How to transfer emails from cPanel to G Suite

Email Transfer

So you’ve made the decision to transfer your email hosting from cPanel to G Suite (previously known a Google Apps For Business), great move! The migration may sound a little complex, infact it’s quite the opposite, it just requires a little patience.

So how do you transfer emails from cPanel to G Suite?

First of all, you need to sign up for G Suite. The sign up process is fairly fast with clear instructions provided throughout.

During the sign up process, you’ll be prompted to enter the email addresses you wish to use, go ahead and enter them. NOTE: You don’t need a separate user for every account, you can use what they call “email aliases” where you can assign as many email addresses to a single account as you like however they would all be assigned to the same user and appear in the same inbox.

You’ll be prompted to verify your domain and updated some DNS records, so be sure you have access to your DNS server. Often this is available through your cPanel interface if you are using your hosting providers DNS, if not you may have to log into your Domain registrar to gain access to a user interface usually names “DNS Zone Manager”.

Now that your accounts are set up, your domain has been verified and you’ve updated the MX records, you’re ready to move onto the migration.

How to move your email history from cPanel to G Suite

The first step is to be absolutely certain you have a local copy of all of your messages. This is an easy process, whilst the exact process does vary from mail client to mail client, the steps remain the same.

IMAP Users

Your mail client lets you create local folders which are stored on your computer and are not synced with the server.

Assuming you are wanting to keep the same organisational structure that you have on your IMAP account, create a folder structure on your local machine to match the IMAP account.

By matching the folder structure of you existing account locally, you can upload an exact duplicate to your email service provider’s server.

Matching Folders

Copy and Paste all emails from the corresponding IMAP folder to your local folder. You now have a local copy of all of your emails as per the below screeshot.

How to take a local copy of emails

POP3 Users

You’ve already downloaded a local copy, so in many cases you can simply go ahead and set up the email account again however with the credentials provided by G Suite, in a perfect world, this would be the case.

Of course it’s not always this simple; some mail clients do not allow you to set up the same account twice. If your mail client is give errors such as “Account Already Exists” you will have to create local folders as described above in “IMAP Users” so you have a copy of your emails that are not associated with the email account, you can then delete the existing POP3 account and set up your new one.

IMPORTANT: Before deleting accounts, it’s recommended to take a backup of your emails using your email client’s backup software; you can find instructions for this by search Google Phrases such as “How do I backup [your mail client name]”.

IMPORTANT: Check that your local copies contain the emails you have copied just in case there was an error at some stage. For IMAP this is not as important as you can always reconnect to the cPanel server and download again, however for POP3, if you don’t have a copy on the server, you’re emails are gone once you delete the account from your mail client.

You should always double check that your local folders contain the emails you have downloaded before deleting an account as seen in the screenshot below.

Emails transferred to local

Final Steps

Configure Your Mail Client

This is generally fairly straight forward assuming you followed the instructions during signup. In most cases you simply enter your email address and password and the mail client will take care of the rest due to the “txt” records you would have entered at the time of configuring your DNS.

Upload your local emails to your new account

Create folders in your new account via the mail client, these will be synced with the server. Now simply copy your email history from your local folders to those on the server. This may take some time if you have several GB of emails so perhaps start the upload and call it a night or weekend. Once the upload is complete, you should be all up and running with a cutting edge email solution, and probably not a bad idea to move your website onto a high performance server if it’s not already.

If you require any assistance with the above we’d be happy to help our, simply drop us a line at or call us on 1300 721 019.