*** Transitioning email from MobileMe to iCloud under Snow Leopard

December 15, 2012

Filed under: General — cpeterson @ 9:12 pm

Some helpful tips from Bob Taylor.

If you qualify to simply open an iCloud account with Apple, do it! If you have established and have been using an email address under a MobileMe account you will have gotten mu;tiple offers from Apple to move everything smoothly over to iCloud. Providing you are running Lion on your laptop or desktop you will have been able to take advantage of this offer and you don’t need the information here.

However, if — for one reason or another — you have not yet installed Lion on your machine, you cannot move directly to iCloud. Apparently in the interests of keeping its customer base satisfied, Apple has made provision to allow users of Snow Leopard keep their .mac or .me email addresses if they are willing to sign the full iCloud User License Agreement. You should have gotten this offer from Apple; let us suppose you signed. What next?
In order to switch over from the old MobileMe mail server to the new iCloud mail server, you will need to change some of the information in the Accounts section of the Preferences set up in your copy of Apple’s Mail program. If you look at the list of accounts you have set up you will see that one is identified as a MobileMe iMap account — that’s the one that needs to be changed in order for you to begin using the new server.
If you select this account, you should see that the incoming mail servier is identified as mail.me.com, and further that this name is now grayed out, as that server no longer exists at Apple’s end. You will find, though, that you are not allowed to simply edit the information in this field directly — what you will need to do is completely delete this account (using the +/- keys at the bottom of the window) and then set up a new accound with the correct iCloud information.
That’s a bit of a scary step, especially as the first message you get when you click on “-” warns you that are about to permanently delete all sorts of information associated with the account, including mailboxes and messages. So before going ahead and deleting the account you will likely want to take careful note of how your mailboxes are currently set up, and you may want to copy any important messages you ahve been saving on the server to a local “on my Mac” folder. You may find some of your accumulated mail waiting for you after the switch, but don’t count on it! Of course, it is also a good idea to make sure you have a solid backup of your old setup via Time Machine or whatever other backup program you use.
When it is time, go ahead and delete this Mail account — it is useless anyway since Apple has taken down the old server. You should then be able to add a new account; the first thing you will be prompted for is your name and your Apple ID (the email address you want to keep active) and — of course — your password, to prove that it is actually you setting up the new account. A special tip at this point is to press the Option key while clicking Continue. Now you need to enter the name of the incoming Mail server, which should be entered as imap.mail.me.com (plus your Apple ID again).
Once you enter all the needed info the account will be set up and activated, and at that point should “find” much of what it needs to set up your new, working iCloud email account. You may need to spend a bit of time tracking down mailboxes that have migrated into new locations in your Mailbox list, but basically you should be good to go at this point.
Of course a disclaimer or two is in order here. All I can say is “this worked for me”; individual circumstances are likely to differ in quite a few ways. If you need to search further for information on this topic you may want to start at
which is where I got much of the info i provided above. There are probably other words of wisdom out there on the net, too — if you find any, please pass them along.
Good luck with your move.

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