How to switch email providers without losing your emails

Recently, I needed to switch to a new email server and I didn’t want to lose all my emails. If I were switching from one cPanel web host to another it would be easy because cPanel has a migration process. But What if you’re moving between two different types of systems? I figured there has to be an easy, generic, way to switch email providers without losing all your emails.

Switch email providers easily, with imapsync

Say hello to imapsync. Imapsync is a Linux program you can migrate an email account from any provider to any other one.

And because it’s a Linux command line program you can easily script a migration for hundreds, or even thousands, of mailboxes with a simple script.

You can also use this to switch from Hotmail to Gmail.

Head on over to the author’s page and see how easy imapsync is to use. He even provides a basic script for you to use when migrating a group of mailboxes!

The source code to this amazingly simple, yet effective, toolΒ is on, for you tech-savy geeks.

Switch email addresses without linux

So, you’re not a linux person. No worries, there’s a solution for you too! The creator of imapsync also created an online tool that lets you run imapsync in your browser. There’s no geeky skills required, but your friends may start considering you a smart geek once you tell them that you were able to switch to a new email address without losing your emails!

For you linux gurus who don’t like installing tools on your server that you’re only going to use once, this is also a viable choice!

Check out this awesome, web-based tool at


what have you done to keep from losing all your emails? Have you had to wrestle with a custom script in order to migrate from one system to another? Tell me about it in the comments.


38 thoughts on “How to switch email providers without losing your emails

  1. Hi Gilles,

    Thank you for the kind words, it means a lot to me that you took the time to come visit!

    And thank you for creating this awesome tool and making it so accessible for everyone. Imapsync has saved me so much time, and effort. It will definitely be on my “short list” of useful tools!


  2. I have to work on revamping my email subscription part . And all this time I want to switch to a better email service provider but I have feared loosing on my subscribers. Thanks to you, I am going to try one of these now

    1. Neha, this is primarily to preserve email message that you’ve received. So it will copy all of the emails people have sent you, that you haven’t deleted, to your new email provider.

      I hope this can be helpful to you! I’d be curious to know how it goes!

    1. …and now you know! πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by, Neil. I would encourage you to subscribe so you get automatically notified of future tips & tricks!


    1. Glad I could share Gilles’ awesome tool with you. πŸ™‚ I would bookmark this post for future reference, if I were you!


    1. Hi Ashworth!

      Glad I could share this with you. It would probably be worth bookmarking this article, for future reference.


  3. This is a really useful post that everyone should read because it’s a situation a lot of people find themselves in and panic! I’m going to share with my Dad as well!

    1. Hannah,

      That’s right, this can be a real life saver. I wrote about this because it’s such a great resource to “keep on file”. I would recommend you, and your dad, bookmark this post so you have it when you need it.


  4. This is pretty cool! I haven’t bothered to switch mine in year because it’s so complicated, so now I actually have several addresses! Thank goodness for apps that can sign into multiple accounts on multiple platforms – using an app in that way, I have actually learned to like having multiple addresses. One for personal, one for email subscriptions and newsletters, one for my work/business.

    Than again, maybe I only like it because the app I use can collect all of my emails into one joint list – it isn’t seamless, but it feels like it is.

  5. Hi Brandi!

    That’s great that you’ve got a workflow that suits you. This would also be a great tool if you ever decide to move some emails to an “archive” email address so you can keep your inbox clean without losing all those emails.

  6. I honestly had no idea something like imapsync even existed! It sounds like an awesome tool and right as I was about to say I don’t really have a use for it, I read the comment above and it changed my mind. I could definitely use it to transfer my archived emails to another account. Great tip, bookmarking for later!

  7. It’s so nice that there are options to migrate e-mails these days! Before, everything will expire. I think this is pretty cool and it’s convenient too.

    1. That’s right, Natasha, It’s of no benefit to you if I can’t communicate it in a way you understand. Hope it makes sense to you! πŸ™‚

  8. Hey Angela! On the bright side, if you ever switch email addresses again (or want to move “personal” emails out of your “work” email account), you can use imapsync next time!

    Thanks for stopping by!

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