Import Mail and Contacts

This entry is part 3 of 23 in the series White Belt

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Gmail is rolling out a feature that will allow you to migrate your email and contacts from other email providers including Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, and many others.

For years, you’ve heard me – and probably dozens of other people – preaching the virtues of Gmail. To some of us, it practically IS a religion. We want people to convert and Google understood the downfalls of changing from one email service to another. It can be painful to switch all your contacts using some clumsy export and import using a CSV file. No only that, what do you do with all your legacy email?

Now Gmail makes it much easier to make the transition. This feature is enabled for all new accounts and is being slowly deployed to all existing accounts. Unfortunately, businesses and schools using Google Apps won’t have this feature available to them any time soon.You’ll know you have it if you go in to Settings and you find a tab labeled “Accounts and Imports”, formerly just labeled “Accounts”.

There you will find a section with a button labeled “Import Mail and Contacts”. Click that and you’ll see choices to import contacts and mail immediately, continue importing email for the next 30 days, allowing you to take Gmail for a test drive, and even apply a Gmail label to all imported mail to quickly identify it as information from your other account.

If you don’t have the option, or prefer doing things the more traditional way, you can still use POP3 mail fetching or CSV export and import to retrieve your old information.

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