Migrate Email from AT&T?

Texas_Toast

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 6, 2016
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I'm embarassed to say, but I have been an AT&T customer for the last decade.

And, YES, I know that the people at AT&T and Yahoo are evil jerks after all of the data they lost. But it's a bitch to cut the rope when you have 20 years of emails with the same provider.

Well over the last 6 months I keep getting locked out of my AT&T email account even though I haven't forgotten my password.

Usually when this happens I end up wasting 6-8 hours with the morons at AT&T trying to get Advanced Support to reset my password because they keep locking me out.

Happened again today, although I was able to get back in after 15 minutes.

So it's time for me to finally say, "GO F*CK YOURSELF AT&T/YAHOO!!!"

Is there any practical way for me to port over all of my AT&T emails to a new provider??

Yeah, I could forward each and every email, but then I'd lose all of the timestamps and filing system I have now.

I know you can export your emails from Gmail, but I'm guess that I'm screwed since I have AT&T.

Is there any hope?

I *really* gotta give AT&T the middle finger and get the hell off of their systems for good before I get locked out forever?!

Thanks.
 

StralyanPithecus

macrumors regular
I used thunderbird client, configure both accounts the old and new one, let it download all the mails locally and just drag and drop you old account folders with the mails to the new account, let, again, thunderbird to finish all syncing (very important) . I used this method to move and old pop account to a new imap account without losing mails.
 
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Texas_Toast

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 6, 2016
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I used thunderbird client, configure both accounts the old and new one, let it download all the mails locally and just drag and drop you old account folders with the mails to the new account, let, again, thunderbird to finish all syncing (very important) . I used this method to move and old pop account to a new imap account without losing mails.
How do I set up Thunderbord with AT&T email?

Every time I go into the Preferences in my ATT email it boots me out and asks me to log in again and then I can't. Yet, strangely, I can seem to log into my AT&T email Inbox?!

*THIS* is why I am ready to ditch my AT&T email...

By the way, what exactly is POp and IMAP and how does all of that relate to my current email and what you are proposing?
 

StralyanPithecus

macrumors regular
Pop and imap is no relevant to your problems, you AT&T account uses imap, which means that the received mails are kept on you mail provider server. If you cannot login into your account, you must solve this with AT&T before be able to transfer all your mails to a new account. The Thunderbird method helps in let thunderbird to do all the hard work when moving mails from one account to another.
 

Texas_Toast

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 6, 2016
849
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Pop and imap is no relevant to your problems, you AT&T account uses imap, which means that the received mails are kept on you mail provider server. If you cannot login into your account, you must solve this with AT&T before be able to transfer all your mails to a new account. The Thunderbird method helps in let thunderbird to do all the hard work when moving mails from one account to another.
Am I losing anything by transferring my emails from AT&T to Thunderbird on my Mac and then from my Mac to a new email provider?

Couldn't I just transfer the emails directly from AT&T to the new provider?

Also, I am calling AT&T support now... What do I need to ask them (and get access to) in order to set up Thunderbird (and POP?) on my Mac and get my emails off of AT&T's server?
 

Texas_Toast

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 6, 2016
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Texas
If I download my AT&T emails locally to my MacBook, are they free and clear mine? Or do I still have to log into my AT&T account to read them?

And sorry if you said this above, but if I download my AT&T emails to my MacBook, then can import those emails into my new email provider? And, again, will they be free from AT&T at that point?

Hope my questions make sense?! :confused:
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,137
8,806
California
If I download my AT&T emails locally to my MacBook, are they free and clear mine? Or do I still have to log into my AT&T account to read them?
It depends... if this is an IMAP account and you are storing the message in a mail app in the IMAP folders, those are synced with the same folders on ATT's IMAP server.

What you can do in Mail app is make a folder or folders "On My Mac" then drag the messages from the ATT IMAP folders into the new folder On My Mac. Then you would essentially "own" them independent of ATT.

Screen Shot 2019-06-28 at 11.40.30 AM.png
 
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Texas_Toast

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 6, 2016
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Texas
Okay, here is what I have figured out and done so far...

- I called AT&T and actually found someone who had a clue and who gave a damn?!

- I downloaded and installed ThunderBird v45 onto my old MacBook running Mountain Lion

- I created a POP3 profile in Thunderbird and pointed it to my main AT&T email (i.e. my name) as a test account, since I never use this email.

- It appears that Thunderbird is working with this first AT&T account.

- So now I want to further test things and try to import the dozen or so email in this main account into my Protonmail account.


On ProtonMail's website, there is this tutorial:

https://protonmail.com/support/knowledge-base/how-to-import-emails-to-your-protonmail-account/

However, when I look in Finder on my Mac, I do not see any MBOX or EML files that it mentions?!

What I do see is a series of .msf and .dat files plus what appear to be folders.


