Moving Email

If you’re changing hosts and you use, it can be difficult or impossible to transfer old email (sent items, inbox, etc.) and your address book. If you don’t care about that old mail or address book, great, no worries. If you would like to try to keep some of that, here are a few scenarios to help, based on the level of complexity for the move.

1.) None: you don’t use

Nothing to change, nothing to move, you’re all set. You need to move the files of the website (if applicable), but as far as email, (etc.) will not be affected.

2.) Light: You use from an email client (e.g. Outlook, Mac Mail, etc.)

If you mainly use Outlook, Mac Mail, Outlook Express or another computer-based email system and always download your mail, then there’s also not much you need to do. When the switch takes place, you should check email often so you get those last stragglers into your inbox. Once the switch takes place, you may need to change some settings in your email program.

If you occasionally check your mail while on the road or from another computer, your webmail address for the new host will be (if you’re hosted with Likoma or a host that uses cPanel). Maybe you use webmail once in a while while on the road, but no email, folders, or addresses are stored online (that you care about).

3.) Power: You mainly use your webmail for

You use webmail (you log into a website to get your mail, usually something like as your main mail service–and you probably do not use an email client (e.g. Outlook, Mac Mail, etc.). So you’ll probably have sent mail, folders, and maybe even an address book. Depending on the host you’re coming from, this could be as easy as a few downloads, as difficult as a session of exporting and importing, or just plain impossible.

A manual way of saving some old mail is to just send some mail that you want to another email address so you have it. The old host might have a “redirect” button that will keep the sender the same, but send it to another address.


About the Author:

I've done the big corporate thing. I've done the creative writer thing. Now I'm happily in the middle. I like to help small businesses who are interested in "working their website before their website works them." I'm also interested in creating beautiful sites with powerful WordPress themes. Google+


  1. peter May 8, 2008 at 9:04 am - Reply

    do you have some steps or instructions on #3) Power. transferring emails from webmail to a new host.

    this would be very helpful for me.


  2. Bradley Charbonneau May 8, 2008 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    Peter: One trick I’ve done lately is to set up the email at the new host and just try to “POP” it. Some webmail programs call it “fetch,” others POP. But try to use the old settings on the old server (e.g., your pass,, etc.).

    If you’ve already changed the DNS, you might be able to use the old IP address if the mail is still there. In that case, the mail server wouldn’t be but an IP address (you’d have to know this from the host).

    I hope that is of some help.

  3. Granville April 8, 2009 at 7:33 am - Reply

    While I know this is an old thread, it popped up in a Google search as number 3. One of the things you can look for in your new hosting company is if they have webmail access that also can fetch mail via pop. Yahoo, Hotmail, and Google Mail all will pull emails from other pop mail servers. Your old hosting provider should have a way for you to get to your old mail server without using your domain name. This can be the best way yet, except all that old mail will show as New and Unread on the new server.

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  6. dai February 16, 2012 at 4:30 pm - Reply


    Is there a way to keep all emails (when changing hosting from hosting provider to another) assigned with google app name servers configurations?

    Since when changing the pipe mail configuration, automatically all emails are lost!

    Please advice,


  7. Mostafa elbakly February 19, 2012 at 1:20 am - Reply

    If you are moving from a host who uses cPanel to another cPanel account, please follow these instructions:

    Login to your cPanel and click the “Backup” icon.
    Click the “Download or Generate a Full Backup” button. This will backup all of your email accounts, files, and MySQL databases.
    Leave the drop down on Home Directory and be sure to have a valid email address in the second box. Leave the remaining boxes empty.
    Click the “Generate Backup” button and wait for an email confirmation to arrive.
    Congratulations, you have backed up your entire site and it is now time to restore your site at your new HostGator account.

    Open the email which confirms your backup. Inside it tells you the name of your backup file.
    Head to and submit the form. We need to know the name of your backup file, and please tell us the file is saved in your Home directory.
    Wait for a reply from our administrators that the task is complete.
    Once we reply, check our work by visiting your temporary URL. (Some sites will not be fully functional when using this temporary URL.) To make the site 100% functional, you must change the nameservers of your domain to the name servers HostGator provides in your welcome email.
    All done! You may repeat this process for any more sites you wish to move.

    • dai February 19, 2012 at 2:24 am - Reply

      Its has noting to do with cPanel!

  8. dai February 19, 2012 at 2:23 am - Reply


    My question is related Google APP emails when transferring to different Hosting company, what would be the solution in order to keep all emails ?


