How to migrate your business email to FastMail from another service

This guide explains the migration tools we offer to ensure a smooth transition to FastMail from your previous email host. Follow our instructions to migrate your accounts all at once or one at a time without losing any email.

Migrating all accounts at once

For a smaller number of accounts, it's generally easier to change everything at once.

  1. Sign up your business. During the signup, add any domains you want to use, even if they're currently hosted externally, and create the accounts you want (e.g. john@yourdomain.com).

  2. When all the accounts and aliases are set up, switch the name server or MX records for your domain to point to us. Depending on the TTL of the domain, after about an hour all new email should be delivered to the FastMail servers, and into the new accounts you have created.

  3. Use the IMAP Migrate tool for each user to copy email from the old provider to the user's new account.

One account at a time

Gradually moving users allows you to ensure that each account is fully transferred and working before moving on to the next user.

  1. Sign up your business. During the signup, add any domains you want to use, even if they're currently hosted externally.

  2. For each user you want to migrate, repeat the following steps:

    1. Create the account at FastMail (e.g. john@yourdomain.com).
    2. At your existing email provider, set the account to forward all email to us via one of our forwarding tunnel addresses. This will ensure that any new email that arrives at the old provider will be forwarded to us.

    3. Log in to the new account at FastMail and use the IMAP Migrate tool to copy email from the old provider to the user's new account.

      When this finishes, all old mail will have been copied to us and any new email will be forwarded to us as well.

    4. Update the user's email software to connect to our servers and/or tell them to log in to our webmail interface.

  3. Once you've transferred all accounts, switch the name server or MX records for your domain to point to us, so all new email will come to FastMail directly, rather than via your old email provider.

That's it. Everything moved over, no downtime, no lost email, no interruption.

Forwarding Tunnel

The forwarding tunnel allows you to forward email from an existing service to an account with the same name at FastMail. For example, if you have the account john@yourdomain.com at an existing service, you can create an account with the same name at FastMail then use one of our forwarding addresses to deliver mail to it, even though the MX records for your domain still point to your previous email host.

There are 3 encoding options you can use, because some providers are limited as to what characters you can put in an email address to forward to. To forward email to the FastMail account john@yourdomain.com, you can use any of:

A note on distribution lists and migration

If you have set up a distribution list with the "Archive into folder" option, you might want to keep it disabled until the MX records for your domain point to our servers. Distribution list archiving works by sending a copy of the email to a special address at your domain. If your current host does not accept emails to wildcard addresses this will fail, so it's best to set the 'Archive' folder to 'None' until you complete the migration.