I have a hosting for my client on a shared server (website, domain and mailboxes) and I want to change the provider and move everything to another server. Moving the website is as easy as copying the content and changing the DNS settings.

What about the mailboxes?

I don't have root access to the server, but I want to keep all the data in the mailboxes. They are using both POP3 and IMAP.

What's the best flow in this case, regarding that:

  • clients have 10 computers using Thunderbird (clients are non thech-savvy, I'll need to update the settings if any, I don't have remote access to those machines)
  • they are also using webmail access (roundcube)
  • we want to keep all the data and minimum downtime (preferably that clients didn't notice any change in they daily work)

Once I change the DNS to the new servers, the mailboxes will be empty. How to keep the data from old mailboxes and have not to worry about any data loss?

1 Answer 1


Use a mailbox synchronization tool (for example imapsync) or a service (for example migrationwiz) and do a initial synchronization of all the mailboxes to the new server.

Then change the dns records over to the new box. After DNS change has propagated, do another delta-sync of all mailboxes to catch the changes that have been made to the old mailbox while the mailclients switched from the old to the new server.

  • One nice feature of imapsync is that it can designate a root user and move all accounts without knowing each account's password. This has made several migrations very easy.
    – user8162
    Oct 15, 2013 at 17:51

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