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Upgrading a POP configuration to IMAP
This guide explains how to switch, in an email client, from a POP configuration to an IMAP configuration for the same email account. Indeed, for many reasons, it is highly recommended to use the IMAP protocol instead of POP.
If your email address is already configured with the POP protocol in your email client (Mozilla Thunderbird, Microsoft Outlook, etc.), it is impossible to switch directly to the IMAP protocol.
In addition to your email account configured with the POP protocol, you will need to create a new email account with the IMAP protocol in your email client before moving your messages and folders from the POP account (on your computer) to the IMAP account (on the mail server).
With Microsoft Outlook
First, make sure that your POP email account appears in the left part of the software under Outlook or Personal Folders (highlighted in green in the image). These will be preserved even if you delete the email account configured with the POP protocol.
If your folders and messages are not stored under Outlook or Personal Folders, move your messages and folders there before performing the following actions:
- open Microsoft Outlook
- open the File tab in the Office ribbon and click on Add Account
- configure the new email account with the IMAP protocol (the same account as the one configured in POP but this time in IMAP)
- once the IMAP account is created, delete the old POP account
- your messages and folders are still in the Personal Folders section
- move one folder at a time by dragging them to the inbox of the new account configured in IMAP
- wait while the items are transferred (this can take a long time depending on the volume to be transferred to the server)
If your POP account kept a copy of messages on the server (a discouraged option found in the advanced settings of your Outlook), you may have duplicate messages.
With Apple Mail
Deleting the POP email account will also delete the messages it contains. It is therefore recommended to deactivate the POP account instead of deleting it!
Once the POP account is deactivated, follow our guide to configure your email address in Apple Mail, using IMAP.
When you are done, all you have to do is drag the messages in your POP account's folder structure to the IMAP account's folder structure.