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In this article we'll go over how to move emails from a previous host to InMotion Hosting. If your previous hosting provider uses cPanel, this article will not apply as your emails will be moved over with your full cPanel backup. For more information on performing a website move from a host that also uses cPanel, please see our article: How to migrate your website FROM another host that uses cPanel TO InMotion Hosting.

How to move your emails from one server to another

The steps involved will depend on whether or not you use POP3 or IMAP to check emails at your previous host. If you're not sure which connection you use, you can check your email settings in your email client to determine which type of connection you use. Please see our Tools for using email video for more inforamtion on the difference between the two.

Before anything else, you will want to setup your email accounts on your new sever at InMotion hosting. Please see our Creating an Email Account article for a walk through on creating email accounts.


If you use a POP3 connection when checking emails on your previous host, your emails are downloaded to your local computer. You will not have to follow any steps to move emails as they are already on your computer. You will want to take a look at the section below on how not to lose emails when you point your domain to our Nameservers.


If you use IMAP when checking emails, you will want to follow the steps outlined in our Using Thunderbird to transfer Emails between servers article for step-by-step instructions. As noted in that article, while we use Thunderbird as an example, what we are really explaining is the process which can be used in other email clients as well.

There are more steps involved when you use IMAP because emails are stored on the server and aren't actually downloaded to your local computer; so the emails will actually need to be moved over from that server to your new server. If you have a lot of email addresses, this will be a tedious process you will need to go through for each email account.

How not to lose emails during propagation time after a Nameserver change

When you have completed your website migration, the last step is to update your domain's Nameservers. After propagation, emails will be routed to the new server, but during the 4-24 hours it can take for DNS propagation some emails will go to the new servers and some email will go to your old server. Fortunately, we have two recommendations to keep you from missing emails during that time:

  1. Before you point your domain to our Nameservers, create a forwarder at your previous host that forwards emails to an email that's not on the same domain you are moving to InMotion Hosting (e.g. gmail, yahoo, hotmail or another domain at which you receive emails).

  2. Check email at your old host using their webmail interface. You will want to make sure you use a temp url or similar url that specifies the server name in the url instead of or

Modifying your MX Records

Some people use third party companies for their email and thus will not be pointing to our nameservers for email services. If this is your case, you will want to make sure that your MX records are properly pointing before pointing your domain name to our nameservers.

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Related Questions

Here are a few questions related to this article that our customers have asked:
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n/a Points
2014-03-07 3:35 am

i changed my domain name on in motion hosting and now can't forward my old emails

11,186 Points
2014-03-07 10:17 am
Upon changing your primary domain, any information under your old domain will then be replaced with the new domain. To use services on the old domain, you will need to add the old domain as an addon domain to cPanel.
n/a Points
2014-07-20 6:55 am
i dont know that answer,im living in omaha nebraska and id like to get my emails from an email i had in texas
33,686 Points
2014-07-21 2:00 pm
Hello Jackie,

Have you attempted the instructions above? If so, where did you get stuck? We would like to help but simply need more information.

Kindest Regards,
Scott M
n/a Points
2014-12-17 11:45 am
I think this can be improved by speaking "non-tech" talk for us non techies. I was lost in the first sentence when I read cPanel...never seen one, never heard of one, don't know where to find one, and even if I did find it I'd not know what to do with it. Unfortunately, my knowledge of the computer goes no deeper than turning it on, and using it...nothing on the "back end" or behind the scenes, or anything technical. So I was totally lost...POP3 and IMAP...holy cow! Anyway, you get the idea...way too technical for me to understand.
n/a Points
2015-04-21 6:18 pm

Is there a way to transfer sent mail?  I'm moving clients to my dedicated server, and they can download the incoming by setting up a POP account; but if they've been using webmail for their account, their sent mail will stay on the server.  Any way to get that exported?

20,940 Points
2015-04-21 7:10 pm
Hello Elaine,

Thank you for contacting us. Since webmail is just an IMAP client, setup outlook as IMAP and you can view/access all the folders.

Then just drag the folders/emails to backup folders.

Thank you,
n/a Points
2015-04-27 6:30 am

I am trying to transfer my email address from my old host to inmotion, what do I need to do? I have to have a transfer code? I am not clear what to do...

33,686 Points
2015-04-27 4:54 pm
Hello Ruben,

The article above explains how to transfer email from your old hosting account to your one here with us. We are happy to explain any step you may need more clarification on, just let us know where that is.

Kindest Regards,
Scott M
2015-05-29 3:41 pm
I switched my email from old host to new and followed the instructions but lost ALL my emails!!
7,962 Points
2015-05-29 4:09 pm
Hello Jenn,

Are your emails still on your old server? This method simply downloads the emails to the new server, some systems will remove the emails from the origin server but they will be on the destination server.

Best Regards,
TJ Edens
n/a Points
2015-08-10 11:17 am

I have migrated emails to my new account with Inmotion; how do I migrate emails from all the different folders?

33,686 Points
2015-08-10 12:36 pm
Hello Maj,

When you migrate the email folders, the subfolder should come along with them.

Kindest Regards,
Scott M
n/a Points
2015-09-25 8:34 pm

What happens to ALL my EXISTING Folders and emails that are in Outlook 2010 and i've had for years. I was under the impretion they were stored on my PC because i could access all those old emails even when i had no internet access.

7,962 Points
2015-09-27 2:27 pm
Hello Brad,

If you are you using POP then those folders will stay in your Outlook even after changing the server settings.

Best Regards,
TJ Edens
n/a Points
2015-09-30 12:07 pm

I am moving websites to you guys and emails. How do I add new emails if the domain name is not listed in dropdown? I am keeping domain name with another host. Am I suppose to AddOn Domains for this?

29,898 Points
2015-10-01 10:07 am
Hello Mike,

Thanks for the question. Yes, when you add the domain as an add-on domain, it adds the DNS entries, and creates the mail account to which you can add your email addresses. If you're not familiar with adding an add-on domain, check out: How to add an Add-on domain in cPanel.

If you have any further questions or comments, please let us know.

Arnel C.

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