InMotion Hosting Support Center

If you had email hosting from a previous hosting provider it is likely you had an email account. You can transfer those emails to your InMotion Hosting account. There are different ways to migrate your existing emails.  One way to configure the accounts in an email client and copy the emails to our servers.  We are going to show you how to do this using the Thunderbird email client.  Other clients such as Outlook have the same basic functionality.

How do I transfer my emails using Thunderbird?

Before we get started you will need to create an email account in cPanel.  Next open your preferred email client such as Thunderbird.  It's important to set up your old email hosting in your email client as an IMAP account.  Make sure this is done before you cancel your hosting with your previous provider or you will lose your emails.  Next, set up a new email account but with the account pointed to our servers.  We have articles on how to set up different clients in our Knowledge Base.  For this example, we will set up an email account in Thunderbird.

When configuring the accounts, use your servers' hostnames as the incoming and outgoing mail servers. For example, the average user will use as their incoming and outgoing server name. either points to InMotion Hosting or your previous server, not both. Using a server's hostname instead of ensures we are connecting to the correct servers. Your hostname for Inmotion Hosting may look something like You should reference your Account Management Panel for the exact server name. You'll need to contact your previous host to find out the server name of your previous server.

Now that both hosting email accounts are added we can copy the emails.  In this example we will move emails from to We are using two different email addresses to make our example more clear.  However when you add your email accounts, they will be the same email address.  You will be copying emails from the same email addresses, but with each hosted on different servers. Once both accounts are added you will see them both on the left menu of your email client:


Making the Transfer

  1. To begin the transfer process, highlight all the emails you want to transfer.  You can highlight them by clicking on "Edit" in the menu bar and then "Select All":
  2. Right click on the email messages. In Thunderbird, mouse over "Copy To" and then select the inbox you want to copy the emails. Remember this will be the email account set up with InMotion Hosting:


  3. Once you click on the folder you want the emails moved to, a transfer will begin. It will display at the bottom of the page so you know it is copying:


  4. Finally, you can click on the new inbox to make sure the emails are transferred. You can confirm the emails were copied by simply checking the inboxes of both accounts. The emails in each account should be identical. You can check both the old and new accounts to confirm the process was successful:


If your emails show in the inbox on our server the transfer was complete!  Depending on the number of emails this can take anywhere from a few minutes to hours. You can also confirm that the emails copied bylogging into webmail.

Related Questions

Here are a few questions related to this article that our customers have asked:
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n/a Points
2018-01-15 9:21 am


Thanks for your post. Please is there any script that you could recommend to perform the steps above considering if you have to migrate for many users

30,766 Points
2018-01-15 9:44 am
We do not have a specific script we would recommend for this, but full cPanel backups will include email if they are stored there.

Thank you,
n/a Points
2017-12-22 11:23 pm

Excellent article!  Would be even better with a video tutorial - but the steps are laid out perfectly here.


- David.

n/a Points
2017-09-25 10:16 am

If i have the emails stored on my computer via IMAP how can I cnage providers for my email and keep the files


41,118 Points
2017-09-25 12:08 pm

We're assuming that you're trying to say "manage providers" in your post. If you are using Thunderbird, then local files can stay in locally created folders (that appear in the Thunderbird app). You can create multiple accounts using IMAP (or POP3) in the Thunderbird interface. If you need to pull an email that is saved locally, you'd have to go to the local folders and then pull the email from there. You can always copy emails from that location to the other accounts that you are managing within the Thunderbird app.
(screenshot of the local folders in Thunderbird)

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

Arnel C.
n/a Points
2017-09-21 2:06 am


We recently transferred a domain from another host with Plesk Interface but we seem to have emails and folders missing for some of the email accounts. Can the old emails contents be retrieved and how?


30,766 Points
2017-09-21 8:43 am
If you were using IMAP, your old host may still have a copy of the emails on their server. You would have to contact/connect to their server to access and retrieve the emails.

If you downloaded the emails to a computer via POP, your emails should be stored on that computer.

Thank you,
n/a Points
2017-08-20 5:43 pm

Note: as of this time date of post, you can NOT copy folders - only the contents within a folder. If you have a tree structure - you need to create each folder then copy the contents.

n/a Points
2017-08-17 6:58 pm

I am in BAD situation, I have switched my hosting company to godday, My emails are on thunderbird but as I have switched to new server ALREADY, I can't connect to exisiting thunderbird account, but I can see the contents. My question is can I create a new account for same email aAddress and move from old account to new when old account is not connected.

2,110 Points
2017-08-17 7:11 pm
Yes, you can add the email account with the new host's settings. If you have your emails downloaded locally to your computer, then connecting to the old host would not be necessary, unless Thunderbird restricts access to the email account if it's not connected.
n/a Points
2017-01-26 5:54 pm

I'm transferring from Yahoo where I've made folders for my emails.  Is there a way to copy the entire folder over?? instead of selecting emails in folder then having to make new folder name in Inmotion and copying into that??


30,766 Points
2017-01-26 7:49 pm
If you can connect to yahoo via IMAP as described above (instead of POP), you should be able to view and copy your folders down. You will have to recreate the folders on our servers before you can copy your emails into them.

Thank you,
n/a Points
2016-09-13 12:08 pm

I followed the step to transfer email and all the email in my thunderbird was deleted and nothing on the server. I guess it assumed the mails on the server were deleted and went ahead to delete all my mail in thunderbird.

I am scared of trying the another mail. What should I do? Any help?

n/a Points
2016-08-09 7:28 am

Hi, I currently have my emails from going to my gmail account. I'm moving from Bluehost to Inmotion, but I don't want to migrate my website because I rebuilt it fresh. So I don't need to transfer any emails I don't think because they're all in my gmail account already, but I need to set up on Inmotion servers, and I guess delete it on Bluehost? I don't see any instructions for this. What do I need to do?

10,335 Points
2016-08-09 9:18 am
You have a few different options. I suggest taking a look at our guide on changing DNS records to use third-party services.
n/a Points
2016-08-03 4:50 am

Hello, i need to migrate our company's email from google server to inmotion server without deleting all the emails on each account. and of course we will make the emails with the same name. how can i move the server so that when we receive a new emails we will receive it on the new inmotion server not in google. please answer.


thank you

41,118 Points
2016-08-03 3:47 pm
Hello Angelo,

There's no way to move the SERVER (unless you purchase or find a migration application which are typically pricy), but you can move individual accounts as per the documentation provided above. Each mail account would need to be moved separately.

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

Arnel C.
n/a Points
2016-08-11 12:50 am

i tried to move the emails using this steps but when i check the account from webmail the emails are not there and its still empty.

30,766 Points
2016-08-11 11:04 am
Ensure you are subscribed to your "INBOX" folder, here is an excerpt from the official Thunderbird documentation:
"You can control which folders are visible. You "subscribe" a folder to make it visible, unless it's subscribed by default, or you disable "Show only subscribed folders". With Thunderbird you right click on a remote folder and select "subscribe" to get to the dialog box that lets you specify which folders should be subscribed."

Then, as long as you copy the emails to that folder, you should see them in Webmail.

Also make sure your mail settings are correct in Thunderbird.

Thank you,

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