Transferring Gmail data to a new account
December 12, 2013 10:53 AM   Subscribe

On Dec 31st my primary email, which I've had for almost 15 years, is converting from a free service to one with an outrageous annual fee! I need to know if there is a way to transfer all of the emails and their attachments to another email address.

Probably around 2000 a friend convinced me to get a free email account at, which had higher storage than most other services at the time. I was pleased to get an account with my first and last name. which is also one reason it evolved into my primary email address. Especially for work and professional contacts.

Maybe about 7 years ago, this email account started using the Gmail system. So my NYC account is identical to a Gmail account. I can even enter the account through the Gmail login. The only difference is that it has an suffix.

Unfortunately, I just got an email from saying my email account is ending on Dec 31st unless I start paying them hundreds of dollars a year. That sucks since everything is identical to a free Gmail account, except the email address, which I've been using for 15 years.

I have decided I don't want to pay good money to keep a Gmail account when Gmail accounts are free. But my email history (including the attachments in my emails) are important to the continuity of my social and work life. Is there a way to import all of my 3000+ emails as is into another Gmail account?

Any other solutions? Thanks!
posted by dgaicun to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
You may be able to do this with Gmvault. I use it for backing up my email accounts and it works great, but I've never tried loading it back into gmail.
posted by primethyme at 10:58 AM on December 12, 2013 [2 favorites]

Gmail makes this easy.

I transferred an old Yahoo account this way and it worked great.
posted by smokyjoe at 11:02 AM on December 12, 2013

If your Google Apps account is turned on for imap, you could use something like or actually Thunderbird. Set up the account in Thunderbird and set up your new Google account there as well. Then drag and drop either folders or the mail itself from NYC to Google account.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 11:19 AM on December 12, 2013

Seconding gmvault. It will maintain all your labels and everything, and I've tested it on real data.
posted by vasi at 11:39 AM on December 12, 2013

Have you checked if google takeout would work. I just got email as one of the products in takeout. It'll create an mbox file.
posted by nostrada at 1:12 PM on December 12, 2013

Lifehacker just had an article posted about how to switch e-mail accounts with the least impact to your personal comms.

The advice seemed sound.
posted by kalessin at 2:58 PM on December 12, 2013

Thanks for the advice all. In case you were wondering what the new fee is to use an otherwise free gmail account, here's someone on the Straight Dope board in my same predicament. For the low low price of $1000 per year I can continue using the email address I've been using for free for 13+ years.
posted by dgaicun at 5:36 AM on December 13, 2013

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