POP Emails lost after changing server settings

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by ctone, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. ctone macrumors member

    Nov 28, 2006
    I just changed email hosting companies, while keeping my email addresses. Everything worked fine, except on my iPhone, where old emails from the previous server were all deleted out of my inbox. The account is set up as POP, so no emails should have disappeared. Old emails are still there on 3 of my macs, under 3 different email addresses on the domain, using Mac Mail and Thunderbird , and on my wife's iPhone. (all POP)

    My iPhone is acting like this email account was set up as IMAP, but I confirmed that it is POP.

    Does anyone know of a way I can get the old emails back onto my iPhone? I have them in my Mac Mail accounts on my computers still.
  2. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    POP is really a troublesome way to have an email account set up. Every device must be set up to NOT delete emails from the server. Deleting on one device doesn't delete from everywhere else.

    You may be correct in what you describe, but it sounds like you set up an entirely new account at the new host. At any rate, you can't get the emails, in their current form, back to you iPhone using POP. You'll have to have an IMAP or Exchange account on a Mac and your iPhone. You can copy the old emails into the IMAP or Exchange folder of your choice on the Mac and they'll show up in that account on your iPhone.

    Why POP...WHY?
  3. ctone thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 28, 2006
    Yes, I know the issues of POP vs. IMAP. I have 15 gigs of mail that I would need to juggle very carefully with multiple devices to convert it to IMAP without losing anything. Fortunately, the iPhone was not set up as IMAP, because this issue (probably an iOS bug) could have caused all those emails to be deleted from my other devices. At least I feel a bit more secure having emails live on my computers with less fear that they will go missing due to glitches such as this one.
  4. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    15GB definitely is a lot of mail.

    If you have backups of your three Macs then you can rest a little easier. In any case I'd advise you to get that email into an organized fashion utlizing IMAP so that you have access to everything on all Macs and your iPhone, if that's what you want.
  5. ctone thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 28, 2006
    It took forever, but I was able to get it all switched over to IMAP. About 5 hours of juggling and sorting (and some cursing), with about 12 hours of uploading and downloading.

    Thanks for motivating me to finally tackle this. Not even going to attempt doing this to my wife's account.
  6. laser310 macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2009
    i just had this happen to me too

    the thread doesn't really answer the question of why they got deleted...

    i had a pop3 email acct configured on my phone.

    i moved my email hosting to a new hosting company, and was surprised to see all the old emails deleted from my phone

    they are still on my pc email clients..., why would the phone delete them?

    i guess i can get some back again, as they are still on the old server

    but won't the iphone just delete them again?

    how can i stop it from deleting them again, if i get them?
  7. Robolovsky, Aug 30, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018

    Robolovsky macrumors newbie

    Aug 30, 2018
    I can confirm that 9 years later this problem still exists. I believe the reason is that the iPhone assumes that all emails both POP and IMAP are still stored on the server. As a matter of course after a mail server change it deletes and then attempts to redownload the messages but in the case of most POP accounts those messages have long been downloaded to other devices and deleted from the server.

    This is undoubtedly a glitch in that the iPhone should not delete any inbox messages for a POP account but even though we are on iOS 11+ this behaviour has not been addressed. My provider recently upgraded their systems and the mail server name was changed. The POP account on my phone lost all its inbox messages when I updated the settings. Friends of mine doing the same thing also lost their emails.

    I know the purists will say that POP is old hat and everyone should change over to IMAP and that is probably true. Unfortunately though for many it's a case of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. Purely and simply the emails should not be deleted in the first place.

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