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I am in a helpless position right now.. Till last month, I was hosting my website and email accounts with hostgator and everything was going fine till I decided to switch hosting for some services that they dont currently offer.

I cancelled my account with them and was given a couple of hours to move my files. I created backup of the entire website from cPanel and downloaded everything from their server to my PC.

The problem is, since this was a first time procedure for me, I didnt know that I had to download all my emails to my desktop client.I had read some tutorials providing information on moving my website to a new host and all, but none of them mentioned about email backups.

Now i have all my emails downloaded onto my desktop as part of the full website backup and not on any email client. And Hostgator has closed my account with them. The new host I have decided to move my website to doesnt host email and they are asking me to host my emails on google apps. Thats ok with me,but I need all the emails in my account since all of them contain my registration and billing details and passwords and other such important things.

Please, can someone find me a solution to this problem?

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If you downloaded all your data then your email should be preserved. However, without any more information on what you downloaded exactly, I don't think anyone will be able to help you. –  SigueSigueBen May 11 '12 at 3:16
    
There are days when it pays to pay someone to do something critical for you. For example, I don't have time to wait two hours for the cursed Cable guy to show up. That's why I pay $20 to my out of work friends! –  surfasb May 11 '12 at 5:04
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Please, use paragraph breaks (and spaces after "," and ".") in your text: it is nearly unreadable if you don't. You will have a much easier time getting help this way. –  Daniel Andersson May 11 '12 at 5:55
    
Hello..everything is fine now..i had referred many websites including the wordpress codex before i made the backup copies of my mails and the website..In wordpress codex itself,it was mentioned that if I was only moving my web host,i dont need to change anything..and it worked like it said..i moved my site to another cpanel host only..and everything is fine now..thanx for the help..bye –  Jim May 27 '12 at 16:02

2 Answers 2

Your backup file should be a tar.gz file. On windows this can be opened with a multi format archive utility such as 7zip. On linux, you can use

tar xzvf <backup file>

In the first level of the archive you'll see a homedir folder, containing a mail folder. These are your emails in Maildir format. Note that these are just text files, and so you can read them directly. They are in plain text, so any html emails will be difficult to read, as will any base64 encoded emails.

You can use a script called maildir2gmail.py (needs python) to upload these emails into gmail. Alternatively you can use a conversion tool such as maildir2mbox (needs perl) which will convert the emails into mbox format, which can then be imported into Thunderbird (and probably other email clients).

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Hi..evrythng's fyn nw..had read many tutorials b4 i backed up the site..In wordpress codex itself,it was mentioned that if I was only moving my web host,i dont need to change anything..and it worked like it said..i moved my site to another cpanel host only..and everything is fine now..the problem was that i was initially planning to move my website to a host that doesnt support email hosting..but eventually i settled with my other option that had cpanel and email hosting..hence i am fine with everything now..thank you so much for the help..bye.. –  Jim May 27 '12 at 16:07

This shows the importance of planning your exit. On my first reading I got the impression that you had paying users, in which case you are failing them.

I would not assume that "full website backup" includes your emails. Web hosting and email are distinct functions. Unless you have something that explicitly mentions emails, my assumption would be that they are not included.

If you are very lucky, your old provider might just have disabled your account and not deleted anything yet. Or, they might have backups of your email that they can restore for you (expect to pay for this). But time is important here. Depending on their procedures, your data may be overwritten soon.

You will probably need your old email account for a while anyway. Changing your registrations will likely include confirmation links sent to your old email account.

Update: the other answer indicates that you might indeed be very lucky

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Dont feel bad..but i had read some great tutorials b4 i made a backup and closed my previous account..everything is fine now..i had referred many websites including the wordpress codex before i made the backup copies of my mails and the website..In wordpress codex itself,it was mentioned that if I was only moving my web host,i dont need to change anything..and it worked like it said..i was asking the question here coz i had seen the email files my self by unzipping the backup file..i moved my site to another cpanel host only..and everything is fine now..thanx for commenting..bye –  Jim May 27 '12 at 16:10

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