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How to transfer emails from one Gmail account to another

Tired of that old Gmail account? Here's how to transition smoothly.
By
October 9, 2022

Have you got yourself a new Gmail account? This doesn’t have to mean letting go of all your older valuable emails. Of course, you could always keep both accounts alive and look for emails in the older one when necessary. Or you can transfer everything to your new account and forget all about the older one!

This process is more straightforward than it seems, but you need to know the proper steps. Since figuring out the procedure on your own is no easy feat, we are here to help you through the journey. Let’s get those emails to your new account!

Here: The ultimate guide to Gmail

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Gmail emails can be transferred by enabling your POP settings in the old account and retrieving them using your new Gmail account. It's a bit of a complex process, so take a look at each section below to get step-by-step instructions.


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Editor’s note: All steps in this guide were put together using a custom PC running Windows 11. More specifically, we used Chrome version 106.0.5249.103. Remember that the steps may sometimes differ, depending on the browser, device, or software. 

Prepare your old account

Google Pixel 5 on a table showing Gmail joint account
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority
One Gmail inbox for everything we need

First, we need to set up your older account and prepare it for migration. This is done using POP (Post Office Protocol) settings.

How to set up POP settings on Gmail:

  1. Log into your old Gmail account using a browser.
  2. Click on the gear icon.
  3. Select See all settings.
  4. Go to the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.
  5. Under POP Download, select Enable POP for all mail.
  6. Go to the second part of the same section, which reads: “When messages are accessed with POP.”
  7. Hit the drop-down menu and select what you want to happen to the emails in the old Gmail once the new account fetches them. Copies can be left alone, marked as read, archived, or deleted.
  8. Click on Save changes.
  9. Sign out of the old Gmail account.
Enable POP on Gmail

Fetch emails with the new Gmail account

Gmail on smartphone stock photo 6
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Now you need to go to your new account and tell it to bring all the old emails from your other Gmail account.

How to import email to the new Gmail account:

  1. Log into your new Gmail account.
  2. Hit the gear icon.
  3. Select See all settings.
  4. Go to the Accounts tab.
  5. Go to the Check mail from other accounts section.
  6. Select Add a mail account.
  7. Enter your old Gmail account and hit Next.
  8. Select Import emails from my other account (POP3) and hit Next.
  9. Check the username is correct and enter the password for the old Gmail account.
  10. Under POP Server, select pop.gmail.com.
  11. Select port 995.
  12. Uncheck Leave a copy of retrieved messages on the server.
  13. Check Always use a secure connection (SSL) when retrieving mail.
  14. Click on Add account.
  15. Where it says Would you also like to be able to send mail as _____@gmail.com? you can choose your preference. We advise that you give yourself the option to do this, just in case you want to reply to older emails with the older Gmail account.
  16. If you chose yes, follow the instructions to set everything up. If not, you are done!

Your new account will periodically retrieve all emails from your old Gmail account. This may take a while, so be patient.

Also: Common Gmail issues and how to fix them

How to stop importing

Gmail on tablet stock photo 2
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Got all the emails you need? It’s always nice to leave this configuration on to ensure you catch all new emails that come to your old account. Not everyone wants this, though, and playing around with the settings in the future may cause duplicates. Follow the next steps to stop all future imports.

How to stop Gmail imports:

  1. Log into your new Gmail account.
  2. Hit the gear icon.
  3. Select See all settings.
  4. Go to the Accounts tab.
  5. Go to Check mail from other accounts.
  6. Hit the delete button.
  7. Select OK, and you are done.
Delete secondary email from gmail pop

Download your Gmail emails

Gmail on tablet stock photo 5
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Alternatively, you can download all your emails and store them wherever you wish. This is an excellent option for those who want to hold their old emails without transferring them to the new Gmail account.

How to download all your Gmail emails:

  1. Go to the Google Takeout website.
  2. Click on Deselect all.
  3. Scroll down and find Mail. Check the box next to it.
  4. Select Next step at the end of the page.
  5. Under Delivery method, select how you want your files. You can even send them directly to cloud services!
  6. Under Frequency, pick how often you want your emails downloaded.
  7. Pick file type and size.
  8. Hit Create export.

Want to get rid of the old account?: How to delete your Gmail or Google account

FAQs

POP stands for “Post Office Protocol.” This protocol makes it possible to sync emails across accounts. It doesn’t only work with Gmail accounts, either. POP syncing can sync your emails with other email clients and services.

IMAP stands for “Internet Message Access Protocol.” It’s similar to POP because it can sync your email across accounts, but IMAP leaves emails at the server level. If you use IMAP, for example, you’ll be able to see the emails in your new account, but they won’t be downloaded until you actually click on them. Additionally, the content won’t be downloaded automatically. This means emails from your old email account will not take up as much space.

Yes! You can transfer Gmail emails to Outlook, Yahoo, or any other email providers and clients that support the POP or IMAP protocols.

This is a fundamental question. Google doesn’t actually offer a way to import Google Takeout data. It’s meant as an archiving tool, not a backup/restore solution.

No, you don’t have to go through this whole process if all you want is to change the name that people see on your Gmail account. Changing your sender name is actually pretty easy, and if that’s all you need to do, you can skip the complicated steps above.