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August 19, 2009

Import Messages and Contacts from Old Accounts to Gmail

In May, Gmail launched a feature that lets you import messages and contacts from other mail services like Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL. Google promised that the feature will be rolled out to all accounts, but it was only enabled in new accounts. The good news is that the feature is now available in all accounts and you can find it if you go to the "Accounts and import" tab from the settings page.

You may wonder if it's a good idea to use this service powered by TrueSwitch instead of Gmail's mail fetcher. Here are some differences between the two service:

* Mail importing saves to your Gmail account the existing messages from other accounts and continues to check for new messages only for 30 days. Gmail's mail fetcher downloads the existing messages and checks for new messages indefinitely.

* Mail importing saves to your account messages and contacts, while Gmail's mail fetcher doesn't import contacts (you can manually import contacts).

* Mail importing works for mail services that don't support POP3 (for example: the US version of Yahoo Mail), but the mail fetcher requires POP3. Mail importing supports a small number of popular mail services.

"Copying mail over usually takes a couple days, occasionally up to a week — but eventually it all arrives. And once it's done, you can forget your old account and enjoy having everything in one place," says Google, but I disagree. You'll import the old messages to your account, but after 30 days the service will no longer fetch new messages.

This blog is not affiliated with Google.