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Old 29 May 2022, 06:59 PM   #1
Juc1
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Import emails from client

Hi all

I have a new / empty gmail account and I am trying to import about 100 emails from Outlook or Thunderbird. When I have tried so far, the result of connecting my client to the gmail account is that the 100 emails on the client get deleted ie the gmail server content is overwriting the client content instead of the other way round.

Any ideas please what I need to do?
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Old 29 May 2022, 07:56 PM   #2
TenFour
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It should work using Gmail's POP3, but I often recommend instead using a desktop email app like Thunderbird. Just add both accounts to Thunderbird and then you can simply drag and drop the emails from one service to the other.
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Old 29 May 2022, 10:26 PM   #3
Juc1
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But how do I stop the problem I mentioned happening ie emails not found on the gmail server being deleted in Thunderbird?
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Old 1 Jun 2022, 08:24 PM   #4
emoore
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If you're trying to import them from Thunderbird into Gmail webmail I'd expect you to use a IMAP account and either drag and drop the messages or use copy/move commands. You can't upload messages via a POP account. I'm wondering if you accidentally created a POP account instead and unchecked the "leave message on server" setting in the accounts server settings or something like that.

If you move the messages you want to upload to the "Local Folders" pseudo account in Thunderbird they will be safe from any side effects of your POP or IMAP accounts. That is the main reason why 'Local Folders" exists. Then copy the messages to the IMAP account.

Or try creating a child folder (in the IMAP account) and copying the messages to it, rather than the inbox. You could then log into Gmail webmail afterwards using a browser and move the messages to the inbox. You shouldn't have to do that but its quicker than trying to troubleshoot what caused your problem.

Keep in mind that Gmail has a undocumented hourly and daily bandwidth limit for email clients. If you have lots of messages (especially ones with large attachments) you might have to do the upload in several steps, over time.
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Old 2 Jun 2022, 10:52 PM   #5
Juc1
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@emoore thanks - can we just rewind - suppose the content of my inbox in mail.google.com is different to the content of the corresponding inbox in Thunderbird IMAP account - let's leave aside why it is different for now - so lets say for the account [email protected] mail.google.com has emails A B C and Thunderbird has emails D E F - so they are out of sync so what is the expected behaviour when I resync them eg by updating passwords?

In my case that I mentioned in the first post the result was that the GMAIL server and Thunderbird were left with emails A B C (ie D E F were deleted) - so is that expected IMAP behaviour?
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Old 3 Jun 2022, 07:16 AM   #6
emoore
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No, its not expected behavior.

With a IMAP account if you are working in ONline mode (the default setting) what messages you see in the folder listing is the same as if you were using webmail. If you're working in OFFline mode what you see is the contents of the optional downloaded copy of the mail folder (its stored as a mbox file just like a POP account, for example "inbox.").

tools -> account settings -> account_name -> synchronization & storage controls whether Thunderbird creates local mirror copies of the remote folders (aka offline folders) and what folders it does that for.

When the remote and local folders synch the local folder is made to mirror the contents of the remote folder. Their contents are not merged. Any messages in the local folder that don't exist in the remote folder are quietly physically removed. If the local folder doesn't have a corresponding remote folder its also quietly removed when Thunderbird synchs the accounts folders. That's why you can't use the offline folders as a backup, you have to copy them somewhere safe if you want to save that snapshot of the remote folders contents.

Lots of people who are used to POP accounts get confused if they switch to a IMAP account because they expect mbox files to be treated the same way. The same format is used to store messages on your hard disk, but mbox files are treated very differently depending upon whether its a POP or IMAP account. You can not lose a message stored in your POP account due to checking for new mail for example.

So I'm confused how you can have messages A B C in google webmail and messages D E F in the Thunderbird IMAP account, for the same folder if you are working in online mode (the default mode). My first reaction would be either that you copied a mbox file to the IMAP account and haven't synched the local and remote folders yet due to using the wrong password, the folder listing was corrupt (right click on the folder in the folder pane, select properties and press the repair folder button) , or that you are actually working in offline mode (file -> offline -> work offline).

It is possible to have both a POP and a IMAP account for the same email address at the same time. That can cause weird side effects if the POP account is not configured to "leave message on server" etc.

Last edited by emoore : 3 Jun 2022 at 07:31 AM.
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Old 3 Jun 2022, 08:11 PM   #7
Juc1
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@emoore thanks for your help...
Quote:
Originally Posted by emoore View Post

When the remote and local folders synch the local folder is made to mirror the contents of the remote folder. Their contents are not merged. Any messages in the local folder that don't exist in the remote folder are quietly physically removed..
Yes this was my mistake - I was hoping that remote and local emails would merge but in fact when I synced by updating the local password, the local emails were deleted.

Quote:

So I'm confused how you can have messages A B C in google webmail and messages D E F in the Thunderbird IMAP account, for the same folder if you are working in online mode (the default mode). My first reaction would be either that you copied a mbox file to the IMAP account and haven't synched the local and remote folders yet due to using the wrong password,
.
I have a local copy of the deleted emails and yes the reason that local and remote are out of sync is that the local password is intentionally wrong because I know that as soon as I correct the local password the local emails that I want to restore will be deleted in the sync.

So my question is how do I restore the local emails to the remote account?
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Old 4 Jun 2022, 07:19 AM   #8
emoore
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1. Move the messages to the "Local Folders" account. They are safe there.

If the messages are in another account you could select all of those messages and then use message -> move to. If they're in a mbox file you could rename it to have a unique name and then copy it to the Local Folders local directory (..\Mail\Local Folders) or use the ImportExportTools NG folder add-on to import it into Local Folders.

2, Login to the IMAP account using the correct password

3, Copy the messages to the IMAP account.

If you run into some weird problem (I don't expect you would) create a new folder in the IMAP account and copy the messages to there, and then log into webmail and move the messages to the desired location.
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Old 6 Jun 2022, 04:52 AM   #9
emoore
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Any success?
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Old 8 Jun 2022, 04:19 AM   #10
Juc1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emoore View Post
1. Move the messages to the "Local Folders" account. They are safe there.

If the messages are in another account you could select all of those messages and then use message -> move to. If they're in a mbox file you could rename it to have a unique name and then copy it to the Local Folders local directory (..\Mail\Local Folders) or use the ImportExportTools NG folder add-on to import it into Local Folders.

2, Login to the IMAP account using the correct password

3, Copy the messages to the IMAP account.

If you run into some weird problem (I don't expect you would) create a new folder in the IMAP account and copy the messages to there, and then log into webmail and move the messages to the desired location.
Awesome thank you, mission accomplished The crucial step I was missing before your help was to first copy emails to the local folder where they are safe from deletion.
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