Email Migration nightmare


Here’s the scenario:
About two months ago I switched my email account from another ISP to Dreamhost. On the old ISP, I was using a POP account. However, as I’ve integrated iphones, ipads, and multiple laptops into my daily workflow, I felt it would be better to switch my account over to an IMAP account. Also, being that I’ve had my email address for 10+ years, I get a ton of junk email daily that I only want to have to comb through once. Thus, my email address on dreamhost is now an IMAP account using Apple Mail as the client software. However, the other day, all of my old emails were thrown in “old-messages” folder. I understand I set these rules when configuring my address in the dreamhost panel. While this is fine, I need to be able to universally search through all my messages (some are over 10 years old) for reference as I could when my email account was setup as a POP account? So…My two main objectives are to:

  1. Try to keep all of my email in one place so I can universally search as well as organize them properly
  2. only have to check my email once no matter what device I’m using

Any advice on finding a solution on these issues would be a huge help!

Joel H.


Were those messages ones that you’d already read, but left in your Inbox? I have IMAP boxes with over 10,000 messages in them that I’ve set up as an archive.

My main mail now, is Gmail. I still have my IMAP box here, but it forwards to Gmail while archiving my mail here. Gmail can be set to use my domain as its return address, so I get spam filtering and multi-device sharing.


Yes they were messages I’ve already read. Gmail would be a great solution. However, we have to figure out a way to make this work with Apple Mail? Also, do you happen to know if there is a cap limit for amount of emails a company can have on the imap server at once. It seems like everyone of my co-workers excess emails archived to their respective “old-message” folder at the same time?
Joel H.


I use Apple mail at home. I have a Gmail account which has aliases for my other email addresses that forward to Gmail. Set up Apple Mail for your Gmail account, and then in mail’s prefs under Accounts, there’s a text box for your email account, which should be Just add a comma and your other email address and your Gmail account will be used to send from that address, provided you set it up at Gmail first.


I’ve been researching a Gmail/Dreamhost/Apple Mail IMAP Combo. Appears to be a winner. I think I’ll forward my Dreamhost emails into Gmail. I’ll then setup Apple Mail to receive the Emails. My only question is how would I need to get all of my old emails (e.g., from 10 years ago when I used a POP account) up until this point into Gmail? Im assuming, I’ll need to manually forward individual old emails into my newly created gmail account in order for them to show up in there? Or will they automatically forward because it’ll be an IMAP account?

Thanks again,
Joel H.


From Apple Mail, if you can drag those messages into one of your new folders at Gmail, that’ll do it.
So go to the Gmail web interface (just to be thorough) and create a new Label under Settings -> Labels. It should automatically show up in your Apple Mail app.


Cool sounds easy enough. Also, Do you know where the old-messages are stored on Dreamhost’s server in relation to where they are stored when they arrive in the inbox? I’m guessing they are stored on an independent server away from the inbox mail server in order not to clog it up?

Joel H.


It’s on the same mail server. old-messages is just another IMAP mailbox. They offload the inbox to save processing time when users poll their inbox.