Type, monkey, type! If you have been following my plight with Gmail as set down in my Getting Email out of Gmail article, you know I’ve been having a frustrating time trying to figure out how to get my Gmail out of one Gmail account and re-directed into another one in a simple, one-step, seamless merge.
I am disappointed to write there was no single-step solution.
I had to do it the old fashioned way with my monkey fingers on my monkey keyboard!
Here’s how I did it using Gmail and Apple Mail.
The solution was a mix of all the excellent advice I curried in my original article.
The first thing you need to do is log in to the Gmail account from which you wish to pull down your mail and then go to SETTINGS and then FORWARDING AND POP and ENABLE POP. That means you can download all your Gmail into a separate email program.
The next thing you need to do is set up your email client to download all your POP messages from Gmail. I used Apple Mail and there are instructions how to set up your mail client right there on the Gmail page where you enable POP.
After you have downloaded all your email into your mail program — mine took over an hour because I had 10,000 messages and Gmail will only let you pull 300 messages at a time — make sure you go through all your downloaded email and delete the stuff you don’t want to re-direct like “Word of the Day” or outdated services notices or other junky email you didn’t mind keeping before but now need to prune to save re-directing time and your monkey fingers.
Now that all your email is downloaded and pruned, you need to start the long and awful process of re-directing your mail from your local mail program into your new Gmail account/Google Apps for your Domain account.
In Apple Mail you can do this by creating a Rule in your Preferences to re-direct selected messages in your Gmail account and I set mine up to look like this:
Once you have the rule enabled and saved, you go back to your message view in Apple Mail and select between 150 and 300 messages for re-directing and then choosing MESSAGE and then APPLY RULES from the pull down sticky menu.
That will start the invisible process of re-directing your mail into your new Gmail account. You can have your Gmail account open while the re-direct is happening and you will begin to see the email start pouring into your new account. If you use Google Notifier, turn it off or you’ll get tons of Growl messages telling you how much new email you already know you have.
You want to re-direct instead of forward in order to preserve the original sender for your messages. Your re-directed messages will not reflect the absolute day and time the original message was sent in the overall Gmail view – it will reflect the re-direct date and time — but when you open each message proper the original time and date are preserved. Date and time are not that important to me because when I search my old mail I search by people and key words and not dates and times.
WARNING: I have lots of email accounts with excellent SMTP servers. I pay for them. I have access to several SMTP servers and I switched between them as I re-directed my local Gmail into my new Gmail account. That meant I had to switch SMTP servers throughout the night. One of my best and fastest and most favorite SMTP servers sent me this note of warning you should heed as well:
Your usage of the service is approaching levels which will trigger automated disabling of your account or automatic blocking of your email address. This message is only for your information, and NO ACTION HAS BEEN TAKEN.We are sending you this to help you in ensuring that you do not experience any problems, and to give you an early warning in case you are unaware that your account is currently being heavily used. To understand the limit you have reached, please see our pricing table (click the ‘FAQ’ link on the web site) where you can find the limits of each account level. Email address/account: boles@xxxxxx Items: 2000 messages in one hour
This warning has been generated because you have received or sent many emails (or sent to many recipients) in a short time. We limit hourly quotas to protect users from email abuse, and to stop spammers using our service. If you need any help with avoiding this happening in the future, please let us know and we will help however we can. You may get this warning when you tell all your friends your new email address and send emails to many recipients in a short period of time. To avoid this, spread the emails out over a couple of hours, or upgrade your account to increase your hourly quota. Please email us if you have any questions regarding this issue.
I had no idea I had sent 2,000 messages in an hour! I’m surprised they didn’t cut me off and grateful they didn’t. I guess you get to 2,000 messages pretty quickly sending batches of 300 messages at a time. I then switched SMTP servers more regularly and took more breaks in re-directing my 10,000 messages. When the re-directed mail arrived at my hosted Gmail account, I would immediately MARK ALL READ and then ARCHIVE all the mail. That worked really well and Gmail handled the load pretty well.
I even used the Gmail SMTP server to get started. I redirected 330 emails that way and then stopped because I heard Gmail itself will shut you down for a day or three if you send 350-500 emails in a day. I never received any warnings from Gmail either sending or receiving. Verizon’s SMTP server did cut me off at one point, though. I didn’t realize what had happened until my last Verizon batch never showed up in my Gmail account. That was the only glitch of the night. It took six hours from start to finish to pull and re-direct all my email from one Gmail account into another one.
There must be a simpler way! You MUST NOT set up a Mail Rule to automatically redirect your Gmail from one account into another without your intervention because, if you have over 500 messages to process, Gmail will cut you off or your SMTP server will shut you down as a Spammer. You have to select and send messages with your own monkey hands and your own hairy ape fingers if you don’t want any trouble.
Once you have all your mail re-directed into your new Gmail account, use the search box to search your mail using these terms: “has:attachment” will give you a list of messages that have attachments so you can remove messages with big attachments that you don’t need any more to save storage space. You may also narrow down that search to “has:attachment from:me label:sent” that will show messages YOU sent with attachments.
You may search for more specific attachments by using “filename:pdf” or “filename:xls” to bring up more specific attachment types. You may make them even more specific by using “filename:pdf label:sent” or “filename:xls label:sent”. Welp… it only took me six hours, but I did it! I redirected 10,000 messages from one Gmail account to another! Dance, monkey, dance!