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Copying email mailboxes

Regular Visitor

Copying email mailboxes

I have created several mailboxes to save important emails.  I would like to copy them so that they could be moved to a different computer.  How do I do so?

Email Expert

Re: Copying email mailboxes

You need to enable the account in a desktop email client like Outlook, Windows Live Mail, Mac Mail etc. using IMAP settings on the new computer.  That way your folders in the webmail account will be duplicated in the client.




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Regular Visitor

Re: Copying email mailboxes

Thanks for your attention to this matter.

I did as you suggested but only a few mailboxes showed up.  I was under the impression that created mailboxes (for saving important emails) were saved on the computer in question.  What I'm looking for is the folder that contains these files so that I can copy them and then move them to a new computer so that they will be available when I use the email on the new computer.  I'm using a Mac desktop now and that is where the mailboxes in question currently reside.  Any ideas?

Email Expert

Re: Copying email mailboxes

If you are using Apple Mail that comes with OS X, then it should reflect whatever you have on the Comcast server if you are using IMAP.  Did you create the folders in Mail, or in the webmail interface?  If you open the account on the other computer, you should see the same things as on the Mac.  As long as you are using IMAP there should be no need to copy any folders.  They should already show up when you sign into the account.  Do you have the other computer already?  If so, go online with it and sign into your Comcast account and navigate to the email Inbox page.  Do you see the folders you are talking about?




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Gold Problem Solver

Re: Copying email mailboxes

Moving email from Comcast's webmail (aka Xfinify Connect) to your computer.

People want to do this for a variety of reasons, the main ones being to backup the email, or to get local copies prior to switching ISPs.

Notes
You have to do this with an email client (like Outlook Express, Outlook, Windows Mail, Thunderbird, etc.).
You can only do this via POP3, and POP3 can only download email that's in the webmail Inbox.
IMPORTANT The default behavior of almost all POP3 email clients is to delete messages after downloading them. If you want copies of your email to still be available via webmail you have to configure the email client to "leave messages on server".
Different email clients have different ways of storing email. Although it's generally possible to export/import the various formats from client to client, viewing the downloaded email conveniently will always require using an email client.

Setup
Empty out the Inboxes of both webmail (unless you're only interested in what's in the webmail Inbox) and the email client. Create Temp folders and move messages in the Inbox to the Temp folder if necessary.
Create folders in the email client that correspond to the webmail folders.
Email client config: port 995, SSL, Leave messages on server; detailed configuration steps for some common email clients can be found here: http://forums.comcast.com/t5/E-Mail-and-Xfinity-Connect-Help/E-Mail-Client-Settings-customer-generat... . That doesn't address the "Leave messages on server" aspect. Best bet there is to Google on "'your email software' 'version number' + leave messages on server" (without the single or double quotes).

How to do it
Move a folder's worth of messages into the webmail Inbox.
Download via email client
Move messages in the client Inbox to the appropriate folder (should be as simple as CTRL-A > Move)
Move messages in the webmail Inbox back to where they were.
Move another folder's worth of messages into the webmail Inbox.
Etc.

Credit to Steve for these directions



Need Email Help? Please post the following information in your post.
Do you use XfinityConnect? The Full or Lite version?
Do you use an email client? Which one? (Eg; Windows Live mail, Outlook, a smartphone etc.)
Which browser/version do you use? And- have you cleared your browser cache?
Which operating system? XP, Vista, Windows 7, Mac OS X
Details of the problem you are having.




Regular Visitor

Re: Copying email mailboxes

Thank you both for your help.

I just want to report back to let you know that I'm not accomplished enough to benefit from your instructions.  You use phrases are that familiar to me but I don't know exactly what they mean in the current context.  For example: mail or webmail interface, email client, client inbox, IMAP, etc.

I'm interested in transferring an email account (with all the mailboxes created on that account) from an aging  PC running on Windows XP to a new computer; not sure yet if it will be a Mac or Windows.  I naively thought that the created mailboxes were accumulated in a folder on the old PC.  If that were the case, I intended to copy that folder to the new PC and have all the saved email available in the new email program.  That doesn't seem to be the case so when I get a chance, I'll attempt to do as you suggested.  In the meantime, is there a source I could use to study to gain a better understanding of how all this works?

Email Expert

Re: Copying email mailboxes

When you access your email account by simply signing into it through your browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc), you are using the webmail user interface to look at your Inbox.  You are looking at a web page.  The emails exist only on the Comcast email servers.  They are not "on" your computer.  If you are using a desktop email client program like Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, Apple Mail, Windows Live Mail or something like that----------then the emails are also saved onto the computer, as well as being on the email server.

 

POP3 and IMAP are the two email protocols used for downloading your messages to a client like I listed above.  POP3 is the older one by far.  IMAP is now the preferred protocol to use for people who access their email from more than one computer or mobile device.  POP3 only works on the Inbox folder.  IMAP supports any local folders you create in the account, and everything is synced on any device you have the account enabled on.

 

Does that help you understand the whole thing?  There are plenty of other resources on the internet to help you understand the process.  Try searching for "POP3 vs IMAP" or "Webmail vs Desktop Clients" to get more information.  There is some really wonderful stuff out there waiting for you.  Most clients and mobile devices will now detect Comcast accounts as being IMAP compliant by default.




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Regular Visitor

Re: Copying email mailboxes

Thank you - that will be very helpful as I go forward.  You mentioned"----------then the emails are also saved onto the computer, as well as being on the email server."  If the emails are on the computer, what is the best way to search for them?

Email Expert

Re: Copying email mailboxes

Whatever client you use will have it's own search function.  I'm on a Mac and I can search the whole computer, including emails in my client -----Apple Mail.  I think you can do the same on a Windows machine.




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