I am transferring a site from shared server A to shared server B via FTP (no command line access on shared servers). I have copied the /mail directory over and can recreate the email accounts on the new server manually using CPanel.

However, I thought it would be good to keep the old email accounts passwords, rather than making new ones when I recreate the accounts.

Is there anyway to copy the old account passwords (which I do not know) from the old server to the new email accounts on the new server?

  • I rather suspect we need to know more- but to be honest, I am not sure what to ask for.
    – closetnoc
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 2:30
  • @closetnoc tried to add more info above. Tell me if that helps
    – MeltingDog
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 2:37
  • It has been years and I would have to dig around for a while- but I know that there are different places that usernames and passwords can be kept including using MySQL. I did at one time simply cut and paste the passwords from one system to the next, but I was able to reverse the usernames since they were all created the same way- by me using a control panel. I would check to see what your SMTP/POP3 gateway are using. If it is PAM, then you can possibly make a copy of /etc/pam.d/passwd and see if you can edit it. The password will be encrypted and obvious. I used cut and paste years ago.
    – closetnoc
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 2:56
  • I am trying to find old code I wrote in backup that can decrypt the password using PERL. I used this on PAM passwords at one point. But so far, I cannot find a trace of it. It is possible that it is gone. But I will keep looking JIC.
    – closetnoc
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 3:51
  • Ask your current host(s) what kind of mail server they use. If it's the same for both servers, you should be able to do so via FTP. Otherwise, it won't be possible just using FTP and cPanel.
    – Alex R
    Commented Nov 21, 2015 at 13:19

1 Answer 1


I am going to make an assumption here that the hosting panel is either cPanel or Plex. In either case the passwords are stored in the shadow file which unless your host has made an unsecured server will not be accessible directly to you. The best option in this case is to reset all passwords and notify your customers of the reset password before the change over.

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