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Manually Migrate Deskmail Email to Exchange Online (Mac)

Note: Manual email migration is a fairly complex technical process. UW-IT does not offer support for manual migration. If you are moving from one UW email service to an alternative UW email service, UW-IT strongly encourages the use of our Comparex supported migration service. Engaging Comparex results in a seamless email migration experience for users and local IT support staff. At $25 per email account, the charge for this service is far less than the cost of user personal time and/or local IT support staff time required for a more manual method of email migration. A UW budget is required for Comparex supported migration. See the UW-IT Comparex webpage for more details.

Complete all of the steps below to manually copy all of the emails from a UW Deskmail account directly into a corresponding UW Exchange Online email account. You can use this guide to copy all of the emails from a personal Deskmail account into a corresponding personal Exchange Online account, or from a shared UW NetID Deskmail account into a corresponding shared UW NetID Exchange Online account.

This manual migration guide is for use with the built-in Mail app on MacOS High Sierra.

For Windows users, use this guide to manually migrate Deskmail email to Exchange Online.

  1. Forward your email to Exchange Online
  2. Configure Exchange Online account in the Mac Mail app
  3. Configure Deskmail account in the Mac Mail app
  4. Copy email from Deskmail to Exchange Online account
  5. Remove Deskmail account from Mail app

1. Forward your email to Exchange Online

Before you transition from Deskmail to Exchange Online, make sure you are acquainted with the UW rules and guidelines for forwarding email.

  1. Go to the UW NetID Manage Portal.
  2. Under Change UW Email Forwarding, select Forward to UW Office 365 (Exchange Online).

2. Configure Exchange Online account in the Mac Mail app

  1. Follow these instructions from Apple to use Spotlight Search on your Mac to open the Mail app. When you are presented with the Spotlight Search Bar, enter “Mail” and press Enter.
  2. Under Choose a Mail account provider, click the blue Exchange option then click Continue.
  3. Enter the email account’s Display Name (e.g. your name, or the name of the Shared UW NetID), UW email address, UW NetID password, then click Sign In.
  4. Select the Mac apps you wish to use with the UW Exchange Online account. If you only intend to access your Exchange Online email using the Mail app, select the Mail option, clear the rest of the options, and click Done.
  5. You are now looking at just the Inbox for the Exchange Online account. Select the Mailboxes button to see the rest of the account.

3. Configure Deskmail account in the Mac Mail app

  1. At the top of the screen, on the left side of the Apple menu bar, click the Mail option, then click Add Account.
  2. Click Other Mail Account then click Continue.
  3. Enter the email account’s Display Name (e.g. your name, or the name of the Shared UW NetID), the UW NetID and the @ symbol [e.g. UWNetID@] but no “uw.edu”), then click Sign In.
  4. Complete the UW email address for the account, i.e. add “@uw.edu” at the end of the UW NetID (UWNetID@uw.edu).
  5. For the User Name, enter only the UW NetID (without “@uw.edu” at the end).
  6. For the Password, enter the UW NetID password.
  7. For Account Type, leave it as IMAP.
  8. For the Incoming Mail Server, enter uwnetid.deskmail.washington.edu where uwnetid is the account’s UW NetID.
  9. For the Outgoing Mail Server, enter smtp.uw.edu
  10. Click Sign In, clear the check box next to Notes, then click Done.
  11. On the left side of the Mail app, in the Mailboxes pane, under the name Uw, you will see the Deskmail account. The Mail app is now downloading all of the mail in the Deskmail account to your Mac, which may take up to several hours, depending on the amount of mail in your account. If you are a long-time user of Deskmail and have several years of email, you may want to let the Mail app sit for several hours. At the bottom of the Mailboxes pane, you may see a Downloading Messages message with the current status. When this message is no longer present, proceed to the next step.
  12. Once the Mail app appears to be finished downloading your Deskmail email messages, at the top of the screen in the Apple menu bar, click Mailbox, then click Synchronize All Accounts to confirm that all email messages have been downloaded.
  13. Now, you will see a “mail” folder in the Uw account. Expand that folder by clicking the arrow next to mail and you will see the Deskmail email folder structure and email messages you are familiar with.  However, you will not see the Uw Deskmail Inbox folder.
  14. The Uw Deskmail Inbox is actually nested under the Inbox folder at the top of the Mailboxes pane. To expand the Mailboxes Inbox folder, click the arrow directly next to Inbox and then you will see an Exchange (Exchange Online) Inbox folder and a Uw (Deskmail) Inbox folder listed.
    Deskmail account in Mac Mail app

4. Copy email from Deskmail to Exchange Online account

  1. Move your mouse over the Exchange label in the Mailboxes pane and you will see a + (plus) symbol appear. Click the + symbol and enter in a new folder name, e.g. “Deskmail Migration” and click OK.
  2. You’ve just created a new email folder in the Exchange (Exchange Online) account. Next you will copy email folders from the Uw (Deskmail) account to the new folder in the Exchange (Exchange Online) account.
  3. PLEASE NOTE: Read this step all the way through before following the directions. Now, click and hold the “mail” folder in the Uw Deskmail account and, while continuing to hold the mouse button down, drag the folder into the Deskmail Migration folder in the Exchange (Exchange Online) account. You can tell the Deskmail Migration folder is the destination folder when the text is white and the background is blue. You will also see a green + (plus) symbol appear to indicate that the Uw Deskmail “mail” folder is being copied into the Exchange (Exchange Online) Deskmail Migration folder.
  4. Repeat this process with any other folders you’d like to copy from the Uw Deskmail account to the Exchange Online account, particularly any Sent, Sent Items, Deleted Items, and/or Trash, etc. folders that may exist outside of the “mail” folder.
  5. Next, click the Inbox folder at the top of the Mailboxes pane and click the Uw (Deskmail) Inbox.
  6. PLEASE NOTE: Read this step all the way through before following the directions. At the top of the screen, in the Apple menu bar, click the Edit option, click Select All, then right-click any of the selected messages in the Uw (Deskmail) Inbox and select Copy to then select the Deskmail Migration folder, if you’d like to copy the entirety of the Uw Deskmail inbox to the Deskmail Migration folder. Or, you can select the Exchange Inbox folder as the target folder, if you’d like to copy the entirety of the Uw Deskmail Inbox directly into the Exchange inbox.
  7. Depending on the amount of email messages being copied, this may take several hours to complete. We recommend you leave the Mail app open for several hours to ensure this process completes.
  8. At the top of the screen, in the Apple menu bar, click Mailbox, then click Synchronize All Accounts to confirm that all email messages have been copied.
  9. Once all of the email messages have been copied, you can organize the mail within the Exchange Online account as you see fit.

5. Remove Deskmail account from Mail app

  1. Once you are done copying email messages from the Uw Deskmail account, you can remove it from the Mail app. In the Apple menu bar, click Mail, click Accounts. In the list of accounts on the left side of the screen, click the – (minus) button, and click Turn Off Account.
  2. You are done!