How to Keep Your MobileMe Email Account Without Moving to iCloud

How to Keep Your MobileMe Email Account Without Moving to iCloud

If you haven’t made the transition from MobileMe to iCloud yet, maybe because one of your iOS devices doesn’t meet the specs, or your Mac is too old to run Lion, this article could help you save your email and calendars.

As you’re probably aware, Apple is shutting down MobileMe for good on June 30, 2012. If you haven’t migrated to iCloud, or haven’t taken the steps we’re about to lay out for you, all your email and calendars will be gone, deleted, terminated with extreme prejudice. But we can help you avoid that. Just follow the simple steps below, and all will remain right with your cloud-based world.

For awhile, it appeared that if you weren’t running a Mac with 10.7 Lion, or a PC running Windows 7 or Vista, you were going to be S.O.L. (Simply Out of Luck), But at the beginning of May, a light appeared in the harbor for those with unconverted and accounts. They received an email that informed them they could keep those addresses, along with still being able to access their MobileMe calendars.

If you didn’t receive the email, you can get the same information at the MobileMe Transition and iCloud page. An excerpt from that page reads:

What if I just want to keep using my email on all my devices?
As of May 1, you can choose to keep using your mail after MobileMe ends, even on devices that don’t meet the iCloud system requirements. Just go to and select the option to keep using your email after MobileMe ends. Once you have completed this short process, your mail will continue to work on devices that don’t meet the iCloud requirements after MobileMe ends on June 30th, 2012.

Upon visiting the above link, you’ll need to sign in with your old address, and then click the “Next” button beside “Not all my devices meet requirements,” you’ll be prompted to agree to the iCloud Terms of Service, after which your email and calendars — but not other MobileMe data — will be transitioned to iCloud. After that, you’ll be able to access your email and calendar data in your web browser at Later on, when you upgrade to fully iCloud compatible devices, you’ll be able to use all of the features of iCloud.

Apple’s description of what is and isn’t accessible by users may not be clear to some, so let’s state for the record that users of older Operating Systems will only have web-based access to email and calendar data after migration. Mail and iCal in Snow Leopard still don’t know how to set up and access an iCloud account, so even though they’ll still connect to the MobileMe servers today, that access will end when MobileMe does.

Luckily, the f0lks s at TidBITS have a solution:

“In Mail, after moving your address to iCloud, delete your existing MobileMe account: Choose Mail > Preferences, click Accounts, select your MobileMe account in the list on the left, and click the – (minus) button. Then click the + (plus) button to add a new account and fill in your or address and password. But now hold down Option while clicking Continue. This bypasses Mail’s automated setup process (which would configure the account for the MobileMe servers — not what you want).

On the next screen, choose IMAP from the Account Type pop-up menu. Enter for the incoming mail server address, click Continue, and enter for the outgoing mail server address. Once you’ve completed the process, Mail in Snow Leopard should be able to check your iCloud mail both now and after MobileMe is turned off. As for calendars, see “iCal in Snow Leopard Can Participate in iCloud”.”

After you’ve completed these steps, don’t forget to get copies of any of your data you’ve been storing on the MobilMe servers, like say, the files on your iDisk. The only safe assumption to make is that as of the end of June, all of that will be gone. Find a new home for that data now! Dropbox is my favorite online storage service, and I highly recommend it.