Switched MX to gmail, now my old mail is gone! :-(


I suppose I should have thought about it first, but after I switched over to gmail hosting, it appears I’ve lost all of my old (IMAP) mail.

Anyway to recover this? Or is it gone forever?

Regardless, I wish there had been a little bit of a dummy-warning for those of us who make this switch before our first cup of coffee.

Also, I’d like to migrate the rest of my email to gmail, but how can I do this in a way that avoids loosing my IMAP mail?

Thanks for any advice or suggestions.


I’d expect that it’s still on the DreamHost mail server. In the Panel under Account Status, it tells you your email server, which will end up as MACHINE.mail.dreamhost.com. Use that instead of mail.example.com to retrieve your mail.




Thank you for the reply. I changed my server settings in Thunderbird to the mail server at dreamhost, and voila, all of my old mail is still there!

However I’m wondering if there is an option for merging this mail with gmail.

I see under the Web Panel, under Custom MX Records, there is an option for “I will still check my email at DreamHost. Check this only if you’re using the MX of an outside spam filtering service like Postini that still delivers the email back to us.” Can someone offer some clarification on how this works?

To clarify:

  • Gmail is handling all new emails sent to my address. New emails show up in gmail and any client I point to gmail’s servers.
  • I can still reach my old IMAP mail and folders by using the MACHINE.mail.dreamhost.com, but new mail doesn’t go here.

Any idea on how to integrate these? Are the Custom MX records the key?

Thanks again!


Take a look here:


There are a couple of way listed there to move you old mail into Gmail. :slight_smile:

–DreamHost Tech Support


Thanks again for the replies… all of this has been very helpful.

Sadly, now I’m stuck wrestling with the Google Email Uploader which apparently doesn’t like Vista or Thunderbird, but that’s another forum’s problem, not yours.



Upgrade back to WinXP :stuck_out_tongue:

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i used google e-mail uploader a few days ago on vista with thunderbird, and it loaded almost 5000 messages with 3 or so errors. i had to point it to my inbox since i was using pop before and stored my mail on a network drive so i could access the same mail from linux and windows.

now i just need to get my thunderbird address book into google – too bad google won’t import an ldif file :frowning:

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