How To Change An Account From POP To IMAP In Apple Mail

May 2, 2019

POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) and IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) are the two mainstream protocols utilized by applications to send and receive email. If you are a Skystra customer, we highly recommend you select IMAP.

If you decide you want to change your Apple Mail account from using a POP3 protocol to an IMAP protocol, you can do so in a few easy steps.

Create A Backup Of Your Mailboxes

Switching from POP3 to IMAP may result in your existing emails being lost, so you need to create a backup of your mail accounts to avoid losing anything essential.

Open Apple Mail and select one or more accounts. From the dropdown menu, select Mailbox > Export Mailbox option.

Alternatively, if you have only one mailbox, you can right-click on it and select Export Mailbox option.

Choose a location for your backup or create a new folder, then click Choose. Mail exports your mailboxes as .mbox files.

Delete POP3 Account From Your Computer

Once the backup is completed, you can delete the POP account in Apple Mail. You need to also delete the account on other devices you use for email.

From the dropdown menu, select Mail section > Accounts option. Select the account in question in the list and use the minus (-) button to remove it.

Configure New IMAP Account On Your Computer

Next step is to create a new email account on your computer using your IMAP server details. In the dropdown menu, select Mail section > Add account option.

A window opens, asking you to choose a Mail account provider. Select the radio button next to Other Mail Account… then click the Continue button.

On the next screen, enter your Name, Email Address, and email account Password. Once you’re finished, click the Sign In button. Apple Mail will try to retrieve your email server details automatically.

If your server details are not automatically fetched, you need to enter them manually in the next window.

Input the following information:

Email Address: Your full email address.

User Name: Your email address user name.

Password: Your email address password.

Account Type: Use the dropdown menu to select IMAP.

Incoming Mail Server: Use mail.yourdomain.tld (replace yourdomain.tld with your real domain).

Outgoing Mail Server: Use mail.yourdomain.tld (replace yourdomain.tld with your real domain).

Once the details are entered, click the Sign In button.

If you are asked to specify the port configuration, use the following information:

Incoming Port: 993

Outgoing Port: 465

You can find port settings in Apple Mail by selecting Mail > Preferences option from the Menu bar. Select the account in question from the sidebar, then click the Server Settings tab. If you would like to change the default port settings, untick the Automatically manage connection settings option for both the Incoming Mail Server (IMAP) and Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP) sections. You can edit the port configuration now.

Restore Your Mailbox Backup

If you’d like to restore the mailboxes and email you backed up previously, choose File > Import Mailboxes option from the dropdown menu.

Select the email app backup file was made in. In this example, we’ll choose Apple Mail, then click the Continue button.

Find your backup file and then click Choose button.

The messages will be imported into a new mailbox called Import in the Mail software sidebar. You can rearrange your email by moving folders and messages from the Import mailbox, then deleting the Import mailbox.

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