Convert POP3 account (PST) to IMAP (.OST)

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Ian Thomas

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2013 64 bit
Email Account
Outlook.com (as MS Exchange)
I have a friend with a long-time account on Outlook Desktop (2013 or 2016 - not sure), his computer is now running Windows 10 - with Australian ISP Telstra (bigpond.com). His email connection is using POP3, and he organized his email into a number of folders within Outlook.

He has been advised to export each folder's emails to a PST, from Outlook. Then, create / connect as an IMAP account (same email, ISP, etc) and import those emails from the newly-created .PST files, and organize them into folders. It seems an unwieldy and possibly error-prone procedure.

(I get confused by IMAP / MAPI - hope I have the described the above with the "best" protocol)

Is there an article on Slipstick that gives a step-by-step way to achieve what he wants? I will search for it, from past experience those tutorials / articles are excellent and designed to stop people stumbling through and messing things up totally with this sort of operation.

An issue may be Contacts, Calendars, etc - I'm not sure.

Any pointers will be very welcome.
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
I don't think i have a tutorial for this scenario, but you really shouldn't need one.

His email connection is using POP3
No need to export - its already in a pst. Make a copy of it as a backup.

Then, create / connect as an IMAP account (same email, ISP, etc) and import those emails from the newly-created .PST files, and organize them into folders. It seems an unwieldy and possibly error-prone procedure.
Honestly, i would keep them in the pst - remove the pop account and it back as imap. New mail can be filed on the imap server and if there is mail he needs on two computers, move or copy it to the imap server, but leave the bulk of it in the pst. It's safer, especially if his mailbox isn't large.

I had a client a couple of weeks ago who did exactly what your friend was told to do - then he started receiving 'over quota' warnings and i helped him archive all of the older mail back into a pst.
 

Ian Thomas

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2013 64 bit
Email Account
Outlook.com (as MS Exchange)
Thanks Diane. I think Robert will take it from here - we have been talking about a further thing he wants to do, which is to keep the email .ost or .pst size for the new emails to a minimum on his SSD, which has limited space (that will be the .ost for IMAP, new emails) .

He has yet to create an account here to be able to post.
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
which is to keep the email .ost or .pst size for the new emails to a minimum on his SSD
He has two options for this - use the sync slider (imap and exchange) or move the data files to a new folder. Moving pst files is easy, especially since outlook defaults to putting them in the documents folder (in Outlook Files folder).
See How to move IMAP data files for instructions to move IMAP data files - i highly recommend using the ForcePSTPath registry key before setting up the account. (Yes, imap now uses ost, but follows the force pst key)
 
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