  9. Mostafa elbakly February 19, 2012 at 3:33 am - Reply

    Sorry Dai this wasnt a reply on your comment this was for the blog post it self but as a reply on you comment moving host while your using google app it no problem as your email accounts and email messages are stored at google servers. all you have to do is to set the mx records and cname if you have something like on your new host thats it. may be google will ask you to verify again by uploading a a file to your root directory and that it. you have no problem
    Mostafa elbakly recently posted … Welcome to Scitecs

  10. Bharat February 27, 2012 at 7:11 am - Reply


    We are a design agency, we provide hosting to our clients and setup their gmail corporate account for emails.
    now we are switching our hosting to host gator. then How can our clients have the same emails backup of their gmail corporate account do they access their email. without any prob. after switching hosting from one hosting company to another. if yes? then please guide us.

    • Bradley Charbonneau February 27, 2012 at 2:23 pm - Reply

      Hi Bharat,

      If I understand correctly, it sounds like you’re not switching their email hosting. It was at Gmail (Google Apps, right?) Corporate Accounts and it will remain there. Is that right? Your clients can always download their email into Outlook or Apple Mail as a local backup of the online mail. I hope that answers your question.

      • Bharat March 5, 2012 at 8:30 am - Reply

        thanks for replying Mr. Bradley, yes you are right we have configured our clients email with free google apps. our only worry is that we have shifted our clients hosting from one hosting company to another so once we updated the nameserver. then will our client email will functional or will it be stop till the name server get configured or do we have to do few more things to make our clients email functional??

  11. Aghper March 1, 2012 at 8:51 am - Reply

    Hi Bradley,

    I have a client who wants me to host his website which i am creating totally new.
    he uses an email like

    i have a reseller account with hostgator.

    if i just change domain dns will it do it? how about the emails?is there anything else do i need to do?

    thank you in advance

    • Bradley Charbonneau March 1, 2012 at 8:56 am - Reply

      Hey Aghper,

      Sounds like the website is new but not the domain name? He’s been using the domain name (or at least the email) for a while? Where is his email currently hoster?

      Yes, you’re right, if you change the DNS to your servers (e.g. and, his email will start to flow through your (Gator’s) servers. He’ll need to change his settings (probably) in his Outlook etc.

      Does that make sense? I haven’t done that much lately as I put everyone onto Google Apps for Email.

  12. Aghper March 1, 2012 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    thank you Bradley,

  13. Bharat March 11, 2012 at 4:36 am - Reply


    We are a design agency, we provide hosting to our clients and setup their gmail corporate account for emails.
    now we are switching our hosting to host gator. then How can our clients have the same emails backup of their gmail corporate account do they access their email. without any prob. after switching hosting from one hosting company to another. if yes? then please guide us

  14. Haraj July 29, 2012 at 12:52 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this. Was really stressed about moving hosts. I only use Outlook so the switch was easy. Although I did have a bit of downtime, but it was worth it.

    Thanks again.

  15. Caro December 7, 2012 at 3:03 pm - Reply

    Hi Bradley,
    I own a domain with a company A. The hosting of my email and website is with another supplier, lets say supplier B. The supplier B registred my website in a hosting and when I contacted the hosting they said supplier B is the owner so I can not do it anything.

    Can I change my wbesite from that hosting since I am the owner of the domain?
    Can I migrate my email@domain also from their webmail to another supplier?

    Supplier B never respond and I need to make websites changes among others
    Please, assume I will not get any help from supplier B during migration as they even answer the phone or my emails.


    • Bradley Charbonneau December 14, 2012 at 10:56 am - Reply

      Hi Caro,

      If your domain is registered with Supplier A, you have “they keys” to the domain and can point the hosting wherever you’d like. What I don’t understand is you said “supplier B registered my website in a hosting.” But your domain is still with Supplier A, correct? You still should have control over the hosting–or at least where it points. You can use sites like iWHOIS to see if your name is the administrative owner of the domain. If it is, you should be good to go. If it’s not, you’re going to have to get Supplier B to give you control. Hope that’s helpful — if not terribly hopeful.

  16. Shweta December 5, 2014 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    Hi Bradley, Please help me. I currently use Google Apps for Biz for my ID. My one month free trial is about to end and I don’t have the adequate means to buy the app. I want to shift my email. What should I do? Please help!!

  17. […] Moving Email from One Host to Another – Likoma – If you’re changing hosts and you use [email protected] /* */, it can be difficult or impossible to transfer old email (sent items, inbox, etc.) and your address book. […]

  18. […] Moving Email from One Host to Another – Likoma – … you want to another email … restore-move-from-one-cpanel-host-to-another. … our clients hosting from one hosting company to another so once we … […]

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