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I have to move many, many emails (over a thousand) from an old IMAP hosting provider to a new IMAP hosting provider. I know I can just set up the old and new accounts in Thunderbird and drag and drop, but it's very slow and keeps timing out. Is there a better, more automated way to copy all messages (and all mailboxes) between IMAP servers?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

There are couple of options you could try:

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IMAPSync is the tool your looking for. IMAPSync

In the FAQ there are plenty of good examples

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On linux, it's also packaged in many distributions. – ETL Sep 28 at 18:33

OfflineIMAP is another option (

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I didn't know it could do synchronisation too, but it does, and seems stable. Good idea! – qris Mar 6 '14 at 10:24

Use the reliable Mutt (

  1. mutt -f imap://username@sourceimaphost/INBOX/folder
  2. Tag selected messages by t, or tag all messages by T and entering ~A. (With T, you can specify various patterns (
  3. Move tagged messages by ;s("save") and enter imap://username@destimaphost/INBOX/folder. (This marks the source messages as deleted(D); if you don't want that, use ;C("copy") instead.)
  4. You can repeat 2 and 3 as needed.
  5. Quit by q. You may choose to purge the deleted messages.

This allows to move a folder from one account to another. Repeat this for multiple folders.

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You can also use imaps: instead of imap:. If the username part already contains a @ (e.g. as in Google Apps), replace it with %40. Example: imaps:// – musiphil Aug 19 at 20:41

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