Questions:
1.) Am I not seeing any MBOX and EML files because I am using an older version of Thunderbird?

2.) Do you think I can still import my Thunderbird emails into ProtonMail?


I'm a little nervous to move forward...
 

Forum-User

macrumors member
Jul 8, 2009
31
12
However, when I look in Finder on my Mac, I do not see any MBOX or EML files that it mentions?!
Mac's Finder hides your Library directory to protect it, as it contains system files & settings. Your email mbox directories for each configured email account can be found under "/Users/<username>/Library/Mail/<MailVersion>/".

You can use Finder's "Go", "Go to Folder..." menu options to get to your Library directory (or use Terminal - "cd Library/Mail").
 

Texas_Toast

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 6, 2016
849
69
Texas
Mac's Finder hides your Library directory to protect it, as it contains system files & settings. Your email mbox directories for each configured email account can be found under "/Users/<username>/Library/Mail/<MailVersion>/".

You can use Finder's "Go", "Go to Folder..." menu options to get to your Library directory (or use Terminal - "cd Library/Mail").
Thanks, but that is where I looked, and there are no MBOX or EML files....
 

mikzn

macrumors 65816
Sep 2, 2013
1,432
704
Vancouver
^^^^^
Another option (thunderbird) is right click on the subfolders in local folders and then select "Properties" - it should display the path to where the files are stored.

or if the account is set as "POP" the files are local and can be found the same way
 

Texas_Toast

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 6, 2016
849
69
Texas
@NoBoMac,

I read up on Mozilla support last night and learned that Thunderbird doesn't put a .mbox extension on the .mbox files. I also read up on the .msf and .sbd files as well.
[doublepost=1561870789][/doublepost]
^^^^^
Another option (thunderbird) is right click on the subfolders in local folders and then select "Properties" - it should display the path to where the files are stored.

or if the account is set as "POP" the files are local and can be found the same way
Like everything in my life, this is turning into another HELL project?!

I spent all day tinkering with Mail.app and Thinderbrd and IMAP and POP3 settings.

Sadly, the Import-Export application from ProtonMail isn't recognizing my INBOX (Thunderbird) and "INBOX.mbox" (Mail.app) so I'll have to wait and see what their support says...
 

mikzn

macrumors 65816
Sep 2, 2013
1,432
704
Vancouver
Why don’t you just set up two email accounts in Thunderbird?

Then just drag the emails from the old account over to the new account make sure the new account is IMAP and then the email should sync from there back to the new email server account?
 

Texas_Toast

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 6, 2016
849
69
Texas
Why don’t you just set up two email accounts in Thunderbird?

Then just drag the emails from the old account over to the new account make sure the new account is IMAP and then the email should sync from there back to the new email server account?
I've been at this all day and my head is spinning right now...

Sadly, I am not optimistic that the ProtonMail importer is going to work. (It is still a "Beta". And until ProtonMail "grows up", they will never get adoption from the masses.)

It's sorta hard to know which approach to take until I can actually import emails from local files. Because if thatd oesn't work then that really messes things up.

If the importer does eventually work, then I guess these were some of my observations today, although my brain is getting foggy at this hour...

Observations:
- IMAP seems to work a little better with keeping things in synch, although to be honest, my extensive tesing shows that both IMAP and POP3 are flaky with how deleting emails works?!

- One clear benefit is that IMAP allows you to see all folders and subfolders in your client. (With POP3, you can only bring over your Inbox with is a PITA for doing a mass-migration.)

- I wasn't crazy how deleting an email in my AT&T account did NOT delete that same email on the client. (At least not for like 20 minutes.) This makes me untrustng of it.

- With IMAP, especially since I can see all folders, I could just mass-select things, and *copy* the emails into the "Local" folder. (That appears to de-couple the emails from AT&T.)

- With POP3, I would have to use the Inbox as a staging area and copy emails to it, then create a folder in the "Local" folder and move them to their proper home. Somewhat more of a pain.

- With POP3, if I checked "Leave emails on server", I guess it would act like IMAP, but I'm not sure of the pros or cons on this?!

- It seems like the file/folder format that Thunderbord uses is more industry standard than how Apple's Mail.app does things. Then again, Apple's Mail.app is *much* cleaner in how things appear in Finder!

- Because going through 15+ years of emails will take forever, my best bet might be to just use POP3, get everything onto my old MacBook. verify I can read the emails from my "Local" folder. Clone my MacBook. And just let those emails sit until I have time to clean them up. In doing so, I may very likely decide that it's time to "start my (email) life over, and NOT migrate them to my virgin ProtonMail account. That way I am starting with a clean email account, and leaving my old emails, old conversations, old relationships, and old life on my old Mac. And not cross-polinating emails, attachments, and email addresses/contacts. But who knows?!