Gmail, How to Transfer Emails From one Email Account to Another

You may have to change your Gmail e-mail address sooner or later, or you may want to switch from a free to a paid account. For example, Google’s G Suite service allows you to have an email address @company name instead of the classic @gmail.com. How do I move or copy emails between Gmail addresses?

In other articles we have seen how to transfer emails from one email account to another: the easiest way, in our opinion, is to use the IMAP protocol: Difference between POP3 and IMAP: what changes in the reception of mail.

Some mail providers allow you to connect directly to the accounts of other providers and move or copy mail directly from the old to the new address. We talked about it here for example: Backing up IMAP email, how to move messages.

For those accounts that still support the use of the IMAP protocol is still possible to use the mail client (opensource and free software) Mozilla Thunderbird, recently returned “more alive than ever”: Thunderbird will offer many new features during 2019.

Thunderbird acts as a “bridge”, as an intermediary between the various IMAP accounts and allows you to copy or move emails directly. Simply select the emails to be copied or moved and then right-click on them and choose Copy to or Move to, specifying as the destination the email account where the messages are to be transferred.

The procedure to follow is summarized in article E to import the contents of other folders (e.g. sent mail)?

The procedure for transferring emails between Gmail accounts is particularly valid because it does not involve the use of any external software. Copying or moving emails takes place in the cloud and the time required to complete the operation is therefore not affected by the connection you have and the bandwidth available locally.

The steps to transfer emails are not few but they are rather simple because they involve the exclusive use of the web browser:

  1. Access the old Gmail account from which you want to transfer messages.
  2. Go to the Forwarding and POP/IMAP section of the Gmail settings by clicking here.
  3. Select the Enable POP option for all messages (even messages that have already been downloaded).

Under the drop-down menu When messages are downloaded via POP, choose one of the four options. If you select Delete copy of Gmail, the copy of each mail message in the old account will be automatically deleted once it is downloaded to the other account.

  1. Click the Save Changes button at the bottom.
  2. Always on the old account, temporarily disable the two-step verification (if used) by referring to this page.
  3. Alternatively, create a new “app password” from this page and use the one generated by Google in the Password field of the next import procedure.

At this point you will have to login to the new Gmail account then go to this page and click Add an email account under Check mail from other accounts.

You will be taken to a wizard that first asks you to specify the email address from which you want to import the messages. As a second step, you will have to select Import emails from my other account (POP3) and click Next again.

For Gmail accounts you just need to specify the password of the other email address leaving the Server POP settings as they are.

Leave the Leave a copy of the downloaded message on the server unchecked and tick Always use a secure connection (SSL) when downloading mail.

The following options allow you to apply a label to messages imported from your old account (so you can find them more easily, for example by applying a simple filter) or store them directly in the appropriate Gmail folder (instead of showing them in your inbox).

  1. After clicking the Add account button, you can specify whether or not you are interested – from the new Gmail account – in sending e-mail messages even with the old address.

If you select the Yes option, I would like to be able to send messages such as …, you must enter the name that must appear as the sender by choosing that account and decide whether or not to activate the Consider as an alias box.

By enabling this box, the old email address will be treated as an “alias” for the new Gmail account. If you prefer not to create some sort of mixture between the new Gmail account and the imported email account, you can disable the Consider as an alias box (more information on this page).

  1. After clicking Add Account, Google will send a confirmation email to the newly configured email account.

To conclude the import procedure, enter the numeric code received or click on the link in the message.

Returning to the Gmail settings, in the Account and Import tab you can eventually select the Reply option from the same address to which the message was sent.

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