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Gmail: Copy your
Windows Mail emails to Gmail
If you've been using Windows Mail (installed in
Windows Vista as the successor to Outlook Express), you should seriously
consider migrating to a webmail-based process instead (such as Gmail).
If you do, then you may already have discovered that
Gmail has features which allow you to import your Windows Mail contacts,
and to setup the email accounts previously under the control of Windows
This page takes you one stage further: how to
transfer your old emails from Windows Mail to Gmail as well, and starts
with the assumption that you already have a Gmail account.
Gmail to IMAP.
Start by clicking on the Gearwheel towards
the top right of the Gmail page, and then select Settings.
Next select the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab,
and click the radio button next to Enable IMAP. Then click on
Save Changes at the bottom of the page.
Set up your Gmail account in Windows Mail.
Click through Tool | Accounts | Add | Email
Enter your Display Name (typically your
normal name and surname or as used when you created your Gmail
Next enter your Gmail address in full.
In the "Set up e-mail servers" dialog box
select IMAP from the first drop-down box, and in the following
boxes type in imap.gmail.com
for Incoming and and
smtp.gmail.com for Outgoing mail respectively.
Click the box "Outgoing server requires
authentication" and click on Next.
In the next dialog box, enter your Gmail
address in full as your Username, and then enter
your Gmail password; tick the box which ensures Windows Mail
will remember the password.
In the next dialog box, tick the box against
"Do not download my email and folders at this time", since the
setup process is not yet complete, and click on Finish.
at the Internet Accounts screen, select the imap.gmail.com
account just created and click on Properties then on Advanced.
Set the values shown on the right and then
click on OK.
Back at the Internet Accounts screen, click
on Close, and when asked if you would like to download folder
from the server you added, this time click on Yes. This will
simply download the existing folders structure from your Gmail
account, but not the emails within them.
Copy Windows Mail emails to Gmail.
The image above from Windows Mail shows both
the Local (i.e. Windows Mail) folder structure at the top, and
the Gmail structure below.
To copy an email from the local
Inbox to the Gmail Inbox, hold down the Ctrl key on your
keyboard while you drag the email from one to the other as
shown. Note the "+" sign against the Windows arrow as it touches
the Gmail Inbox: this signifies that the action is a copy.
If you prefer to move the
email instead, just drag without holding down the Ctrl key;
however this is probably a little risky since you may lose the
email completely if the move action fails.
You can replicate your Windows Mail folder
structure in Gmail from within Windows Mail; typically you would
do this before copying emails across as described
In the example on the right, a folder called
CricketClub exists in Windows Mail which we wish to replicate in
Right-click on the imap.gmail.com
line and select New Folder.
In the next box, type in the name of the
folder and then click on OK.
If you wish to review the result in Gmail in
your open browser window, you may have to click on the relevant
Refresh icon first.
To copy the contents of the CricketClub
local folder to the new one in Gmail, follow the steps at 3
above but select the local and Gmail CricketClub folders as the
respective source and destination.
Completing the migration.
If you have a large accumulated set of
folders and emails in Windows Mail, it may be better to be very
selective in choosing the folders you choose to replicate, and
likewise in the emails you choose to copy across; otherwise the
migration may well take a very long time.
In any case, copying every email (often with
very large attachments) may well result in a severe reduction of
your allowed Gmail storage capacity.
Once you have created the required folders
in Gmail and copied across the emails you really
need for further reference on-line, you will still
have access to your Windows Mail should you need to come back to
any emails not copied to Gmail.
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