How To: Move your Gmail messages to another account

Gmail Messages

There are many reasons why someone might want to change their email accounts and the truth is that it happens more often than you think. Creating a new account and even changing your various site preferences to accommodate the more recent email address are both fairly easy tasks, even if they can be time consuming.

However, just because you move on to a new email account does not always mean you can leave your old messages behind. And while you can certainly keep both accounts and constantly log in and out to check their messages, it is much easier to move your old emails to your new account instead. Gmail supports this process natively though there are quite a few steps you must take first.

Set up your old Gmail account

To begin with, you will need to head over to your old Gmail account’s settings in order to enable POP. By enabling this protocol, you are letting Gmail communicate with external email clients (which is just another Gmail account, in this case). This is the same option that you need to enable in order to make your Gmail account work in Outlook, Thunderbird or even the Mail app in Windows 10. Furthermore, the protocol allows emails to be transferred between the server and your own PC so that you can download local copies.

1. Visit the Gmail website and log into your old account.

2. Click on the Gera icon near the top right corner and select Settings from the dropdown menu.

3. Move on to the “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” tab at the top.

4. Click on the “Enable POP for all mail” option.

Gmail POP Settings

5. A new dropdown menu will appear, asking what you want to do with messages accessed with POP. Choose whatever you want here as the choice only matters to you.

6. When you are done, click on the “Save Changes” button at the bottom of the page. Do not skip this part as Gmail does not automatically save anything.

Import your messages to your new account

Now that your old Gmail is all ready to go, you are going to import your all messages. To do that, you will have to add your old account to your new one and allow emails to be fetched automatically.

1. Visit the Gmail page once again and log into your new account.

2. Click on the Gear icon and go to the Settings.

3. Go to the “Accounts and Import” tab.

4. Click on the “Add a POP3 mail account you own” link.

5. In the window that opens, add your old Gmail account and then click on “Next Step”.

Gmail Add Owned Account

6. Enter the password for that account and check whether the default settings correspond to the recommended ones below:

POP Server:
Port: 995

7. As for the other options, you can pretty much choose whatever you want. However, this is what I would suggest:

Gmail Owned Account Settings

  • Leave a copy of retrieved message on the server. (Leave blank)
  • Always use a secure connection (SSL) when retrieving mail. (Check)
  • Label incoming messages (Completely optional, will label all emails)
  • Archive incoming messages (Completely optional too, will send incoming messages to the Archive folder instead of the Inbox)

8. When you are done with all the settings, click on the “Add Account” button.

9. You now have the option of choosing whether you will reply to incoming messages with your old email address or not. Since you are moving on from your old address, you might not want to enable this option so you will have to select “No”. The choice is entirely up to you, of course.

Your old and new Gmail accounts are now connected. After a while, your entire old inbox will be moved to the new account.


Google Access

In case you run into any trouble when you try to add your old account to your new Gmail address, you may need to complete an additional step. Just visit this Google page and click on “Continue”. This simply tells Google that you are authorizing the entire process, at least for the next 10 minutes. Act fast and you should not get any further error messages.