Transfer email between cPanel Servers without losing any mail messages

It is very easy to transfer email accounts between to cPanel servers and can be achieved with basic knowledge of cPanel and FTP.

DNS Changes before Migration

If possible set the TTL (Time To Live) value of the MX record’s hostname to a short value e.g 300 seconds (5 minutes), at least 24 hours in advance.

This will ensure that emails are routed faster to the new server when changing the IP Address of the MX record after transferring the email.

Here are the steps to migrate the messages:

Step 1. Download the email accounts from the current cPanel server

With an FTP client connect to the cPanel account from where you want to transfer messages from. Go to the etc directory (located under /home/username/etc/).

In the etc directory there will be a directory with the domain name (e.g. This directory contains all the domain email addresses including the server configuration setup, encrypted passwords, etc.

Download this folder to your local PC.

Step 2. Upload the email accounts to the new cPanel server

Connect with FTP client to the new cPanel server to which you want to transfer the accounts. Go to the etc directory and upload the previously downloaded domain folder (e.g.

The transfer of the email accounts without messages is completed.

Step 3. Download the email messages from the old cPanel Server

Similar to Step 1 go to the mail directory (located under /home/username/mail/). Download the directory with the domain name (e.g to your PC. This directory contains the messages for the domain. Allow some time to download especially if there are many or large messages.

Step 4. Upload the email messages to the new cPanel Server

On the new cPanel server FTP the domain directory (eg that contains the messages to the mail directory (located under /home/username/mail/).

The transfer of your email accounts and messages is completed. You can now update the MX record’s IP Address to point to the new server.




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