Okay, I need some help. I want to pull 10,000 Gmail messages from one Gmail account into another Gmail account. Any idea how I can do that without a lot of mess?
I don’t want to download all the messages via POP3 to a mail client and then forward or redirect every message to the new Gmail account. I can’t seem to find a “mass forward” in Gmail. Does that feature exist?
It looks like you have to open each of the 10,000 messages to find the forward feature. Is there a way to get my new Gmail account to tell my old Gmail account to “send me everything you have and I’ll keep it over here instead of over there?” Is there a separate program that will do this for me? Help!
Gee male, where’s all the answers?!
Hire a temporary and give him or her your password to the account and have the temp spend a week forwarding the email. 🙂
I think that’s what they do in the business world if they can’t outsource it to an overseas company to do the work. You might want to think about doing that since you can’t beat the hourly wage! 😉
Now that’s a great idea, Chris!
Now… can I trust the person I hire not to read all my 10,000 secrets before forwarding and BCC:ing a copy of each message to their account? Bwa-ha!
I checked Google groups using “forward mass email” and it doesn’t look like there’s an easy way to do it.
There might be a solution in downloading everything via your email Firebird client and using a , then using the Firebird mail redirect extension.
Sounds like a pain to me.
Outsource the project to a non-English speaking country — of course, the managers could copy everything and then charge up your credit cards and since they are overseas there wouldn’t be much you could do to get back at them. 🙂
Ooof! The forwarding solution you found looks painful. It would take a loooong time to POP3 all those message and then redirect and then and then and then…
You’d probably end up on Askimet’s and Bad Behavior’s lists for forwarding so much email. 😉
I *could* do a little outsourcing — but with translate.google.com alive and well and waiting — they could run all 10,000 emails through that system and translate them on the fly!
I wonder if trained monkeys could do it…
Yeah, you’re right! I’d probably be forever marked by Gmail’s Spam system as I “Spammed” myself from there to here!
Oh, and Chris… speaking of bad behavior and being uncouth and stupid… here’s something that directly includes you. Check it out soon, I don’t think it will be there long… if I have any power about it…
This may be a very personal reason that you don’t want to share, but why exactly do you even need to move gmail accounts?
Anyways, the only suggestion I could think of is to POP3 it all to your computer, then forget about sending it to the new gmail account. Or if you need it as an archive, then save them, zip them into more manageable chunks and e-mail the files to your new gmail acct.
I made it to Treadmill Reviews!
Of course, I don’t remember writing about a treadmill, but I’m sure the link doesn’t hurt with PageRank and Technorati. 🙂
Transfering all of the data back and forth might attract attention from the “Men in Black” in addition to Askimet, Bad Behavior, and other anti-spamnation forces. 🙂
I read something in Google Groups about how Gmail allows the government to search all of your email messages and to dispatch black helicopters to follow you everywhere you go — sort of like the scenes at the end of Goodfellas when the government was tracking Henry Hill.
Putting all of your information into Gmail twice only guarantees that they will read all of the messages.
Especially if you use the typing monkeys that have actually been trained by certain intelligence agencies to copy and forward everything. Didn’t these same folks train a cat to be a spy during the Cold War? I think that cat was assigned to Iraq for a while. 😉
I suggest getting Mindguard for the ultimate protection.
This is an interesting story that does raise some questions:
Pretty scary stuff. 😉
Hi angela —
Now that I am using Google Apps for Your Domain —
— I now have Gmail for my own domain. I am using the Calendar and the website and the email all via Google but with my brand. So… I don’t need “two” Gmail accounts and that’s why I want to import or merge all my Gmail mail into my BolesUniversity.com-Gmail.
I think Google may have plans to allow the merging of accounts with the Your Domain Apps — and that would be great so I can use a branded version of Writely and Spreadsheets and Analytics and all the other Google stuff I use but now have to balance between two Google accounts.
