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Switch Plusnet email from IMAP back to POP3 Account

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Garry73
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Registered: ‎04-02-2022

Switch Plusnet email from IMAP back to POP3 Account

Hi All,

I'd like to switch some of my Plusnet email addresses back to being POP instead of IMAP. Does anyone know if this can be done - and how, and what will happen to emails currently held on the server but sent/received some time ago?

Cheers,

Garry

12 REPLIES 12
MisterW
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Re: Switch Plusnet email from IMAP back to POP3 Account

@Garry73 Ok there's some things to understand before you decide what to do

1) IMAP or POP3 is not diectly associated with an email address, rather its how your email client accesses email for that address

2) A client using POP3 downloads email from the server, stores it locally and then deletes from the server

3) A client using IMAP accesses mail on the server ( and leaves it there until you delete it )

4) A POP3 client ONLY accesses the INBOX folder , its SENT folder is just a local folder

5) an IMAP client accesses all folders on the server

NB the Plusnet Webmail client uses IMAP

 

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Townman
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Re: Switch Plusnet email from IMAP back to POP3 Account

Anything sent by an IMAP client is held on the server and is thus visible to any / all devices accessing that mailbox. A POP3 client will not access that sent item repository.

Why do you want to change client modes? There is no upside to POP3 which cannot be handled better by using IMAP with a reflective housekeeping practice.

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greygit1
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Re: Switch Plusnet email from IMAP back to POP3 Account

"2) A client using POP3 downloads email from the server, stores it locally and then deletes from the server"

 

That client may have choices to not delete downloaded e-mails. Such choices exist within e.g. Thunderbird.

 

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1119213

MisterW
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Re: Switch Plusnet email from IMAP back to POP3 Account

@greygit1 I appreciate that, but did not wish to complicate matters in the first instance...

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Townman
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Re: Switch Plusnet email from IMAP back to POP3 Account

@greygit1

Whilst correct that is an aberration of the original design intent of POP3. IIRC that was introduced as a hack when people started to connect to mail services with multiple clients before the invention of IMAP.

There is no good reason to use POP3 - for the avoidance of doubt no GOOD reason. The usual claimed benefit is dimly a fudge for poor (or no) self owned email archiving / housekeeping. There are better solutions to managing the size of mailboxes on servers … but that requires proper ownership of clearing out the drops and a plan to save the comparative little that’s of importance.

I would wager that very few who use POP3 as the means of keeping the email server tidy (jeep on server not set) actually has a back up strategy for what’s now only stored on their PC … notably every thing they’ve sent.

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Champnet
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Re: Switch Plusnet email from IMAP back to POP3 Account

I've used Outlook and POP3 since moving away from Groupwise at the end of the last century.

The advantage is the PST file which contains all emails, contacts & calendar. This file can be easily backed up and can be moved to another computer. Mobile devices use IMAP, rubbish can be deleted and keepers are left till the POP3 computer collects them.  If sent Emails from the mobiles need to be kept I just blind copy myself. 

Townman
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Re: Switch Plusnet email from IMAP back to POP3 Account

There are indeed ways of managing things … but it needs a lot of thought.

Your point is well made - the .PTS file needs to be backed up and sent items need to be duplicated into the inbox.

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Garry73
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Re: Switch Plusnet email from IMAP back to POP3 Account

Thanks to everyone for their responses. 'Towman', you've hit the nail pretty much on the head with your comment about 'tidying servers' etc. Basically I have half a dozen email accounts shared around my family and Plusnet are constantly emailing me to say that we're about to bust the 1GB limit for our account. 

When I review the chief offenders I can see that the accounts that are POP3 are not in that list and the ones that are , are IMAP.

I've tried to get everyone to tidy (delete) old emails but with only marginal success, so I thought that the simplest solution was to 'downgrade' from IMAP to POP3 for plusnet emails so that they would still be there as a secondary auxiliary email address whilst domain based email addresses become the primary. 

Thoughts?

Townman
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Re: Switch Plusnet email from IMAP back to POP3 Account

With any IT system the lack of discipline around housekeeping will lead to tears - it’s just matter of when and how painful.

Not clearing out dross from an IMAP accessed mailbox will eventually lead to server full issues. I have the same challenges with my family. I deal with it by the treat of closing down their mailbox.

IMAP enables multi device access without complications. If a mailbox user only has one device accessing the mailbox AND they have good back up practices, then POP3 might be the way to go.

However if people cannot keep their mailboxes tidy … then suspect that they’ll not be capable of running well disciplined back up practices. Therefore should their PC crash or the mail application foul up … they could face the total loss of all of their historic emails.

Periodic house keeping - delete the dross - delete those emails used to share photos, save shared photos to local (or better still cloud) file store.

Many people use email to share documents and photos rather than file sharing technologies and then wonder why their mailboxes are full.

If you want to keep really old emails for sentiment then archive them … and ensure the archive is backed up.

Keeping IMAP accessed mailboxes tidy is much less of a chore than securing a POP3 environment … which for multi device access I would treat as space to be avoided.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

Garry73
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Re: Switch Plusnet email from IMAP back to POP3 Account

I hear you Townman - however, one of the mailboxes belongs to my dad who's in his late 70's so it's not quite as simple as I'd like it to be! 😉

Please don't laugh, but other than getting him (and the other younger members of the family) to delete unwanted emails to reduce the file space taken up by them, is archiving the only other way to deal with this issue?

If so, can you point me to a nice clear article on clearing down an IMAP account via the archiving route?

Townman
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Re: Switch Plusnet email from IMAP back to POP3 Account

Fix

I would not laugh - if you do not know, you do not know ... but I might smile at the challenge of helping a mature person with archiving!  I've walked that path, so I might just smile knowingly.

There is loads of guidance to be found out there, just Google "imap arching email" - here is an example - How to store your IMAP Emails Locally in Outlook - U-Design Print and Website Solutions (udesign.com...

 

Thinking about the mid 70's gent I helped, there is a fairly good strategy you might want to explore which avoids the perils of not having a sound PC back up strategy ... move the archive storage into the cloud (of sorts).

I got my friend an @outlook.com email address - not to use for email but rather as a "data aggregator".  It is a technique I have used for a long time:

I use the @outlook.com email solely to hold contacts and calendar so that they can be sync'd between the PC(s) and iPhone (will also work with Android but the client on there is clunky).  He also uses email folders with Outlook.com for archiving his Plusnet mailboxes.  When he gets his FUP warning, he just drags the files from the Plusnet IMAP folders in his email client to the archive folder in the @outlook.com account.

It is not vastly different to the suggestions in the link above, but as the "archive" folder is in @outlook.com ... they look after the back up!!

A bit of housekeeping though could be the simplest solution.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

Garry73
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Re: Switch Plusnet email from IMAP back to POP3 Account

Thanks Townman, yes, I'll get into that and hopefully we'll break the back of the problem. Appreciate your advice, Cheers!