Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Populate mail into Gmail using MailTraq Server

Let me start this post off by saying that all credit for these instructions goes to Robert Ciaccio who had the idea to set up MailTraq on his computer, populate in his e-mail, and use Gmail's Mail Fetcher to POP into the server and retrieve all of his e-mail.  Most importantly, I would like to thank Robert for providing me with these directions and allowing me to share them with all of my readers.

Note that the method described below will allow you to keep all of the date and time information intact from your original e-mails as opposed to other methods that I have previously described.  Further note that  Robert used this on a connection that provided him with a dynamic IP address, but the IP address changes infrequently and his provider is not NATing behind a group of IP addresses.

Here are the instructions:

  • Download and install the mailtraq 30 day trial version from (choosing complete as your setup option is fine).

  • After installation, the setup wizard should start automatically (if it does not, go ahead and start mailtraq by clicking on its icon in the windows start menu).

  • Go ahead and let the wizard create a new database for you at the default location.

  • When you get to the screen that asks for your domain name, enter any domain you like, such as (this will be used later as part of your login username).

  • The next screen asks for a string which identifies IP addresses on your local network. If you don't understand what this means, just go ahead and enter 192.168.0.* (assuming you have a home network, this gives machines on it the ability to access the mailtraq server). Click 'next'.

  • Leave the sending mail selection as "I wish to send mail directly..." and click 'next'.

  • On the "Mail Collection" screen, choose "I am my own mail host..." and click 'next'.

  • Type the username that you would like to use as the part of your login before, enter your full name, choose a password and click 'next'.

  • Click "finish" to exit the wizard.

  • Now you'll import the Gmail messages that you have downloaded into Thunderbird to make them accessible through the mailtraq email server.

  • Go to the mailtraq administration console (it should already have popped up after the wizard, but if not, go to the start--->all programs--->mailtraq), and choose tools--->message import wizard, and click 'next' on the first screen.

  • Choose "Mozilla Thunderbird Mail File" and click 'next'.

  • Note: At this point, I made a copy of my Thunderbird inbox file that I used for importing the messages into mailtraq, just so I would have a backup copy in case I screwed something up. Your Thunderbird mbox file is located at 'Documents and Settings[yourusername]Application DataThunderbirdProfiles[somecrazytextstring].defaultMailLocal FoldersInbox. Copy this file to a location easy to browse to, such as c:temp.

  • Back in the wizard, click 'browse', then navigate to the location where you have stored your inbox file, select it, click 'open' and then 'next'.

  • Choose the mailbox you would like to import the messages into, which will be the username you created earlier in the previous wizard, and click 'next'.

  • Select "Assign all messages to the folder selected below", click 'next' and 'next' again.

  • While mailtraq is busy importing your Gmails into your new mailtraq mailbox, go to your Gmail settings page for the account you will be checking from now on.

  • Click on "Accounts", and in the section labeled "Get mail from other accounts", click "add another mail account".

  • In the popup that appears, enter the username that you created in the earlier wizard, ie "", and click 'next step'.

  • In the "username" field, enter the full email address, not just the part prior to the @ symbol. Enter your password. For POP server, enter the IP address of your home network or your computer, depending on whether you have a router or not. Leave the port at "110", and make sure that your router and/or software firewall is allowing/forwarding incoming connections on this port to your computer. I also checked the box "Label incoming messages" and typed in the username of my old Gmail account, so all the imported messages are labeled as such. If you don't want all the imported messages clogging up your inbox, also choose "archive incoming messages". Check to see that the mailtraq wizard has completed the task of importing your messages into your mailbox. When it is complete, click "add account".

  • At this point, Gmail should begin downloading the messages from your computer, in groups of 200. In my case, it took about 2 days for Gmail to retrieve everything (3500 messages?) from the the mailtraq server. Once gmail is finally done, go ahead and uninstall mailtraq and you're through!

Allow me to point out a few more things:

  1. Mailtrq is only available for Windows, so all of the instructions above specifically relate to Windows.  I'm pretty sure that you should be able to get all of this to work with Parallels , but I haven't tested it, so no guarantees.  I'm guessing that you might be able to pull off something similar on any platform with the open-source version of Zimbra -- if you do, please send instructions -- or possibly with some other application, but I haven't tested it.

  2. If your high-speed provider NATs behind IP addresses or constantly reassigns dynamic addresses, you may want to check out NO-IP -- the free version should be sufficient for a simple mail server.

  3. Be aware that you are potentially opening up your network/computer for port attacks by disabling security on the 110 port.  You can configure a random port in Mailtraq, but be aware that you will have to also specify that port in Gmail in order for Mail Fetcher to work correctly.  Instructions for this are not provided here, but are probably easily obtained by doing a Google search.

  4. Although Robert presents these instructions as a way to consolidate multiple Gmail accounts, provided you can get your e-mail into Thunderbird, this is a very effective way to populate e-mail into a Gmail account from a non-Gmail account.

Robert, thanks again for putting this together for everyone.

These instructions are mirrored on the Gmail Options Squidoo Lens

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