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I transferred a domain ( from one hosting provider (OLD-CO) to a new host (NEW-CO). How can I download email that is still sitting at OLD-CO, to my desktop?

Some email accounts have 10,000 or more emails, so using the Web email client is not an option. I still have an account at OLD-CO, and I have access to the DNS records at OLD-CO.

AFAIK my desktop email client requires that I specify the POP address ( This points to NEW-CO, not OLD-CO. Are there any desktop email clients that can use an IP address instead of a domain name?

I could change the MX record at OLD-CO. How would I configure the desktop client to access it?

I prefer using an email client that stores email as plain text, like Eudora. I have written code to extract email addresses and other information from the desktop copy of the emails.

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Chances are you can access the OLD-CO's mail-servers directly. It won't be '', but '' will probably point to the same actual servers serving mail. Your login should be the same and is probably That should still work even if your domain is being hosted elsewhere.

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You, sir, are a genius! I did in fact have a second domain. I was able to do: getmail -s -u Fantastic. Thank you profusely. – sprezzatura Feb 3 '11 at 0:02
Glad to hear! Sometimes it isn't obvious that COs do that kind of thing. – sysadmin1138 Feb 3 '11 at 0:04

For a situation like this, if the hosting companies do not provide a tool for this, I'd suggest something like "getmail" (to retrieve from POP/IMAP). It will drop the mail into mbox format local files, which are plaintext, or maildir format, which is also plaintext but one file per message. I used this to clean out mailboxes on a server, and then I could zip up the mbox files periodically for archiving.

You'll find getmail's source as the first match on google for "getmail" and there's also a Wikipedia page for it early in the results.

There are probably similar apps to post your mail to another mailserver, but it sounds like you don't need that.

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Thank you, great suggestion. Getmail for Windows made downloading a breeze. – sprezzatura Feb 3 '11 at 0:08

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