I'm shutting down an old email account, but I'd like to keep access to the messages in the associated IMAP folders. There are a lot of folders/ messages. Is there a way I can go through the side door and migrate all the folders and messages into my local Thunderbird folders? I want to be able to pull them up in searches, etc. But I'd like to get rid of the account.


There are several tools which will help you download and synchronize IMAP accounts. Try out a few of the following packages I found with "apt-cache search imap" :)

  • imapsync
  • imapcopy
  • mailsync
  • Took me a while to figure out imapsync but with the help of -authmech1 PLAIN it seems to be working. – Amanda May 16 '11 at 22:15

You can drag and drop or copy and paste your IMAP mails from one account to the other with Evolution. However depending on the size of your IMAP account this may take a while*.

*We have tested this here on an account with approximately 15.000 mails.

  • Honestly ... I can't figure Evolution out. I set up one account in there but I don't see any of the folders I subscribed to. I'm sure this would work but I'm not prepared to learn Evolution. – Amanda May 16 '11 at 22:17
  • @Amanda: just added this answer to include a standard Ubuntu application for ppl that might come here. – Takkat May 17 '11 at 6:08

You can simply drag and drop folders across accounts in Thunderbird. I have migrated from one IMAP account to another this way in the past.

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