I have two gmail accounts, and want to switch which one is the "main" account.
May 16, 2011 2:53 PM   Subscribe

I have several email accounts, but use account1@gmail.com as the main account. I now want to use account2@gmail as the main - for chat, to store all of my emails, and as the main sender. How can I do this painlessly?

I currently have account1 and account2 on gmail. Account2 forwards all received emails to account1 (and archives them), and I have a few other addresses that forward to account1. I want to now use Account2 as my main email address for emails and chat.

Account1 has 912 MB of messages (mostly archived), chat histories, 838 contacts, and quite a few chat contacts. I have two sites in Analytics, two Picasa albums and 145 Google Docs. I want to transfer that all over, ideally without sending everyone an annoying email saying I'm using Account2. I can easily change the forwarding, but I want to move my history, docs, and contacts with me.

(If gmail would just not include "sent by account1@gmail on behalf of account2", my life would be so much easier.)

Talk to me like I'm stupid about this. (Because I am.)
posted by quadrilaterals to Technology (6 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
My understanding is that there is no way to export chat transcripts en masse. You'd have to individually forward each one to the new account. Based on information I got from a Google employee about six months ago, Google has no plans to create such a tool.
posted by decathecting at 2:59 PM on May 16, 2011

You could install Thunderbird and setup both accounts via IMAP. Then you could move all your email from one account to the other inside of Thunderbird. In Gmail, disable all your forwarding, etc in account one. Login to Account 2 and authorize account one, so it becomes the secondary account. As for your pictures, contacts, and docs, you'll probably have to download them all and reupload them all into account 2. I don't know what to do about your chats.
posted by msbutah at 3:14 PM on May 16, 2011

I'm going to do the annoying thing here (sorry! But I will make the case!) that you should not do this migration, if you can help it.

I have done this three times—each time to my detriment.

Why don't you stay with 1, and use 2 as archive, and buy more storage from Gmail? (My gmail account is 25GB, so, okay, MAYBE I'M A HOARDER, but at least I have another 50GB empty for more hoarding.)

Because the move is tricky: what about the chats, indeed? What about all the annoyance? (I think if you're archiving chats, they should be there—but I'm pretty sure you'll have to mass-forward them.)

You probably have a good reason for doing this! But none of us can figure out a way for you to migrate painlessly. (Yet.)
posted by RJ Reynolds at 6:48 PM on May 16, 2011

Response by poster: RJ - the problem isn't space; it's the actual names. Account2 is a professional, name account; account1 was fine for college, but not so great now.

Any tips on moving contacts / docs?
posted by quadrilaterals at 7:16 PM on May 16, 2011

I don't think it's possible to do a straight move. Google's multiple sign in feature might help with the transition, though.
posted by Clandestine Outlawry at 9:24 PM on May 16, 2011

Contacts can be exported and imported. That is a simple process. Go to contacts, click the dropdown 'More Actions' menu, select 'Export'. Then login into Account2 and do the same thing to 'Import' that file. Your contacts will be there.

For Google docs you just need to go into your account. Select the documents you want to download, select the 'Action' dropdown and select 'Download'. You can download up to 2GB of documents in one go as a zip file.
posted by aychedee at 3:49 AM on May 17, 2011

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