It’s interesting how the Gmail Notifier for Mac will allow my BolesUniversity.com account as valid but if I try to use the “Compose Mail” option I get an error message telling me to log out and back in again because there is some kind of Google confusion going on…
It sure is great, though, to run all my email accounts through BolesUniversity.com-Gmail. Having everything in one place is just dandy!
Congrats on your re-published comment on treadmills! I think those treadmills are operated by trained monkeys if I am not mistaken!
Hi Chris —
If people don’t think Yahoo! and MSN and Amazon and Wal-Mart and any other big company on the web aren’t storing all your email and search data then they should re-evaluate their present reality!
If you use a service to manage you calendar or contacts or email or life — everything you do is being copied and replicated and stored for later use. That is a fact of life now. It can all be had via a simple subpoena, and not a warrant, after 90 days.
I don’t care if Google hands over all my mail to the government. There’s nothing going on in there that isn’t going on out here in public. I realize privacy protection should be protected in all instances, but sometimes its smarter to pick your fights instead of fighting over every bitty thing.
I love how Gmail threads all my messages. I was in a huge discussion between four people yesterday and every message in the thread was organized into a threaded view so I could peel back through time to see who said what when. Fab!
The same thing happens when I get email notifications here on blog posts. I don’t get 20 separate messages. I get one message with 20 threads. It makes getting caught up here super easy.
I also now funnel all my “regular” email accounts through BolesUniversity.com-Gmail so I can get extra Spam protection, threaded views and all the other goodies. It’s a delight to be able to check 12 email accounts –- and also compose mail “from” those accounts, too — all in once place on the web and I am no longer tied to a specific machine or mail client to do it!
That’s why I have my Belgium country-code domain name.
It provides protection because it doesn’t really exist. 😉
Source: Belgium Doesn’t Exist!
I’m just having some fun with the paranoid people today.
When I was searching for a way to forward email from one Gmail account to another, I kept on seeing threads with crazy conspiracy kooks writing about their fear of Google.
I know it’s all silly. But, it was too much fun to pass up passing along some of the internet strangeness that’s out there.
We all know that the G in Gmail doesn’t stand for George Bush.
Or does it?
Just kidding about everything, except for the Iraqi spy cat!
Here’s a link to a declassified story about the CIA’s spy cat program:
Speaking about the government being able to get information whenever they want it, I had a call the other day from an IRS agent asking questions about a case that I had worked on a while back. The government wanted info about a debtor they are investigating and must have been following every lead they could find.
I told the agent I couldn’t release any information because of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act’s prohibition against releasing information to third-parties without authorization.
About an hour later, I received a fax.
It was a summons from the Internal Revenue Service commanding me to turn over the information they wanted.
Of course, if I was suing an entity and I thought there was electronic information dealing with the subject matter, I could issue a Subpeona Duce Tecum for the information in a civil case. I could also ask for the same in a Request for Production during the discovery phase.
It would be up to the company to decide if they wanted to comply or spend money fighting it.
I always assume electronic documents will be available for review, especially now that companies routinely back up everything multiple times. Hitting delete doesn’t mean that the document has gone away.
I love it when we see your silly side! I don’t like eavesdropping cats! Obviously, those folks have never had a cat because cats don’t listen, cats do only what they wish; cats obey nothing but their own innate sense of entitlement!
Now for your serious comment — did you comply with the fax request?
How long are companies required by law to keep email sent in and that goes out? Forever? How large must the company be to comply with the law?
There is a mail app called PINE which will “bounce” email, i.e. resend it without touching it (no forward mark in the subject, quoting etc.)
This exists for Windows. You can select all mail, mark it for bouncing, and bounce it.
Let me know if you want more info.
Hi fruey —
I’m on a Mac now.
What are the steps to get this to work?
You can get PINE to work on a Mac under OSX very easily:
PINE prefers IMAP, I don’t know if you can use it with POP3. You can however use it to read unix mbox files directly, and therefore use fetchmail to get your mail into a mbox format and then open it with PINE. Maybe fetchmail could make you skip the PINE step altogether.
