Copying your old host's email to your DreamHost email account


This article uses Thunderbird to copy emails from your old host to DreamHost for a single address. This involves the following steps:

  1. Add your email address to Thunderbird using the old hosting provider's email server names.
  2. Add your email address to Thunderbird again using DreamHost's email server names.
  3. Drag and drop folders and email from the old account into the new DreamHost account.

See the Other email applications section below for instructions on copying or importing using Mac Mail or Outlook.

This article uses the address Change this to the address you're migrating to DreamHost.

Copying using Thunderbird

The following describes how to copy your old host's email using Thunderbird.


Step 1 — Add your address to Thunderbird using your old host's mail server names

First, add your address to Thunderbird using your old hosting provider's server names. You must contact your old hosting provider for this information.

Step 2 — Add your address to Thunderbird using your DreamHost mail server names

Add your same address again to Thunderbird, but this time using DreamHost's email server names. View the following article for instructions:

At this point, your email address is added twice to Thunderbird, but each account is linked to a different mail server.

Step 3 — Drag and drop folders and files

Your accounts in Thunderbird should appear like this:


Dragging all emails in your old Inbox to your DreamHost Inbox

When dragging folders, Thunderbird sometimes fails to copy them. If that happens, close Thunderbird and re-open it. You should then be able to continue to drag folders.

  1. Select all emails in your old Inbox. To do this, click the first email, hold down the Shift key, then click the last email. They should all be highlighted. 
  2. Drag them into your DreamHost Inbox.
  3. Click your DreamHost Inbox and you'll see all emails are now listed.

Dragging remaining folders

Do not drag all remaining folders into your new Inbox. This will copy everything, but it will also duplicate all sub-folders. It's best to move each folder one at a time to ensure the structure remains intact.

  1. You must drag one folder at a time. For example, if you have a folder with sub-folders, move the top-level folder first. In the image below, folder1 is being dragged to the new Inbox.
  2. Next, move any direct sub-folders to the Inbox (you cannot drag it into the folder, it must be moved to the Inbox first). The image below shows the folder sub1 being dragged to the new Inbox.
    As you can see below, the folder sub1 is now in the Inbox under folder1.
  3. Drag sub1 into folder1.
    The directory structure for folder1 and sub1 is now the same as the original Inbox.
  4. Repeat this for any other sub-folders you may have.

Your email is now transferred to your DreamHost server.

Other email applications

See also

Did this article answer your questions?

Article last updated PST.

Still not finding what you're looking for?