Transferring email to a new hosting company

I am working with a client who isn’t happy with their current hosting provider/web designer so I am transferring them to an new one. The new company is going to provide both the hosting as well as domain registration. They want to be sure not to lose their emails and contact info that they have with their old hosting company. Their old company uses icemail as their email client. Is there a way to transfer all their emails and contact to the new hosting company? OR would it better to just backup the emails locally using a program such as Outlook or Thunderbird?

Also can they use the same email address they have now (ie.

Thanks for the help.

Or could I export them to Thunderbird on my local machine and then transfer them to the new web hosted email server?

I would imagine that the contacts are stored by their email client, and not the hosting account.

The emails themselves can be copied over as you described: make a local copy of all emails using Thunderbird and copying that over to the new email account when it is operational. Technically, you could also use the IP addresses in Thunderbird, instead of the typical That way both accounts can be verified for new emails arriving during propagation.


On Outlook you can export the contacts, tasks, calendar and emails by creating a PST backup. If any of them use Outlook then you should ask them if they use any of the other things in outlook like calendar or tasks. Obviously exporting them to Thunderbird you will loose everything except the emails and contacts.

Thunderbird you can copy their .mozilla or mozilla or thunderbird folders these contain their complete environment, so if they normally use thunderbird it will keep all their settings exactly the same and you don’t have to export and then reimport.


Right now they don’t use anything. They get and keep their emails and contacts on the icemail client. That is the problem. Once I move them to a new hosting company they will lose everything unless I come up with solution. I think the easiest would be to set them up with Thunderbird and then export them.

Hi Bryan,

I am not familiar with the ICE client. Does this client allow you to export their contacts to thunderbird? if so then, then this seems like a decent way to preserve their email.


Yes, you will need to export all the settings from teh host they are currently on (i’m assuming “icemail” is a webmail client of some form here.

When yuo set them up on the new server, you’ll have a clean setup, however you can create the same email addresses etc without any issues.

Setting them to use Outlook / Thunderbird for their mail might be a better option anyway - webmail is ok but sometimes a proper client is easier to work with.

I am definitely going to set them up with Thunderbird. It is so much easier to use than worrying about a web mail client. (Yes, icemail is a web client. I never heard of them either). Having trouble transfering the info though. It is not recognizing the password and username. I am going to have to have them contact their current web developer I guess.

If you are on a Linux platform, I believe when you do a backup, the email information should also be backed up. When you reupload the backup, all of it should be restored. This is all considering you are using cPanel though.