You’d have to enable bouncing in the config screen (I am at work and cannot provide full info at the moment). You’ll also possibly need to enable multiple marking of messages…
I could prepare a bit of a walkthrough later, let me know if the above makes sense already…
A walkthrough would be great, fruey, and we could even post it here as a tutorial for others on Mac and Windows who want a fast and painless way to get their Gmail out of Gmail and somewhere else.
I’d like to find the most elegant solution… so can Gmail import from a POP3 mailbox elsewhere? It would make most sense to download your mail, and then have Gmail import, since bouncing will cause a large number of messages to be sent to a single mailbox, and Gmail might filter it / block it / label your IP a spammer.
Possibly using a combination of fetchmail & some kind of mail server like Postfix with an alias file might be better, along with finding a way to throttle the sending so that the mails arrive in batches over a period of time.
The answer to the first question is key to how I might approach the problem :-).
Note: I used to manage a mail server for a small ISP, so I have done this thing in various ways before, but never 10,000 mails, and often to a mailbox that I controlled (so I wouldn’t block my own resending using anti-spam rules).
No, Gmail cannot import other accounts. You can only forward other accounts to Gmail and enable access inside Gmail to download Gmail mail via POP3.
I agree the issue is Spamming yourself and the fact that you can only view 100 messages most at a time inside Gmail. 10,000 messages forwarded/redirected at 100 a time would take… what… a lifetime?
I did comply with the Internal Revenue Service’s summons because it required me to comply.
They probably already had the information that they wanted because the courts report information about money they receive to the IRS for collection cases.
I get a lot of 1099 forms from courthouses because I have a lot of cases all over the place. (The money reported goes to the clients and then to the firm because I receive a salary). That link only shows a few selected counties in Indiana that use that particular docket system.
What are the differences between a warrant, a summons and a subpoena?
How do you know if a facsimile is authentic or not? Is there such a thing as a “secure send fax?”
WOW! I love that site with all your cases! Why do you have so many entries with so many cases in each entry? Why not just one “Hedges” link with ALL your cases listed there?
Is all your work done via the web now? Do you have to push any paper?
Here’s the run-down on IRS summons:
Source: USDOJ Tax Resource Manual 55B. Emphasis added and footnotes omitted.
Here’s a definition of subpoena from the Florida Bar:
A warrant allows government officials to take some sort of action.
I knew the IRS summons was real because we’d received a notice in the mail, then I received a telephone message to call the IRS to discuss. I called the IRS office and spoke to the revenue officer who had left a message for me. I told him to send the fax to save time. I’m sure there’s a copy in the mail that was sent by certified mail with return receipt requested.
The links in the docket system are for various courts. Within each grouping, all of the individual cases I have are listed. If you plugged in names of individuals with cases before the various courts, it is unlikely they’d have more than a few entries.
One of these days, the courts hope to be able to do everything online. Indiana has plans to have a statewide computer system with all case information available to the public, instead of the county-by-county systems that are in place now.
Everything right now in the state courts is paper-based.
But, the federal bankruptcy court has gone to electronic filing.
Amazing facts, Chris, thanks!
Do you know how long companies are required by law to keep email correspondence?
I don’t know how long private companies are required to keep email, but I would assume that it will always be available to be found as long as someone can get to the actual hard drive or other device where the information was stored.
From “Email Archiving“:
Here’s what INC says about keeping anything tax related:
New Jersey’s Supreme Court just made some rules regarding discovery of electronic documents.
I know the federal government has regulations for keeping all of its electronic records.
For example, here’s a rule I located for the National Institutes of Health:
Great stuff, Chris, thanks!
I remember during the Microsoft case all of MSFT’s email was subpoenaed by the court and several incriminating emails were discovered from the top people.
At the time folks wondered why in the world MSFT would keep such correspondence around and the general consensus was companies of a certain stature are required by law to keep copies of all correspondence in case the government wants to peel back in time to piece together what happened.
And, even if they don’t keep the documents, it is often possible to obtain the data from examining hard drives and backup systems.
A good discovery request would ask to examine the computers and their systems so that forensic experts could see if they could find anything relevant to the discovery requests.
