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We are migrating our hosting and need to point to a new email server. Can we turn off/delay scheduled/automatic notifications (CiviMail) while we reconfigure/test? Perhaps this is not necessary (i.e. mail is held if the connection to the mail server is lost).

Maybe there is a better way? Any advice to best manage pointing to the new server so as not to lose automatic mail scheduled while migrating would be great.

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I'm reasonably sure that if you don't have a valid mail server, the mail will be lost. I mitigate this by installing a mail server (Postfix) on the same server as CiviCRM, and use that to relay to the third-party server. Not only is this more robust - Postfix will hold the e-mails that don't go through while your main mail server is down for testing - but you get much finer-grained control over e-mail. For instance, throttling the number of e-mails per second.

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You should consider how long the outage will be: if it's more than a day, you may actually want to not send messages during that time if you know they'll arrive well after they're intended. It would be embarrassing to remind people about an even after the fact, for example.

If you disable the scheduled jobs for scheduled reminders and outbound CiviMail, you'll be able to have better control over what messages go out when--if at all.

That said, you'll still need to deal with receipts and "send an email" messages that don't rely on cron, and Jon's method is a good way to handle that.

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