I need to download e-mails from the current web host's server to my hard drive, so they can be uploaded to the new web host's server!

I have a company and we're switching web hosts. I do not want to lose any old mail, saved mail, folders, etc. ...

So I've put all 14 e-mail accounts in my Mozilla Thunderbird.

I have searched through add-ons, but I'm unable to figure out:

  • How to download them
  • Where to find them once they're downloaded
  • If what I'm downloading can be utilized by the new web hosting company to be uploaded to the new cloud server we're going to be hosted on.

I have searched through articles for Mozilla Thunderbird, but I am unable to determine the proper way to get these on my PC's hard drive.

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

  • What type of accounts are they - pop3 or imap? And how does firefox come into this (the tag)?
    – Paul
    Jun 22, 2015 at 0:45
  • Hi @Paul. Firefox was just one of the tags SuperUser suggested -- probably since it's a cousin of Thunderbird. I will remove it. Regardless, I believe the new host is asking me to download these via POP3, but I currently have the account installed via IMAP. I can switch the server settings over, of course, to make them POP3. But I do not know what to do from there. Jun 22, 2015 at 1:46
  • pop3 is download only, so you won't be able to set up the new accounts as pop3 and then upload them.
    – Paul
    Jun 22, 2015 at 1:47

1 Answer 1


The original accounts are ideally in IMAP and in order to upload the emails on the new server, you will need them to be IMAP too.

  1. Create the old accounts in Thunderbird. By default, all emails will be downloaded to the local disk, but check the settings anyway, in Options / Account Settings / Synchronisation and Storage:

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  1. Create the new accounts in Thunderbird. These will be empty on the new server.

  2. Select all emails from each of the old accounts, right-click and choose Copy to and navigate to the new accounts Inbox.

  • Thanks @Paul for taking the time to respond. I have found (what I think is) a solution based off of your suggestion. I'm just saving all of their emails to the /local folders/ within Thunderbird. Then I'm switching the DNS, and creating their new e-mail on the new server, and then migrating the /local folders/ back into their inbox-sent folders, etc. ... Jun 22, 2015 at 3:17
  • 1
    @JasonWeber Yes that is right, if the accounts are using the same before and after settings, then you would need to copy the emails to a separate folder in between.
    – Paul
    Jun 22, 2015 at 3:27

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