How to use IMAPSize to backup and restore your IMAP email account

Related documents:
[1]IMAPSize is a freeware Windows application that allows you to quickly and efficiently manage your IMAP mail accounts“.

If you find that you need to backup your mailbox at your other hosting provider before you transfer it to Arvixe (or just need to backup your mailbox…), this post will show you how to setup, backup and restore your mailbox.

Note, that this must insure that you need to have an IMAP account/access to where your mailbox exists (not all hosting providers allow this, unlike Arvixe).

Warning: In any case, you should NOT delete the old account before you made sure that the restoration at the new server was completed successfully!
Warning: I found out that in some cases, Restore Backup won’t work and manual restoration of each folder is needed.

  • First, download the Installer and install it (or unzip and execute the Zipped Distribution if you downloaded that) [1] (picture 1)
    picture 1

    picture 1


  • Setup your account with the credentials as the hosting provider gave you (picture 2)
    Use the “Smart INBOX” after you read about it here. Personally, for this demonstration, I did need to check this check box.

    picture 2

    picture 2

  • Now you will see the main screen. Click the Check Size button to see the size of your account before backing it up (picture 3)
    picture 3 - click to enlarge

    picture 3 - click to enlarge



  • This is just a sample mailbox I had created, with two emails in the Inbox and one in Sent. If you read the FAQs I told you above, you’d see why checking the Smart INBOX check box in the account properties was needed on this account (picture 4)
    picture 4

    picture 4

  • Click on the Backup button or from the menu click on Account -> Account Backup (picture 5)
    picture 5

    picture 5

  • In the Account Backup window, click on Select All and then Backup buttons (picture 6)
    picture 6 - click to enlarge

    picture 6 - click to enlarge

  • When backup is done, you’ll see an Information popup. Click on either the Details… or OK button (picture 7)
    picture 7

    picture 7

  • I chose the Details… button, just so you see what it shows you (picture 8)
    picture 8

    picture 8

  • That concludes the backup process. Now, I’ve went to that account and deleted those three emails. I will now show you how I restore them from my local backup on my PC.
    First, here is the main screen again, after I check the size of the mailbox on the server again (picture 9)

    picture 9

    picture 9

  • From the menu, click on Account -> Restore Backup (picture 10)
    picture 10

    picture 10

  • In the Restore Backup window, click on Select All and then Restore buttons (picture 11)

    picture 11

    picture 11

  • When restore is done, you’ll see an Information popup. Click on either the Details… or OK button (picture 12)
    picture 12

    picture 12

  • I chose the Details… button, just so you see what it shows you (picture 13)
    picture 13

    picture 13

  • At this point, this should be all you need to do. If, by any change this failed to work (and it could fail), have no fear. Though this is a more length process, you can still restore the backup that you did, of the emails you have saves from the backup process you ran before.
  • From the main window, refresh your mailbox size by clicking the Check Size button again.
    Right click the first folder you want to restore email to (I picked INBOX) -> Upload Messages -> From *.eml files (picture 14)

    picture 14

    picture 14

  • Select all the .eml files from the backup folder for that mail folder (for INBOX) and click Open (picture 15)
    picture 15

    picture 15

  • When it’s done uploading them, the Information popup will appear (picture 16)
    picture 16

    picture 16

  • Do this for every folder you need to restore… and you’re done!
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5 Comments on How to use IMAPSize to backup and restore your IMAP email account

  1. Patrick Gaul says:

    This is very nice. I did (and do) wonder at which point one decides where the backup will be stored (my process is still underway… so I don’t know).

    Also, I’d like to see some discussion of how this backup is restored to a new different email account, which is what I’m doing… transferring from one hosting service to another…

    Thanks… guess I’ll wait until the process finishes to see what happens!

  2. Bob Lancaster says:

    After attempting to use IMAPsize with limited success I decided to look to see if there was something else out there that did a similar job. i found this: MailStore http://www.mailstore.com/en/mailstore-home.aspx

    It’s free for personal use and it works great! I was able to archive all my existing user account off my old service provider and then export them into the my newly created account on Arvixe.

  3. Joan says:

    Bob,
    you save my ass !!! I used to have a lot of problems with imapsize.
    mailstore is far away from imapsize.
    thanks for your advice.
    we love you!

  4. Jordan says:

    I tried using both MailStore and IMAPSize to move mail from one server to another. In the past when I had to do this I did it using Thunderbird by creating an additional mail account and then dragging folders from the old account to the new account, which actually works quite well.

    With MailStore I was quite impressed with the archive feature, however I wasn’t too impressed with the export feature. Every time I tried to export, instead of restoring everything into the original folder structure it kept creating it’s own folder structure. When I tried to move everything to the correct structure I ran into account size limits which messed everything up. Hence I ended up abandoning the use of Mail Store.

    IMAPSize, while more basic than MailStore, worked quite well for me. I was able to easily download my email from one account and upload it to the new account while keeping the identical folder structure. One thing I did notice is that all messages in the new account were marked as new. I don’t recall this being the case when using either Thunderbird or MailStore.

  5. Azubuike says:

    The tutorial is awesome as it helped me in transffering my email accounts from Hostgator to Arvixe.
    Thanks

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