Switching from Gmail to IMAP in 9 steps

I’m switching from Gmail to using Mozilla Thunderbird since I found out my webhost has IMAP installed. I don’t need all that space for email anyway. Here goes nothing:

  1. In Gmail, “Enable POP for all mail (even mail that’s already been downloaded)”
  2. When messages are accessed with POP, “archive Gmail’s copy
  3. Read “Why wasn’t all my mail downloaded?
  4. Configure Thunderbird for Gmail
  5. Leave Thunderbird open to download all my email from Gmail’s servers
  6. Setup Thunderbird for my server’s IMAP account
  7. Create an archive folder on my IMAP account, so I have someplace to move the email I download
  8. Set Gmail to forward email to my IMAP email account; disable POP email
  9. Add a nice theme and some extensions, then enjoy!

After settling in, I’ve created some filters that’ll be moving messages to more distinct folders. I’m feeling comfortable now.

I don’t want to say why I’m doing this switch. There’s pros and cons to using a webmail app (like Gmail), IMAP, and POP. Fortunately, with my host, I have all three options. SquirrelMail isn’t great, but if I absolutely can’t use Thunderbird, it gets the job done until I get to one of my computers. Then when I connect, everything is just the way it’s supposed to be in my email account. In any case, if I’m happy, that’s all that matters, right? 🙂

Oh yeah, Gmail? It’s not goodbye – it’s more like, see ya later…

Published by

Bryan Villarin

Bryan works at Automattic. He's also a cat whisperer. Sometimes…a photographer, and card magician.

Talk to me, Goose

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