How to Transfer an Email Account to a New Computer

By Qyou Stoval

Transferring email accounts between computers depends on the email software.
i email image by makuba from

Productivity can be thwarted if your existing email address is not properly configured to your new computer. Depending on the email application you are using, you can easily update and receive emails that you could have missed between installations. Email applications like Microsoft Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird have universal ways of transferring email accounts. You can also create a new email account on the new computer using your existing email account information.

Create Email Account

Download and install the email application that your were using on the previous computer. If you are happy with the old email application, install it using the installation disc that you initially had with your other computer. You can also test out new email applications and still be able to transfer your existing email account.

Navigate to "File" or "Tools" within the email application and click the option for adding a new mail account.

Type in the name that you would like to appear when recipients receive your email. Input the username and password to access the existing email account, and enter the incoming and outgoing mail servers, if necessary. Some email applications will configure your email account automatically. Other email accounts must be manually established. Contact the email service provider to find out what the incoming and outgoing mail servers are.

Save changes and send yourself a test email. Sending a test email ensures that you can receive and send emails successfully. Depending on the software, you may receive all the emails that were not checked or the emails that have never been sent to your newly transferred email address. Be prepared to erase older emails as they come through.


Open the email software on the old computer and navigate to either "File" or "Tools" and select "Export." Depending on the software, you will be given the option to export the entire account, your address book or both.

Click on a location to save your exported file. Save the file to a CD or email it to yourself so you can download or transfer the information to your new computer.

Open the new email application on your new computer. Navigate to "Import." A window will open that allows you to search for the file you want to import. Search for the file that you saved to a CD or emailed to yourself. The new email will capture and configure the account with the new settings and contacts automatically.