step 7: Add the account back to your other devices

At this stage your main PC wil now have your email account set up as an IMAP account with all your historic messages imported into the account.  This means all your historic messages are now re-uploaded back to the server and available for viewing on your other devices.  So you can now add your email account back to your other devices as an IMAP accoutn as at https://my.slightlydifferent.co.nz/knowledgebase/8/General-Email-Server-Settings.html 



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