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POP3 to IMAP

digitl
Grafter
Posts: 27
Thanks: 1
Registered: 31-07-2007

POP3 to IMAP

I've read several threads on moving from POP3 to IMAP but they were not very recent so I wanted to double check before I do anything.

 

I currently use POP3 on my desktop, laptop and Android phone. My wife also accesses it using POP3 on her Android phone.

 

All of the devices other than the desktop are set to leave all mail on the server for 30 days. The desktop is set to delete all mail once it has been downloaded, other than my wife's which is left for 30 days as she checks it infrequently.

 

If I was to transfer to IMAP:

- would I be able to transfer and keep all currently downloaded emails (just short of 7GB!) within the new IMAP environment and do so within the currently set up folder structure?

- would Thunderbird automatically download a copy of emails to ensure that I have them permanently available offline?

- would sent emails be able to be read on all machines?

- would there be issues with implementing IMAP on my laptop whilst leaving the POP3 implementations on the other devices (accepting that the desktop will continue to delete emails as they are downloaded).

 

Have I missed any gotchas?

11 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,657
Thanks: 884
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: POP3 to IMAP

To be able to read the sent emails on the other machines you need to use IMAP on them all. POP3 only knows about the main inbox so won't see the sent folder.

With IMAP you don't delete the emails as they are downloaded. As you delete them (from any device) they are deleted from the server. The other devices delete them automatically as they check for mail.

jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,465
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Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: POP3 to IMAP

If you have 7GB of messages you won't be able to upload and keep them all on the Plusnet server - the limit is 1GB (total for all mailboxes and folders) and going above 600MB may result in hints to reduce storage space. Such a volume of mail will also slow down access and.make Webmail slow at the best of times.

David
digitl
Grafter
Posts: 27
Thanks: 1
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: POP3 to IMAP

Thanks, but I would want to store the 7GB locally within Thunderbird along with all future emails. I would be looking to transfer them locally rather than up to, or through, Plusnet/Force9.

 

My thoughts are to use IMAP to help with access across various devices but to download all emails to my desktop each time I connect and to store them on it permanently in the same way that I do with POP3 now.

Community Veteran
Posts: 26,657
Thanks: 884
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: POP3 to IMAP

If you move emails from the IMAP inbox/folders to the Thunderbird Local Folders that will delete them from the server and they will also disappear from all other devices using IMAP (and webmail which also uses IMAP).

jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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Community Veteran
Posts: 26,657
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: POP3 to IMAP

Another thought: if what you want to do is archive all the emails you could take a look at http://www.broobles.com/imapsize/

jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
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digitl
Grafter
Posts: 27
Thanks: 1
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: POP3 to IMAP

My current POP3 inbox has several folders into which relevant emails are sorted using filters I have set up in Thunderbird. I would want to replicate this in an IMAP installation so I wouldn't be moving them out of the IMAP environment. Would this still delete them from the server?

Community Veteran
Posts: 26,657
Thanks: 884
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: POP3 to IMAP

No!

IMAP supports folders on the server - that is one of it's key advantages.

When you create a folder in Thunderbird (or any other device or via webmail) it is also created on the server. When you move a message from the inbox to a folder (or from folder to folder) it is also moved on the server and all other devices will see the move.

On each client you can choose which folders it subscribes to (if you don't need some of the emails on the device). If an email is moved from a folder which is subscribed to one that isn't by another device it just looks as if it has been deleted.

You can also do clever things like saying if you reply to an email in a folder the reply should be filed in the same folder, not the 'sent' folder.

jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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digitl
Grafter
Posts: 27
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Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: POP3 to IMAP

Thanks. I'm getting my head round IMAP now and have it working in parallel to POP on my laptop.

 

Before I move over completely there's just one more issue I need to sort. I won't want to leave everything on the server but will want to clear it from time-to-time. As it stands, I expect that doing so will also delete everything from all of my devices too. I don't want this to happen. I want to keep everything I have downloaded onto them on them. Is there a way to achieve this?

Community Veteran
Posts: 26,657
Thanks: 884
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: POP3 to IMAP

Well I know what I would do in Thunderbird on my PC and that is copy/move the files from the IMAP account to folders in the Local Folders. Could you do something like that on your other devices?

jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
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digitl
Grafter
Posts: 27
Thanks: 1
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: POP3 to IMAP

Not sure about the other devices, but I'm wondering if I can change my Thunderbird filters so that on arrival an email is copied to the relevant folder (eg 'Travel) in Local Folders and moved to the relevant folder ('Travel') within the IMAP environment.

Community Veteran
Posts: 26,657
Thanks: 884
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: POP3 to IMAP

Yes, that is easy in Thunderbird. I was going to say you'll need to do the copy before the move but Thunderbird told me that when I checked how to do it!

jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)