Also, if you’re ordered to keep data, don’t ever destroy it.
From Information Week:
Here’s some more information about record keeping requirements from the Information Week article. Link in previous post. I don’t know much about this area, so seek out competent legal advice if you have questions.
Wonderful Chris, thanks!
I thought companies were legally required to keep all electronic correspondence forever. Now it seems like you don’t have to, but most companies do anyway. Wild!
I’m not going to reinvent the wheel, there’s a web page here that you can use for general info, and shows that OSX already has what you need.
Do step one, step two, and step three (configure with a different POP3 account for testing if you can). Ignore step four.
I hope this part doesn’t get broken
For procmail to forward mail (bounce it) you just need the following in the .procmailrc file (replacing the line :0:)
:0c # That’s colon, zero, lowercase cee
! email@example.com # That’s exclamation mark, address to forward to
And that should do it. Let me know if you need more detail.
Way too complicated and time intensive, fruey, but thanks so much for the info!
I used to do that kind of thing in under an hour… but if you’re not familiar with unix in a big way, it can take a while to work it out.
The PINE method would be less complicated if only it supported POP3 out of the box, it really would then just be a set of keystrokes. You’d need at least the fetchmail part (on that page) to then use PINE to do the work.
Due to the sensitive nature of email and security issues, I can’t really volunteer to do this for you on my server, but the thought is there.
I think it’s going to take my roomful of trained monkeys to make this happen.
There may be some computer savvy former Congressional pages who will be needing work when that program is shut down for the sins of Congressmen Gerry Studds, Dan Crane, and Mark Foley. They can spend their days forwarding email for college credit.
Notice that there aren’t any Congresswomen implicated?
Debra Lafave is from Florida. I wonder if she’ll be running for Congress any time soon.
How right you are, Chris!
No Congresswomen… and no trained monkeys, implicated!
The combination of Members of Congress and trained monkeys would be dangerous, especially if there were instant messages being exchanged. The two groups would have to be leery of any cats that might be hanging around recording all of the events to release to the media. 😉
Cats, Congresswomen, trained monkeys — we have our our sideshow for the circus!
It would give a new meaning to “petting zoo” donkeys and elephant rides.
Let’s set this up and charge admission!
I have decided something maniacal is going on — Gmail doesn’t want to ever give you your email!
What’s is that about and why is there no easy way to pull your email out of there?
IMAP support would help.
Merging accounts would help.
No help is available.
This link might help out. Of course, it’s from Google groups, so your mileage may vary.
Hi Chris —
That’s a user who can’t get mail from Gmail any longer.
I need to move 10,000 messages.
There currently is no non-sloppy way to do that.
I found something that might help. I hope.
It’s a Firefox extension that makes Gmail into a FTP site, or so it claims.
Here’s a warning from the above listed extension’s author:
It’s in ALL CAPS! :O
Yes, that program violates your Gmail agreement. Folks use that program anyway to store files — instead of email — in their 2 gigs of Gmail space.
Google only wants email there — and that’s why they keep it and don’t let you use IMAP — because they want your eyes on their Ads. If you can use IMAP you wouldn’t really need to login to your account much to see all those precious Ads!
I can’t blame Google as I make money displaying their ads on my sites.
It’s too bad there isn’t some form of customer support. Maybe, they’ll enhance their new version if enough people ask. It would be allowing a lateral move, so the ad viewing potential wouldn’t change.
Hi Chris —
Yes, I understand Ads need eyes — AND CLICKS — to find success.
I, too, wish Gmail were out of beta so one could find official tech support.
It’s interesting because I’m running the ads, but I use the Adblock plug-in when I view websites, including my own.
I don’t ever want to click on my own ad — or even have my impressions counted when I inspect the site to make sure it’s working properly — so the plug-in works great for me as a purveyor of fine advertising of products that will make my readers’ lives better, happier, and more successful.
Right! You click on your own Ads and you’re in big trouble!
Rather late and not sure if I’m missing something obvious or if someone mentioned this before, but this should be possible with filters.
