To import any email you have stored with other email providers, you can use our IMAP Import feature. IMAP Import will copy all folders and email in another account to your Runbox account.

Information you will need to know

You will need to know the following things about the current email service before you begin an IMAP Import:

  • That the service you have supports IMAP for accessing messages. You will need them to support this even if you have only ever used their webmail service.
  • The host name of the IMAP mail server (e.g. imap.gmail.com)
  • Your username and password.

Importing with Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

If you have Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) set up with your current email provider, you may need to use an application specific password with the IMAP import features. Please see your current email provider for details on how to set up application specific passwords.

Another option could be to disable 2FA during the import period.

Common mail server host names

For the following services the host names below are successfully used by our customers.

Yahoo:  imap.mail.yahoo.com
Gmail:  imap.gmail.com
Outlook, Hotmail and Live.com: imap-mail.outlook.com
iCloud:  imap.mail.me.com
GMX: imap.gmx.com

(updated 02-Sep-2015)

If you mail server host name is on your own domain

If you have your own domain and the IMAP server host name you have been given by your email provider is something like mail.domainyouown.com then you might need to find out what the “real” host name of the email server is.

Email providers often provide the facility where you can use mail.domainyouown.com in your email clients. It’s easier to remember and it looks good when using them throughout your business. However, if part of your migration to Runbox involves using our name servers instead of those of your current email provider, then mail.domainyouown.com may stop working and you will need to know the mail server host name that is behind mail.domainyouown.com

If you don’t know what this is, you might be able to find out from your current email provider. We might be able to help you discover the host name if you have difficulty with this.

Steps to completing an IMAP Import

If you are not using your own domain:

Use these steps if you have signed up for an @runbox.com address.

  1. If you haven’t already done so, Sign up for the Runbox accounts that you need. You can buy sub-accounts once you have your first Main account.
  2. Log in to the Runbox account where you want to do the IMAP Import and go to Manager > Retrieve
  3. Enter the details required under IMAP Import an click Start Import.

A new entry will be listed above the form with a status of “PENDING”, which means that it has been submitted to the import queue. Depending on the amount of data in the external account, your import may take from a few minutes to a few hours.

Note: If you’re using Gmail, please see “Special note for Gmail Users: Labels and folders” further down before starting an import.

If you are using your own domain

Use these steps if you have your own domain and want to use this with your Runbox account.

  1. If you haven’t already done so, Sign up for the Runbox accounts that you need using the domain you want to use. You can buy sub-accounts once you have your first Main account.
  2. A few hours before you plan to start the IMAP Import, change the MX record of your domain to mx.runbox.com. This has to be done at your domain host (which may not be Runbox).
    • Note: If you are using the Runbox name servers, making this change will also change the MX record for your domain.
  3. After a few hours (or sooner) email will start to be delivered to your Runbox account(s), but you won’t yet have the existing mail transferred over.
  4. Log in to the Runbox account(s) where you want to do the IMAP Import(s) and go to Manager > Retrieve
  5. Enter the details required under IMAP Import an click Start Import.

A new entry will be listed above the form with a status of “PENDING”, which means that it has been submitted to the import queue. Depending on the amount of data in the external account, your import may take from a few minutes to a few hours.

Note: You can do the IMAP Import before changing the MX record if you want to check the mail has been copied across correctly before having new mail delivered to the account. However, you will then need to perform a second IMAP Import for each account to bring across mail that was delivered to the other (old) email provider between when you started the IMAP Import and changed the MX record for your domain.

Note: If you’re using Gmail, please see “Special note for Gmail Users: Labels and folders” further down before starting an import.

Checking the status of an Import

Once the import has finished, the entry will show as “COMPLETED” and your imported folders and email will be displayed in Webmail.

If the entry is listed with “ERROR” it usually means that the system was unable to access your external IMAP account. In any event, you can click “Details” next to the status to see more information.

Resolving problems with Gmail imports

Some external services such as Gmail require that you first log in, enable IMAP on your account with them, and then allow IMAP access from Runbox. If an IMAP import shows an “ERROR” status, this is likely to be the problem.

To resolve this problem, do the following:

  1. Log into your Gmail account at https://mail.google.com/.
  2. If you see a notification at the top of the page asking whether you want to allow access from runbox.com or Runbox’ IP address 91.220.196.211, click to confirm this.
  3. If you don’t see such a notification, click Settings in the top right corner (the gear icon) and then click Settings in the drop-down menu.
  4. Click Forwarding and POP/IMAP in the menu.
  5. Under IMAP Access, make sure 
  6. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page if you made any changes.

You can now return to Runbox > Manager > Retrieve and re-add the import request.

If you still get an error when importing from Gmail you have probably run into one of their login limitations and you can try the following:

  1. Go to https://www.google.com/accounts/DisplayUnlockCaptcha
  2. Under Allow access to your Google account, click Continue.
  3. You will see a notification saying Account access enabled.

If none of this works, please see Gmail’s help page for login problems for more options: https://support.google.com/mail/answer/78754

Special Note for Gmail Users: Labels and folders

Gmail uses labels instead of folders for organizing messages. When you log in to your Gmail account via their webmail service these labels look like folders on the left-hand side, but the concept in Gmail is different. Gmail organizes some of your mail automatically so that you can find it under appropriate tags such as “All Mail”, “Important” or “Starred”.

When you access your Gmail account via IMAP in an email client, or when you import your email in to Runbox, Gmail presents these labels as folders. This means that some messages are duplicated if they appear under more than one label and therefore end up in more than one folder on Runbox. This in turn means the final size of your import to Runbox could be up to twice as large as you expect and will cause duplicates.

Fortunately, Gmail provides a way to select which labels are available as folders when accessing the account via IMAP. This is found in the Gmail settings under the “Labels” tab. You can turn off labels so they are not shown via IMAP, preventing them from being imported.

If you find later that you need messages under labels you have turned off, you can always turn those labels back on and do another migration request. IMAP Imports only transfer new messages so a second migration request will not duplicate messages already imported with other labels.

Email Migration Service

In some cases we may be able to complete the migration process for you for an additional fee. To do this we would need complete details of your requirements, and access to your existing email accounts as well as the new Runbox accounts. If you would be interested in a quote for this service, please contact Runbox Support.

Getting Help

If you need help with any aspect of completing a migration to Runbox using the IMAP Import feature, please contact Runbox Support.