Backing Up and Transferring Email Hosting Using Microsoft Outlook

Jan 19, 2023 | Outlook Hints and Tips

If you are moving your website and email hosting, it’s usually a quick and easy job to switch over your domain to your new host by changing your DNS name severs. However, doing this without losing all your existing emails takes a little bit of extra work.

We recently moved hosting to AS Design, who designed our site a few years ago, and they have provided this guest blog.

Before you change your DNS, do the following

  1. Set up your email address on your new hosting platform
  2. Get the new email address’s server and port details
  3. Pull your new email address into Outlook
  4. Copy (don’t move) your old emails into your new Outlook inbox
  5. Don’t forget folders
  6. Change your DNS

Here’s the list in a bit more detail…

Set Up Your Email Address On Your New Hosting Platform

Once you have added your domain (we will use as our example) on your new host’s platform, and BEFORE you do anything with your DNS, set up your email address on the new platform.

Once you’ve done this, you’ll have TWO versions of your email address.

  1. Your original email address on the existing hosting platform (this address will work)
  2. Your new email address on the new hosting platform (this address will not work YET)

Get The New Email Address’s Server And Port Details

Your email on your new hosting platform will have:

  1. Username (your email address)
  2. Password (you choose this)
  3. Server Name
  4. Port Numbers
  5. Security Settings (for example SSL)

Get these details from your new host. They’re often very easy to find if you are using a good quality hosting partner.

Pull Your New Email Address Into Outlook

Even though your new email address won’t work until you point your DNS to it, you can still use your new host’s server names and ports to pull it into Outlook.

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Click on File and then click + Add Account

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Enter your email address and, under Advanced Options, click Let Me Set Up My Account Manually

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Select either POP or IMAP (POP will download your emails into Outlook as your ONLY location for them, whereas IMAP will create a copy of them and leave them on your server. If you use multiple computers and other devices to check emails, you need IMAP!

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Enter the password you set up for your email on the new server.

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Check that all the server details are correct for your new host.

Note 1: Sometimes your new host will have a temporary server name, such as “” (we’ve made this up) – this is because your domain is not yet pointed to your new host.

Note 2: It can sometimes take a few attempts, making sure all the right boxes are ticked, such as “Logon using SPA” etc – this depends on your host. Persevere and keep trying!

Copy (don’t move) your old emails into your new Outlook inbox

Once you’ve successfully imported your new email into Outlook, you should have two sets of Inboxes, Sent Items, Trash etc. Your old one will have all your emails in and your new one should only have a test email in it from Outlook.

Next, select the emails from your EXISTING inbox that you want to keep, right-click and drag them into your new inbox. Once you release your mouse, it should give you the option to Move, Copy or Cancel. Choose copy.

Now, you will have two duplicate inboxes.

REMEMBER: Right now, only your old/original address will work

Don’t Forget Folders

If, like Lara, you organise your emails into folders, copy them over the same way you did emails. Note: it can take a while to do this if you have lots of emails or large attachments, so it’s best practice to have a clear-out first.

Change your DNS

Once you’re happy you’ve transferred all your emails, you can now change your DNS and point your domain to your new host.

TIP: Do this quickly to ensure your new inbox starts receiving emails and your old one stops receiving them.

Note: It can take 72 hours for the DNS change to resolve, although it’s usually a lot quicker.

And Finally…

Don’t forget to delete your old email account from Outlook and cancel your old hosting.

Want to learn more about Microsoft Outlook? Then email to discuss how I can help or have a look at the Microsoft Outlook Courses I run.