Gmail bulk forwarding: I am ready to pull out my hair
October 29, 2011 8:52 AM   Subscribe

Gmail bulk forwarding: Why is this not an option and what are our hacks?

I have a new job. Before I got a company email address, I was using my personal Gmail account to manage work related issues. I had a filter and thus, label set up to catch these emails in my personal account. I now have a work email account, powered by Gmail. I have a filter forwarding system on my personal account to catch new work related matters, but I want all of my OLD work emails from my personal account transferred as well.

There is no bulk forwarding mechanism from Google. I have also specifically downloaded a trial of Outlook so that I can use it to facilitate email for both personal and business acount so at least I can just grab and dump one folder into another. Unfortunately, I cannot get Outlook to recognize my work email account.

Lastly, I tried Got Your Back. I could not get this to work.

Please give me your hacks to make this happen.

Note: I DO NOT want to go through my personal account and forward each old message one by one.

Help Help Help!
posted by wocka wocka wocka to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: There is a note that says it does not apply to old messages. :/
posted by wocka wocka wocka at 9:00 AM on October 29, 2011

This information from 2008 may still be valid. Apparently you can use the web interface to import from any POP email account. You may have to enable POP on your old Gmail account.
posted by jsturgill at 9:01 AM on October 29, 2011

Apologies--that would transfer all your private e-mail to the work account, which I see now isn't what you want.
posted by jsturgill at 9:03 AM on October 29, 2011

One last thought: are you sure POP and/or IMAP are enabled on your work account? If not, turn them on and give Outlook another try.
posted by jsturgill at 9:04 AM on October 29, 2011

I once had an issue like this. I used the Mac client "Mail" to pull in all my GMail messages from one account, mass-selected the ones I needed, then hit "forward" and punched in the address of the account I needed to send them to. You should be able to do this in Outlook as well. It's not pretty, and if you have a lot of emails, you'll probably have to do them in batches, but it was the only solution I ever came across.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 9:04 AM on October 29, 2011

It is possible for your Google Apps domain administrator to disable POP and IMAP access to your work email account. If they have but still allow you to use local Google passwords, something that uses the email migration API may work. But if they haven't, here are the current IMAP instructions that cover Google Apps accounts and clients other than Outlook. Generally speaking, avoid POP.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 9:13 AM on October 29, 2011

There is a note that says it does not apply to old messages.

If you wanted to do it via regular filtering, you could select the relevant messages (searching by email address or domain should simplify that part, I would imagine), and send them back to your GMail inbox. You just need to add the Inbox label to do that. Then create the filter you want, and send them to the new address via the filter.
posted by bardophile at 9:14 AM on October 29, 2011

It seems like what you want isn't forwarding, which is for redirecting new emails as they come in, but importing your old emails from your personal Gmail account to your work Gmail account. You can do this pretty easily by using IMAP to download from Gmail to an intermediate client, like Thunderbird, and then using IMAP again to upload to your new Gmail. (It sounds like you've already tried this, but in my experience, Thunderbird is easier to configure for this operation than Outlook.)

Here are some detailed instructions. Or try googling something like "gmail import old mail thunderbird."
posted by danceswithlight at 10:30 AM on October 29, 2011

Also, you can do the Thunderbird import only on the Gmail labels you want, so you can exclude your personal emails.
posted by danceswithlight at 10:32 AM on October 29, 2011

Thunderbird too. I set up Thunderbird using IMAP for both accounts. Then I simply copied the folder with the emails I wanted to transfer from one acount to the other from one account to the other. Viola.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:59 PM on October 29, 2011

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