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Just because you’re moving to a new server doesn’t mean you have to lose all your stored emails. But what’s the best way to handle the migration process?
Everyone knows that email is here to stay. As one of the most popular forms of communication worldwide, you know you’ll never have to switch from email to a new way to keep in touch.
However, that doesn’t mean that the hardware supporting your email doesn’t have to be replaced from time to time. But when it comes to moving your email from your old server to a new one, how can you be sure that you won’t lose anything in the process? Even more important, how can you be sure it’s a simple process, to begin with?
While there’s certainly more than one way to skin a cat, perhaps the most popular, direct and simple way to move your email from one server to the next is by using Internet Message Access Protocol, or IMAP.
IMAP is one of two ways that your email client (Gmail, Outlook, Hotmail, etc.) interacts with the email server. Some clients use POP3, which essentially just downloads your emails from the server, puts them in your inbox, and wipes the server afterward.
On the other hand, you have IMAP, which synchronizes the state of the server and your inbox. The key difference is that instead of deleting your messages from the server once they have made it to your inbox, IMAP leaves them in the server until you delete them from your inbox. By its nature, IMAP provides a sort of backup copy of your messages, which makes it more popular for business purposes.
As mentioned above, one of the key features of IMAP is that it maintains the server and the email client copies of your messages. How does this apply to migration? It means you can transfer email from one server to another using matching IMAP emails accounts in the client of your choice, which will avoid formatting, permission, and configuration problems that can occur when you try to do the process manually.
In order to properly carry out an IMAP-based email migration, you’ll need to make sure you meet a few requirements:
Once you’ve ensured your environment meets the requirements, then it’s time to begin the simple process of using IMAP to migrate your emails.
Here’s how it works in 5 steps:
You’re all done! Keep in mind that if you need to migrate a lot of emails (as the case will be with a professional email account), then you’ll need to give the process a few minutes to properly sync up. Once complete, your emails will all be on your new account, and you can close down or simply leave the old one.
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