How to change an account from POP to IMAP in Outlook 2016 for Mac

POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) and IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) are the two main protocols used by applications to send and receive email. HostPapa’s email services support both types of connection. You can find out the differences between the two and which is best for your needs in this knowledge base article: What are the differences between POP3 and IMAP?

Should you decide you wish to change your Outlook 2016 for Mac email account from using a POP3 connection to an IMAP connection, you can do so in a few simple steps.

1. Back up your mailboxes

Switching from a POP3 connection to IMAP can result in your existing email being deleted, so you should create a backup of your mailboxes to avoid losing anything important.

Open Outlook and select File.  In the menu that appears, select Export….

File Menu

In the Export to Archive File (.olm) panel that opens, ensure Mail is checked and click Continue.

Export Options

Use the dropdown arrow to select a location on your computer for your backup. Provide a memorable file name and then click Save to continue.

Save options

The archive will now be saved to your computer. Now click Finish.

Export complete

2. Delete your POP account from your computer

With the backup completed, you can now delete the POP account in Outlook. You should also delete the account on other devices you use for email.

Select Outlook from the top menu bar, then Preferences.


In the Outlook Preferences panel, select Accounts.

Outlook Preferences

In the Accounts panel that appears, select your email account and then click the minus button (-) near the bottom of the panel to delete the account from Outlook.

Accounts panel

You’ll be asked to confirm deletion of the account. Click Delete to continue.

Confirm selection

3. Set up your IMAP account on your computer

The final step is to create a new email account on your computer using your IMAP server details. From the menu bar, go to Tools > Accounts to begin.

Tools menu

The Accounts panel will open, offering a range of account types. Select Other Email.

Account types

Enter your Email Address and Password, then ensure the box next to Configure automatically is checked. Click Add account and Outlook will attempt to retrieve your server details. If successful, your account will be set up and your email downloaded.

Server settings

Alternatively, you can configure your server details manually. For manual setup, ensure the box next to Configure automatically is unchecked. The panel will extend, showing additional configuration options.

Enter the following details:

  1. E-mail Address: Your full email address.
  2. Password: Your email server password.
  3. User name: Your email account user name.
  4. Type: Use the dropdown menu to select IMAP.
  5. Incoming server: For HostPapa Basic or Advanced email accounts, use For domain hosted services, check your email server details in cPanel.
  6. Incoming Port: Check the box next to Override default port. Change the default port (143) to 993 for IMAP accounts. Check the box next to Use SSL to connect (recommended).
  7. Outgoing server: For HostPapa Basic or Advanced email accounts, use For domain hosted services, check your email server details in cPanel.
  8. Outgoing port: Check the box next to Override default port. Change the default port (25) to 465 for IMAP accounts. Check the box next to Use SSL to connect (recommended).

Click Add account to complete configuration.

4. Restore your mailbox

If you wish to restore the mailboxes and email you backed up earlier, choose File from the top menu, then Import.

The Import panel opens and you are asked to choose the type of file to import. Select Outlook for Mac archive file (.olm) and click Continue.

Import settings

Navigate to your archive file and click to highlight it. Select Import to proceed.

File to import

Your archived email will now be imported. Click Finish to wrap up.

Import complete

If you notice any problems or if you need any help, please open a new support ticket from your HostPapa Dashboard. More details on how to open a support ticket can be found here.

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