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MS Outlook - switching POP to IMAP account

First Timer


I've recently upgraded my pc Outlook package and have just come across the POP vs IMAP problem myself. The symptoms I noticed after upgrading Outlook were:


1) Outlook displays the TalkTalk mail under my user ID and also a Personal Folder. I really just want the TalkTalk folder but Outlook won't let me remove the Personal folder even though it's well out of date and just adds confusion.

2) More importantly, when I try to file messages from the Talktalk Inbox and Sent folders to the other existing TalkTalk folders these disappear and can't be retrieved. This is a major issue, and the only way round it is to do any filing via webmail, which does still work.


Looking into it further, I identified the problem as being tied up with the fact that my pc Outlook account settings are POP rather than IMAP, and I therefore need to switch to IMAP. Since I have 2 pcs, I also need to do this twice.


Looking at the available instructions it's obvious that there is a real danger of losing all my mails on the TalkTalk server when I perform the switch. I've therefore created a .pst backup file, which I've checked and does appear to contain everything except the Inbox and Sent folders. 


Before I risk switching, I need to know:

1) How do I reinstate the contents of the backup .pst file I've created to the new IMAP account ?

2) Since I have 2 different pcs running the same version of Outlook, is there any risk of wiping the server content when I switch account formats on the second pc ?


Apologies if this is old ground, but I'm sure you can appreciate how important it is not to risk losing the lot....



Community Star

Hi @viwills 


You've done the right thing to Export your Outlook data to a PST file before removing the POP3 email account and upgrading to and adding afresh an IMAP email account.


The Microsoft advice on Importing and exporting from a PST file is here.


In the backup data of a POP3 account the only folder that's common to an IMAP account is the Inbox because that's the only online folder that a POP3 account interacts with. So, you may wish to safeguard your online Inbox by making a copy of wanted emails in the Inbox to a local folder or (via TalkTalk webmail) a MyFolder.

GondolaVolunteer 2017-2021

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First Timer

Great - I've just spent 10 mins compiling a reply and the forum has managed to lose it all - because I wasn't signed in. ....

I'll try once more...


Basically I need a step by step procedure telling me exactly what actions to take in Outlook and beyond to ensure my current email folders resident on the server don't get lost when I switch the Outlook accounts from POP to IMAP on both pcs.


Since this is the sort of task that I'm sure will come up frequently, and needs to be done properly to avoid losing data, it's well worth expert attention and will give those of us who are less computer- literate the confidence to put things right - and carry on using Talktalk mail in future...


Thanks in anticipation,



Community Star

Hi viwills 


Gondola's got some news:

You're now using TalkTalk Mail and your browser is an IMAP email client.  Do the same on your other PC and you'll be using an IMAP email client on that computer. No setup needed. Keep your browser updated and protected with the normal Internet security and enjoy.


Oh, you insist on using Outlook?  Why is my question?


Here's just one of many advice articles on the Internet about converting from POP3 to IMAP with Outlook without losing mail messages.


The Mail Support Hub gives advice on Email settings to use with email clients.

GondolaVolunteer 2017-2021

 Add Likes below to appreciate my help . . . and if I offered a solution Best Answer

Community Team - TT Staff

Hi Viv, it looks like Gondola has pointed you in the right direction. Please let us know how you get on. 



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