If you have a tendency to save a lot of older e-mails, it may seem like a difficult task to switch to a different e-mail service or program. For people with only a few saved messages, they can simply forward those e-mails to their new account. But for users with large amounts of data stored on an e-mail account, they will need to find another way to transfer all of their messages.
Depending on the type of e-mail account you are switching to, your new service may include a feature called TrueSwitch, which is capable of completing automatic transfers of data between e-mail addresses. E-mail providers like Hotmail and Yahoo include free use of TrueSwitch for new members. If your e-mail provider does not have a contract with TrueSwitch, you can still purchase a subscription of the service on your own and still complete automatic transfers. When you download the TrueSwitch application to your computer, it will search for any e-mail accounts currently set up on your system and then ask you which way you want to transfer the data. Depending on the amount of e-mails you have stored on your old account, transferring the data with TrueSwitch can take an hour or longer.
Manual Transfer in Outlook
For people who do not want to use the TrueSwitch service, the Microsoft Outlook application is also capable of transferring e-mail data between accounts. Outlook is a part of the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software, and it can handle a variety of different types of e-mail accounts, including Exchange, POP3 and IMAP. In order to transfer messages manually in Outlook, you must first use the "Mail" control panel in Windows to add your old and new e-mail accounts to your Outlook profile. Once both accounts have been set up, launch Outlook and look on the left side of the window, where you should see two separate mailboxes. Open up your old inbox, go to the "Edit" menu at the top of the window and choose "Select All." All of the messages in the old account will be highlighted, and then you can drag and drop them into the new account's inbox. Look at the status bar at the bottom of the window to find out how long the transfer will take.
Manual Transfer in Apple Mail
Since the Microsoft Outlook application is not available on Apple computers, Mac users will need another way of manually transferring e-mails between accounts. Luckily, the Apple Mail program, which is the default e-mail client in the Mac OS X operating system can perform the same basic function. To set up your two e-mail accounts in Apple Mail, open the program and select "Preferences" from the top menu bar. Then go to the "Accounts" tab and click on the plus symbol. Go through the account set-up process for both your old and new e-mail addresses, and then go back to the main Apple Mail window. Each of your accounts will show up on the left side of the window underneath the "Mailboxes" heading. Go into your old e-mail account and select all of the messages that you want to transfer. Then drag and drop them into the new account's mailbox and wait for them to finish copying.