Easy Steps to Download All Emails from IMAP Server to Desktop in 2024

Published On - April 27, 2024 by Nasir Khan | Reading Time: 5 minutes

In this digital era, it is necessary to maintain a backup of IMAP emails on your system to safeguard your data. In this article, we will learn the easy methods to download all emails from the IMAP server to the desktop. Moreover, we will discuss the advantages of backing up IMAP emails. Downloading IMAP emails to your desktop can be done manually or using the Regain IMAP Backup and Migration Tool.

A Brief About IMAP and Benefits to Download All Emails from IMAP Server

IMAP is also known as Internet Message Access Protocol. Additionally, it is a standard protocol used by email clients to retrieve emails from a mail server. Moreover, POP (Post Office Protocol) downloads emails to a local device. Furthermore, IMAP allows users to view and manage emails directly on the server. This means that emails are stored centrally on the server and can be accessed from multiple devices.

  • Data Backup: Firstly, by downloading emails from an IMAP server to your local system, you create a backup copy of your emails. This allows the user to maintain a backup in case of any data corruption.
  • Offline Access: Once emails are downloaded to your local device, you can access them offline, without requiring an internet connection. This can be useful when you’re traveling or in situations where internet access is limited.
  • Faster Access: Accessing emails from a local copy on your device can be faster than accessing them directly from the server.
  • Security: Keeping a local copy of your emails adds an extra layer of security, reducing the risk of unauthorized access or data breaches on the server.
  • Organization and Management: Local storage allows for better organization and management of emails.
  • Reduced Server Load: By downloading emails to your local device, you reduce the load on the email server, which can improve performance for both you and other server users.

Additionally, after you download all emails from IMAP server to desktop it offers convenience, security, and flexibility. Now let’s explore the steps to backup IMAP Emails to your local system.

IT Experts Recommended Solution to Download All Emails from IMAP Server to Desktop

When backing up an IMAP server to the desktop, it is essential to use a reliable tool. Without the use of the right tools, there is a risk of losing data. Therefore, IT experts recommend using the Regain IMAP Backup & Migration tool. This advanced tool can easily back up IMAP emails to your local system. Additionally, use this tool to migrate IMAP email to Office 365 and other IMAP servers. It offers useful features/filters and has an interactive user interface.

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The steps to download all Emails from IMAP Server to desktop using the tool are as follows:

  1. Install and launch the IMAP Backup & Migration Tool as an administrator.
  2. Choose the desired IMAP Client and enter the Credentials. Then click on the Login button to authenticate your account.
  3. Select the Files/Folders from the tree structure format.
  4. Additionally, opt for useful Features and filters.
  5. Finally, choose the Desired Saving Format and click the button Start Conversion Process.

Manually Backup IMAP Emails to the Desktop

Users can manually download all emails from the IMAP server to the desktop using either Outlook or Thunderbird. Outlook is an advanced email client that enables users to access emails from various accounts. Both Outlook and Thunderbird can be used to add email accounts from various other email clients. After adding the account, you can follow some steps to back up your IMAP emails.

Download IMAP Emails Using Thunderbird

This section will explore the simple steps to back up IMAP Emails to your local system using Mozilla Thunderbird. The steps are as follows:

  1. Download and launch the Mozilla Thunderbird application on your PC. Then proceed to set up a new email account.
  2. Within the setup wizard, select the Email option.
  3. Enter your name, email address, and password when prompted.
  4. Thunderbird will attempt to configure your account settings automatically. If unsuccessful, choose the Manual config option and input the necessary details, including the IMAP server, port, and security settings.
  5. Ensure that you select IMAP as the incoming server type.
  6. Once configured, Thunderbird will synchronize with the server and commence downloading your emails.
  7. Additionally, you have the option to create a local folder within Thunderbird to store the downloaded emails.

Backup IMAP Emails using Microsoft Outlook

  1. Launch the Outlook application and navigate to the File tab.
  2. From there, select Account Settings, and then click on Account Settings again.
  3. On the E-mail tab, click New, and then choose Manually Configure Server settings or additional server types.
  4. Select Internet E-mail and input your IMAP account information.
    Note: Settings may vary depending on your email provider.
  5. Once you’ve entered your IMAP account details, click on More Settings, and then navigate to the Advanced tab.
  6. Finally, on the Advanced tab, choose Leave a copy of messages on the server. This ensures that all emails are downloaded to your Outlook account.

Follow the steps to easily configure your Email Account to Outlook. To download the Emails select the option Send/Recieve and then click Send/Recieve All Folders. Moreover, if you are looking for a reliable method to Migrate IMAP Email to a New Server can be done using the IMAP Backup & Migration Tool. Additionally, there are some limitations to using the manual method. Some of these limitations will be discussed in the next section.

Limitations of the Manual Method to Backup IMAP Emails to the Desktop

  • Any wrong procedure can result in data loss and corruption.
  • You cannot selectively backup IMAP Emails.
  • It is time-consuming and requires sound technical knowledge.
  • Additionally, it is necessary to verify the IMAP setup.

As evident, these limitations hinder the manual approach from being an attractive option for users. Therefore, to securely and reliably accomplish the task it is advisable to use an IT Experts recommended tool.


Using IMAP in Outlook offers a convenient method to access your emails across multiple devices. Moreover, this ensures email synchronization. Additionally, the Regain IMAP Backup & Migration Tool enables you to download all emails from IMAP server to desktop. This ensures a backup in case of any issues with your IMAP account. This article has discussed all the practical methods to backup IMAP Emails to your system. Now the decision is yours to choose the best method according to your needs.


Q1: What is the most efficient way to back up multiple IMAP email folders to my system all at once?

A1: The Regain IMAP Backup & Migration Tool allows the user to add multiple folders at once. Additionally, it can easily back up these Emails to the desired file format in a few minutes.

Q2: How to download my IMAP Emails as PDFs?

A2: There are various methods to back up IMAP Emails to PDFs. However, the manual methods are very time-consuming. Therefore use the Regain IMAP Backup & Migration tool to backup IMAP Emails to EML, EMLX, PST, MSG, HTML, MBOX, PDF, and Multiple File formats.

Q3: Does Regain IMAP Backup & Migration Tool migrate IMAP Emails to Gmail?

A3: Yes, Regain IMAP Backup & Migration Tool can migrate the IMAP Emails to Gmail, G-suite, Yahoo, Rediff Mail, Zoho Mail, GoDaddy, Outlook/MSN/HotMail, Hostinger, IMAP, and Other Accounts.


Author: Nasir Khan

I am Nasir Khan from India, working as a Content Developer in Regain Software. Here I am writing about our products and their updates. And writing some free solutions from converting emails or Cloud Migration process. We have tools like Email Converter, Emails backup and Cloud migration.

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