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Changing from POP to IMAP

stubbs307
Newbie
Posts: 9
Registered: 20-04-2013

Changing from POP to IMAP

Hi all.
When I originally joined plusnet my email account was set up as a POP3, but my achiving programme "Mailstore" requires an IMAP. Is it possible to change my settings in Windows Live Mail 2011? I have tried to set up a second account, but failed miserably!
31 REPLIES
Superuser
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Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Changing from POP to IMAP

I don't think changing an existing account from POP3 to IMAP can be done; adding a second account to collect mail using IMAP from the same mailbox might also cause problems - it's not something I've tried. You could try editing the POP3 account to remove the tick from the Include this account when receiving mail or synchronizing checkbox on the General tab, then try to set up a second IMAP account again (using server imap.plus.net).
Follow the link for a Windows Live Mail setup help guide.
If that doesn't work probably the solution is to delete the existing POP3 account then create a new one using IMAP.  However that could cause any saved messages to be lost from your local folder unless you save them elsewhere.
David
Community Veteran
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Re: Changing from POP to IMAP

Hmmm, I'm not sure that's correct. POP and IMAP are really just different ways of accessing the same mailbox.
If there are any limitations it's down to the mail server in question, are you referring to the PlusNet mail service?
I only use POP to access my PlusNet email but I have accounts elsewhere that I access from multiple systems in different ways. This is quite common if you have a main account accessed from say a PC but you also want access "on the move" from an iPhone or similar. Obviously any messages downloaded via POP to a device disappear from the IMAP view, unless you use the "leave messages on server" options carefully.
Community Veteran
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Re: Changing from POP to IMAP

I've been using POP3 and IMAP to the same Plusnet mailbox for years. The wife uses POP3 but doesn't turn her computer on that often. I have an IMAP account to her mailbox set up in Thunderbird so that I can tell her when she has new mail. Often she'll just look over my shoulder to read it and gets me to delete it.
Edit: In fact anyone who uses a POP3 mail client on a PC and also uses webmail is doing exactly the same thing.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Community Veteran
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Re: Changing from POP to IMAP

Quote from: jelv
The wife uses POP3 but doesn't turn her computer on that often. I have an IMAP account to her mailbox

Funnily enough I've been doing exactly the same for years. Now she has an iPad which also accesses her email I don't bother any more.
stubbs307
Newbie
Posts: 9
Registered: 20-04-2013

Re: Changing from POP to IMAP

Thank you all for your help and advice. The main problem - achiving with "Mailstore" has been resolved. I set up the account within Mailstore using IMAP, and lo and behold it worked! So the problem has gone away.
Once again, thanks to you all
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
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Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Changing from POP to IMAP

@spraxyt is not saying that you can't access the same mailbox using POP3 and IMAP what you can't do is change the settings for an account in a client from POP to IMAP. You have to setup a new account to use IMAP and disable the POP account.
Community Veteran
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Re: Changing from POP to IMAP

Not even sure that's totally correct, it will depend on the client and how exactly it manages things, but in principle you could have the same account configured twice once as POP and again as IMAP.
I'm quite sure you could do that in Outlook for example. It might be a bit confusing but no more than using multiple devices such as a PC and smartphone.
itsme
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Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Changing from POP to IMAP

Yes you can have a pop and an imap accounts for the same mailbox using the same client. We not saying you can't what you normally can't do is change from one protocol to another using an existing account.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Changing from POP to IMAP

Interesting point. I don't see why "in principle" it needs to be the case, but every email client I use regularly only gives you the POP/IMAP choice when creating a new account.  Undecided
kmilburn
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Changing from POP to IMAP

The primary difference is that with POP account settings the email is downloaded to the client machine and removed from the server, while with IMAP the email is left on the server.  While POP has settings to allow mail to be left on the server,  they need to be used with care  (i.e. people realising at some point the webmail has several hundred mails they though they deleted still being on the server).
The problem with simply switching  between the two is what what to do with all the current email the client knows about,  which the server may not!
An alternative form of the same problem has recently reared its head with Sky switching from gmail to yahoo,  where deleted and read emails suddenly appeared as new,  because as far as the client software was concerned, all the mail had new IDs,  so must be new!
Community Veteran
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Re: Changing from POP to IMAP

Quote from: kmilburn
The problem with simply switching  between the two is what what to do with all the current email the client knows about,  which the server may not!

It's not really a huge problem, but probably involves giving the user some choices then processing those, so easier from a software development perspective to just not allow it.  Lips are sealed
PeeGee
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Re: Changing from POP to IMAP

Quote from: kmilburn
The problem with simply switching  between the two is what what to do with all the current email the client knows about,  which the server may not!

Firstly, having two "accounts" in the client - one POP3, one IMAP - pointing to one server account; I have that setup (not plusnet) to allow me to check the server SPAM folder without using webmail while continuing with POP3 "usual" access. It is supposedly a transitional state for me, though Roll eyes Roll eyes
Secondly, it is the "ideal" setup for moving from POP3 access to IMAP access. You can just copy all the e-mails from your PC* to the server and setup the subfolders as well (though I've not tested the latter Shocked ) - job done Wink

* I use the term with it's early meaning - a "personal computer" and not a PC* running a Microsoft OS (beware recursion Huh )
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watton
Grafter
Posts: 36
Registered: 10-01-2008

Re: Changing from POP to IMAP

I too have a similar query and I am a little confused by the discussion.
For many years I have used a free-online mailbox and have accessed it on a single desktop PC using POP3 and the server mail.free-online.net, downloading all the message to my PC and deleting them from the server. I currently use Thunderbird as my email client and I have a large number of emails stored on it.
Recently, I have also started using a laptop and used a synchronisation program to copy the emails from one to the other. Then on both computers I set an option to leave the messages on the server for 60 days. This allows me to get incoming messages on both, but mail sent on one will not, of course, appear on the other.
I now think it would make more sense to switch to using IMAP on both desktop and laptop. If my understanding is correct, I believe that both incoming and outgoing messages would then be stored on the Plusnet/free-online server and also on both computers, which will each synchronise with the server when they connect.
The big question is - what do I have to do to make the change?  Can I just change some settings in Thunderbird? And would the folders & messages stored on my PC then upload to the server? 
A step-by-step guide would be appreciated
Superuser
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Re: Changing from POP to IMAP

This should be feasible, but needs care because for a while you'll have two email accounts in Thunderbird (POP3 and IMAP) and the POP3 one needs to be disabled first to stop it collecting emails. The Switch POP IMAP Account article describes the processes that need to be followed.
However when setting up the IMAP account, the process illustrated in that article will not work because manual setup is necessary. I suggest following the Thunderbird set up guides at the bottom of the Plusnet Email Setup help pages.
When you copy existing messages to the new inbox (as described in the article) the messages should upload to the server. Make sure everything is working properly before you delete the POP3 account in Thunderbird.
Note that there is a limit of 1GB per account for emails kept on the server (warning messages start at 600MB).
David