How to change an account from POP to IMAP in Outlook

HostPapa’s email services support both POP and IMAP accounts, which are protocols used to send and receive emails. 

Tip: To learn the difference between POP and IMAP and which one is best for your needs, check out our knowledge base article.

If you want to change your Outlook email account from a POP3 connection to an IMAP connection, you can do so in a few simple steps. 

In this article, we’ll show you how to back up your mailboxes, delete your POP account, set up your IMAP account settings, and restore your mailbox. These steps will work for Outlook 2013, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2019, and Outlook 365.

Back up your mailboxes

Switching from a POP3 connection to an IMAP account could delete your existing emails. To avoid losing anything important, you should create a backup of your mailboxes.

  1. Open Outlook and select File.
  2. Select Open & Export, then Import/Export.

Open & Export menu

3. In the Import and Export window, select Export to a file and click Next >.

Import and Export Wizard

4. Click Export to a File in the next window, then select Outlook Data File (.pst)

5. Click Next >.

Choose file type

6. Select the mailboxes you’d like to back up. We recommend that you backup all your mailboxes. Select your email address in the Export Outlook Data File window and check the box next to Include subfolders

7. Click Next > to continue.

Folder selection

8. Use the Browse button to select a location on your computer to save your backup. 

9. Click Finish to continue.

Save location

10. To keep your backed-up emails secure, you can create an optional password for the file. If you’d like to create a password, enter it now and click OK, or Cancel to proceed without a password.

Securing the export

Your backed-up emails will now be saved to your computer.

Delete your POP account from your computer

Now that your email backup is complete, you can delete your POP account in Outlook. You should also delete the account from any other devices you use for email.

  1. Select File from the top menu, then Info.

Account Information

2. Click the arrow next to Account Settings and select the Account Settings… option.

Account Settings menu

3. In the Account Settings window, click on your email account. 

4. Click Remove to delete your email account from Outlook.

Remove account

5. You will receive a warning that your offline messages will be deleted. Click Yes to continue.

Confirm removal

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. 

  1. Click the New… button in the Account Settings window to get started, or click File in the top menu, then Add Account.

Add account

2. Click the radio button next to Manual setup or additional server types, then Next > to proceed.

Account type

3. Under Choose Your Account Type, select POP or IMAP, then click Next > once again.

Select account type

4. Enter the IMAP server settings for your email account. You can find your server settings in your HostPapa Dashboard by heading to My cPanel > Email Accounts and selecting Set Up Email Client.

cPanel Mail Client Details

5. Enter the following details:

  • Email Address: Your full email address.
  • Password: Your email server password.
  • User Name: Your email account user name.
  • Account Type: Use the dropdown menu to select IMAP.
  • Incoming Mail Server: For HostPapa Basic and Advanced IMAP accounts, use For domain-hosted services, check your email server details in cPanel.
  • Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP): For HostPapa Basic and Advanced IMAP accounts, use For domain-hosted services, check your email server details in cPanel.
  • Logon Information: Enter your email account username and password.

6. Click the More Settings… button.

Server settings

7. In the Internet Email Settings window, select the Advanced tab.

Advanced tab

8. Enter the following details:

  • Incoming server: Ensure the default port is set to 993 for IMAP accounts. Use the dropdown menu next to Use the following type of encrypted connection to select SSL.
  • Outgoing server (SMTP): Change the default port (25) to 465. Use the dropdown menu next to Use the following type of encrypted connection to select SSL.

port settings

9. Switch to the Outgoing Server tab. Check the box next to My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication, then click the radio button next to Use same settings as my incoming mail server.

Outgoing server settings

10. Click OK to close the Internet E-mail Settings window, then Next > to proceed. Outlook will now test your email settings. If the test fails, make sure your server and account details are correct.

Testing server

11. Once the test completes successfully, click Close and then Finish to wrap up.

Setup complete

Restore your mailbox

  1. If you wish to restore the mailboxes and email you backed up earlier, choose File from the top menu, then Open & Export. Now select Import/Export.

Open menu

2. In the Import and Export Wizard window, select Import from another program or file and click Next >.

Select action

3. Click Import a File, select Outlook Data File (.pst), and then Next >.

File type

4. Use the Browse button to navigate to your Outlook backup file. When restoring your email and mailboxes, you can use the radio buttons under Options to configure how Outlook treats duplicate items. Click Next > to continue.

File selection

5. If you secured your backup with a password, you’ll be asked to enter it once again to authorize the import. Enter the password, then click OK.

6. Finally, use the dropdown menu to select which folder you’d like to restore your data into and click Finish to complete.

Folder selection

If you need help with your HostPapa account, please open a support ticket from your dashboard.

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