A few of my friends are still stuck at Hotmail. I know because at least one a month one of them unknowingly spams his or her AddressBook when their accounts get hacked. I don’t even warn them anymore because I find the whole issue just too embarrassing.
Sometimes I ask them why they don’t move. The usual answers are that they don’t see the benefit, are used to the interface but mostly it is because they have an email archive dating back years and all their addresses in there.
For that last issue Google has now released a very useful “Import everything into Gmail” feature. It will be available to new accounts and they will slowly roll it out to all existing users over the next couple of months. This is how it should work:
- Click the Settings link.
- Under the Accounts and Import tab, click the Import mail and contacts button.
- In the new window that opens, enter the email address of the account you’d like to import contacts from. Click Continue.
- Enter the password for your other email account and click Continue.
- Select all the checkboxes that apply:
- If you choose to import contacts, the information in your contacts list in your old account will be imported to your Contacts section in Gmail.
- If you select the Import mail checkbox, your existing messages in that account will be imported to your Gmail inbox.
- If you want, you can also select the Import new mail checkbox so that messages sent to your old account for the next 30 days will be imported to your Gmail account. These messages won’t appear in Gmail immediately once they’re sent to your other account, but should update within a day or two.
- Finally, you can automatically apply a label to your imported messages to indicate that those were sent to your other account.
- Click Start Import. The import will continue if you leave the Settings page or sign out of Gmail.
- Your contacts and/or messages will be imported. It may take 24-48 hours before you see your imported messages, so don’t worry if they’re not there as soon as you click OK. You can check the status of your import by clicking the Accounts and Imports tab on the Settings page. Once the import is complete, you’ll see a confirmation message at the top of your inbox.
If that doesn’t work the feature isn’t rolled out for your account yet. More information can be found at this “Importing contacts and mail” document at Gmail. Let us know if it worked out for you!