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Email, Moving Your Email to Another Service
This page contains information about how to move your email from any University system to a non-University email system.
Back up your University email using the email client
Connect to your University email service and make a backup onto your own computer
After you've installed your email client software, you'll need to:
- Connect it to your current University email account
- Use your client software to back up your University email
Connecting your client to a University email server
- If you use Exchange, you can set up your account by following Office 365, Email, Exchange, Mobile Devices with Exchange .
- If you use Google Apps @ Illinois, you can simply use Google Takeout
- If you use a departmental email server, contact your department's IT support staff for assistance.
Using your client software to back up your University email
- Each email client has its own method of backing up the email you have in your account. Search for "backup" in your client's Help pages.
- Since Outlook is so popular, here is a link on how to export data using it: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/back-up-your-email-e5845b0b-1aeb-424f-924c-aa1c33b18833
You'll need to gather information from your new email service provider.
In order to add your new email service to your client, may find it helpful to print this page and fill in the table with your new service's information.
Where to find this information? If you're not sure what server name or security settings to use, check your email service provider's help pages for information about IMAP email settings for client software. (For reference, here are Gmail's settings (external link).)
|Your username, user id, or login|
|Your email address|
|Your incoming mail server (IMAP)|
|Your incoming mail settings|
|Your outgoing mail server (SMTP)|
|Your outgoing mail security settings|
After you've added your new email service to your email client, you should have two inboxes: one for your University email and one for your new email.
Send a test email from your new account to your University account (and vice versa) to make sure that both email accounts are set up correctly.
The Electronic Directory Editor tool handles where university email is sent.
You will need to enter your new email address in the campus Electronic Directory by performing the following steps:
- Open the web page https://ede.cites.illinois.edu.
- Log in using your NetID and NetID password.
- Scroll down to the Email field.
- Type in your new email address.
- Scroll to the very bottom and click on Apply – you should get the message that "The field email has changed."
- Click on the LOGOUT button.
NOTE: Please be aware of the potential caveats of redirecting your email, as documented at Email, How to set up email redirection. In addition, faculty and staff can no longer redirect or auto-forward their university email. Please see this KB for more information: Privacy & Cybersecurity, Faculty and Staff Email Auto-forwarding Retirement FAQ. This means that you will not be able to redirect your @illinois email alias until the 'staff' attribute falls off of your account (approximately 30 days after departure in most cases).
"Copy," don't "move," in case your network connection gets interrupted
Regardless of which email client you use, keep these guidelines in mind:
- Use a wired connection, not a wireless one.
If your connection is interrupted while your email is being copied, some data could be lost.
- Copy and paste -- DON'T drag and drop.
Drag and drop will delete your email from the University email system at the same time that it copies to your new email system. If anything goes wrong during a drag and drop, you won't have your original email to re-copy from. If you copy and paste, you'll be able to compare the number of your emails and re-copy any emails that didn't copy correctly.
- Make sure to copy all the folders you want, not just your inbox.
If you've filed email in other folders, or if you want to keep your sent mail, make sure to copy those folders too.
After copying your email, make sure that you have the same number of messages and that attached files sent with emails are still available.
Before you remove your University account completely, make sure that all your emails and attachments have finished copying correctly.
- Compare the number of messages in each University email folder with your new email system.
- Tip: Use the total number of messages, not the number of unread messages.
- Open up a few emails with attachments to make sure that your attachments have transferred correctly. Check a range of attachment types, such as images, PDF documents, and attached emails.
- Check the quota in both locations. Don't compare the percentage of your storage space that's been used, since your new account likely has a larger quota than the University email did. Instead, look at the reported usage in megabytes.
- If a folder appears not to have copied correctly, delete it from your new account and make another copy from your University account.
Make sure new email arrives in your new mailbox, then disconnect your University account
After you're certain your new account is working correctly and that all the messages you want to keep have been copied, you can disconnect your University email account from your email client software.
After your University account is disconnected, your email client will contain your new email account and your copied email.
If you've stored people's names, phone numbers, and/or email addresses in a University email system's contacts list, you may want to copy your contacts to the new system as well.
Most email services can import contacts stored in a "comma-separated value" (CSV) file format. Generally speaking, to move your contacts from one system to another:
- Log in to the web interface of your University email account.
- In the "Contacts" or "Address Book" area, look for an option like "Import / Export" or "Backup".
- Export your contacts into a .CSV file format. (If given several .CSV options, the Windows .CSV format is accepted by most email services.)
- Save the .CSV file in a location on your computer where you can easily find it again.
- Log in to the web interface of your new email service (if it has one) or use your email client software.
- In the "Contacts" or "Address Book" area, look for an "Import / Export" option.
- This time, choose the "Import" path. When prompted, go to where you saved your .CSV file and load it into the new email system.