Version 1 (modified by Jamie McClelland, 14 years ago) (diff)


Most email users will be able to change their email from their old Internet Service Provider to May First/People Link without much trouble at all. However, depending on how your email is setup, it could be a more involved process. To figure out what steps you should take, please consider the following concepts. What "protocol" are you using? There are two different ways to access your email which are important to understand in order to transfer your email:

  1. POP: Post Office Protocol (POP) means that all of your email is downloaded from your Internet Service Provider to your own personal computer and (usually) deleted from the server. If you created folders in your email program, those folders are only accessible on your own personal computer.
  2. IMAP: Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) means that all of your email is saved on your Internet Service Provider's servers. If you are using IMAP, you can run an email program at home and an email program at work and both programs will access the same set up messages and folders. If you only use webmail to check your mail, your are using IMAP.

What client are you using? There are two main categories of programs:

  1. Desktop clients: Common "desktop" email clients include Mozilla Thunderbird, Mac Mail, Kmail and Outlook. These are all programs that are installed on your personal computer.
  2. Webmail clients: In addition, people often use "webmail" clients, such as SquirrelMail or Horde/IMP. These are all programs that you access by opening a web browser and going to a pariticular web page to read your email.

If you use a desktop program to check your email, and you are using POP or IMAP, then you've got it made. Please follow our Desktop email transfer directions. If you are exlcusively using Webmail - then you will need to configure an email program (we recommend Thunderbird) to access your existing account using IMAP. You may need to contact your current Internet Service Provider for assistance. Once you have done this step, then you can follow the directions for the Desktop email transfer process.