1) Create a new Filter (Settings > Filters > Create a new Filter).
2) In the from field, type * (this matches all email received, AFAIK)
3) Click Next Step
4) Select “Forward it to:” yournewaddress
5) Make sure you choose “Also apply filter to 10,000 conversations below”
6) Click Create Filter
That should do it, I tried out all steps save #6 and it seemed to be on track.
What will the receiving account do when it receives 10K emails at a time? I have no idea 🙂 Maybe you can create filters with from fields like “a*” or “a* | b* | c*” and do it in alphabetical groups.
Welcome to Urban Semiotic, Brian! I thank you for your fine messsage. How long does it take for Gmail to queue up and send 10,000 messages? Are the timestamps preserved?
David, When I actually tried doing this, I noticed rather small text saying “Note: Old mail will not be forwarded” – this means my proposed solution is kaput. That means you could do everything to the old mail (like delete it or tag it) but not forward it. 🙁
Another solution is now possible, since gmail allows you to pop email off other POP3 accounts (been under a month since they added this capability).
So, here goes take 2:
1) In your old account, go to Settings > Forwarding and POP and select “Enable POP for *All* mail”.
2) In your new account, go to Settings > Accounts and Select “Add another mail account” in the “Get mail from other accounts” section. Specify the Gmail POP3 details and use the credentials of your old account.
You might want to have a look at the other settings while performing the above steps, I think you should certainly tag incoming email with “old” or something similar so you can easily get a list of email from the old account. The timestamps should certainly be preserved when you use this option.
Hope this works 🙂
I’ve been waiting for Mail Fetcher to be enabled on my account and I’ve been looking in the wrong place. Thanks for the pointer to where it was hiding! I wonder how long it has been there?
Now… if you have an email address you’re currently forwarding to your Gmail account — would you turn off that forward and just enable POP3 for that account or not?
How often does the Gmail POP3 “client” poll for new mail?
I wonder if a forward gets you new mail faster?
Glad you found it – did you get all 10K emails in the new account then or had you already done it using some other technique?
I think GMail polls every 2 minutes. I wish there was a way in which I could tell it to pop mail off the other account when I initiate a pop request off this one – I don’t mind the extra wait, but I don’t think that’s what happens, unfortunately. I’ve been looking for documentation on this, but couldn’t find any
I’d say forwarding would definitely be more reliable, faster and in some ways more “correct”. If that’s working for you now, stick with it 🙂
Hi Brian —
I can’t get Gmail to POP3 Gmail, can you? Grr! Here’s how I moved all my email:
I can understand how a “Check Now” button would be necessary for checking some POP3 email addresses!
I think you’re right about forwarding — especially if the other mail server/system is wonky — forwarded mail never touches their servers at all and comes straight over. Huzzah!
I must admit I haven’t tried POPping Gmail from Gmail. If it does not work, then they might have added a special rule to disallow this capability for whatever reason…because I have popped successfully from other accounts.
Your other technique seems like a ton of work, but necessary, unfortunately 🙂
I just realized I got here looking for additional information on Gmail’s POP3 features myself 🙂 I really wish it would POP on demand 🙂
I could not get Google Apps to POP3 my Gmail account. That was a big disappointment. I do understand why they block that feature, though. They don’t want you closing or merging your current Gmail account. They want you to keep two separate accounts running.
The other technique did work but it was torturous. Glad I won’t ever have to do that again! SMILE!
Ha! I’m so glad you found us! I agree a “POP NOW!” button would be a great and welcome help.
I came across this when I was trying to work out how to do this myself.
Here is the method I came up with, I used select all option, then went to more options create filter, then created a filter based on incoming email addresses there was only about 15 possible ones, I then set this filter to forward to a different email address.
Last option of the filter dialog is to select if you want to run it on your current messages select yes, and in my case 4,000 emails where forwarded automatically in about an hour.
When you ran that forwarding scheme, cezz, were the original date and time stamps preserved? Or were they overwritten in the forwarding process?