Switching: IMAP concerns?

Ahoy DH’ers!

Fed up with my existing web-host, I’ve decided to switch and DreamHost is currently my front-runner. I have a pretty solid plan in place to get my various assets transferred over and I’m fairly technically savvy… The only thing that has me concerned is my email.

HERE’S THE SCENARIO: I use IMAP with my current host and I can’t find any literature of documentation about how to “migrate” from one hosting provider to another.

Has anyone else who “switched” to DH experienced this? What issues did you have? Is this something that just works itself out? Or is there some complex multi-step process to migrate the mail? Or do I just need to bite the bullet here?

(Part of the issue seems to be that my current host appears to use a sendmail deployment which keeps all of the mail in one big file vs. DH’s apparent Postfix deployment which wisely has each message broken down into an individual file – so it isn’t like I can “just” copy over the “inbox” file…)

Any thoughts? Any other email “gotchas” you all have experienced?



I think it is gonna be difficult to move the mails fromone hosting provider to another espcially when the ways they stored emails are different.

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I don’t know if it can help, but DH have ssh access.
To you can maybe move your maildir ?
Dreamhost webmail use IMAP also.

I also used imap, but for myself i switched to gmail with google apps (i never found any equivalent).

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This may help you to make things less manual :

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Yep… That’s what I was afraid of.

I found this in the support forums:

…and there’s another reply below about imapsync but again, this was what I was hoping to avoid. If it wasn’t for mbox/maildir mis-match, I doubt this would be that much of an issue.

Thanks for weighing in…


maybe you want to send a ticket to DH support for solution. or maybe they can help you move the mails :stuck_out_tongue:

Good luck!

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Hey, want an easy way to do it? Thunderbird can just drag and drop.

Set up thunderbird with both email accounts and you can just drag from one to another and poof, it’s there.


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For a few personal mailboxes, you could use Thunderbird. When I signed up with DH, I connected to both my new IMAP mailbox at mydomain.com and to my old IMAP mailbox at anotherdomain.com. Then I could just drag the folders from one account to another.

The process would be a little more difficult to move mail when you move your domain from one server to another. You could register for a free IMAP mailbox with someone (such as AOL), use the above method to transfer your email to that mailbox, transfer your domain, and then transfer your email to the IMAP mailbox at your domain.

Of course, this method would be impractical if you have a large number of mailboxes.

He is correct. Should be able to do this with Thunderbird.

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And what about moving from a pop3 to a imap?
I set my account to pop3, but maybe I’ll change it to imap and I wonder if it’s possible.
Thunderbird here too?

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[quote]Hey, want an easy way to do it? Thunderbird can just drag and drop.


Good tip. The Mac’s Mail app can probably do this, too – I believe. Sounds like a much more elegant solution. Especially since it’s really only a handful of mailboxes. (Not moving enterprise-level material, here…)