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Why Migrating from POP3 to IMAP in Outlook 2010 is Initiated?

Ugra Narayan Pandey | Modified: 2022-06-01T09:41:38+00:00| Outlook | 5 Minutes Reading

Several protocols are deployed to allow people for using various Email Clients like Outlook. One can use these protocols between Email clients and their servers to access messages. These protocols are POP3 and IMAP. And, IMAP being a better protocol has called up users migrating from POP3 to IMAP in Outlook 2010. However, the working of these two protocols is different from each other. Therein the question is why do people transfer emails from POP3 to IMAP.

POP3 is the Post Office Protocol that retrieves Email messages from the client in an IP Network. The messages by POP3 are downloaded offline from the server of the Email client. A user can easily delete and save these offline messages on the server for a specific period. This can be done after the protocol is configured or could be left indefinite.

Whereas, IMAP is the Internet Message Access Protocol that retrieves messages from a client but uses a TCP/IP connection. It is a newer protocol that synchronizes messages and folders with the server and the client. Besides this, it is useful for working on multiple computer systems or connected devices.

A high amount of users prefer IMAP protocol over POP3. As a result, users tends to convert POP3 to IMAP in Outlook.  Although, POP3 works fine for the users working on a single device. But still, a maximum number of users demand to change POP3 to IMAP in Outlook 2016.

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Here, we will explore why and how to change the account type from POP3 to IMAP in Outlook 2010?

Why to Transfer Emails from POP3 to IMAP?

Users are switching from POP3 to IMAP for their email messages. Where POP3 is a very basic protocol that downloads messages out of your inbox to the local site. Furthermore, if the downloaded emails tends to be deleted from the inbox server which questions the redundancy of the messages.

On contrary, the IMAP is a newest protocol with intricate features. It allows the users to see all their messages on FastMail even if they are present on the local desktop.

The IMAP also helps in the synchronization of messages and folders existing on the FastMail over the web and the personal computer system. It enables the user to access the same data wherever and however they access their Email. This could be the major cause of POP3 to IMAP migration. The IMAP does maintain a track of reading and unread messages across all the connected devices.

Methods to Migrate from POP3 to IMAP in Outlook

The users willing to change POP3 to IMAP in Outlook 2016 cannot directly migrate POP3 folders to IMAP. For a successful switch from POP3 to IMAP, a user needs to run the following processes:

  • Delete the POP3 account in use
  • Add the IMAP account
  • Transfer the files and folders

Process 1: Deleting POP3 account

  • The POP3 account has to be deleted to make sure that items are not downloaded again. Also, ensure that the items are not there on the server. Besides this, to ensure that no duplicity of data arises.
  • Removing the POP3 account will not remove the existing emails in the system. So, we suggest you to create a proper backup before the POP3 to IMAP in Outlook conversion.
  • Account Settings Dialog box initiates to remove the POP3 configuration. For removing the account in Outlook 2010, Follow

File-> section Info-> Account Settings-> Account Settings…-> select your POP3 account-> press Remove

Process 2: Adding a new IMAP Account

  • Next step will be to add a new IMAP account. A user can add the new account via the same dialog box .
  • Use the “Auto Account Setup” wizard to fill in your credentials like Name, Email Address, and Password. Allow Outlook to find the Settings required for your account.
  • If the search fails to try configuring the account manually using the option “Manually configure server settings or additional server types”. Set the Account type to “IMAP” and enter the server configuration details.

Process 3: Transfer the Files and Folders

  • While migrating from POP3 to IMAP in Outlook 2010, the last process is to transfer the messages and folders that one has downloaded earlier to the IMAP account.
  • After the successful addition of the new IMAP account, one must add the the messages from the POP3 account to a proper folder structure in IMAP.
  • To migrate your Email data files, select the files or folders that you want to upload onto the IMAP server. Select the copy/move option, or the user can easily drag and drop the files using the right mouse button.
  • The Inbox or Sent Items folders can’t be moved as they are the special folders. Select the messages instead of the folder to move the items.

Tip: Before you transfer emails from POP3 to IMAP, we advice you to first empty your IMAP inbox. If you earlier configured your POP3 account to leave a copy on the server to prevent duplicity of messages and folders.


The increasing digitalization has called for access to data every time and everywhere. Thus, the users of POP3-based accounts have started to migrate to IMAP. The article has explained the steps of ” how to change the account type from POP3 to IMAP in Outlook 2010″. In addition to this, you will also get the reasons behind users migrating from POP3 to IMAP account.

The IMAP account must do a complete synchronization between your mail client (Outlook) and the server. Your emails will also be available again in the interface and the structure of folders will be identical.