Tuesday, November 13, 2007

How to bail from Hotmail to Gmail using IMAP

Tired of Hotmail? Want to transfer from Hotmail to Gmail?

Here's how, in just 5 easy steps!!


  1. Install Windows Live Mail. This is the windows application that supplants Outlook Express and Windows Mail (in Vista)

  2. Set up your Hotmail account in Windows Live Mail

    * Go to Tools->Accounts
    * Click "Add..."
    * Select "Email Account"
    * Type in your Hotmail email address and password and hit next

    In the right panel of Windows Live Mail, you should now have your hotmail folders and be able to read emails there.

  3. Create a Gmail account at the Google website, if you don't have one already.
  4. Set up your Gmail account for IMAP. The instructions are very similar to the Outlook Express setup instructions on Google.

    * Go to Tools->Accounts
    * Click "Add..."
    * Select "Email Account"
    * Type in your Gmail address and password
    * Check "Manually set account settings for this account" and hit "Next"
    * Set your incoming mail server to IMAP
    * Your login ID should be your gmail address
    * Incoming server is "imap.gmail.com", then check "this server requires a secure connection (SSL)"
    * Outgoing server is "smtp.gmail.com" and set the port number to 465
    * Lastly, check "My outgoing server requires authentication" and "This server requires an SSL connection

    In the right panel of Windows Live Mail, you can now see your Gmail folders. If you do not see the gmail folders, right click on the envelope icon that says "Gmail", go to "Imap Folders..." and double click on the folders you need to show them.

  5. Now comes the fun part. Click on your Hotmail Inbox, or any folders on Hotmail you want to transfer. Select all the messages you want to keep -- or just hit "Control-A" to select all of them in that folder, then right-click and select "Copy to Folder...". Select the folder you wish to copy them to from the Gmail folder list. If you don't wish to sort them, instead relying on Gmail's search to find them again, just copy them to [Gmail]/All Mail. You can also move the messages, thereby deleting them from Hotmail, by dragging and dropping them to the Gmail folder of your choice.

One of the most annoying things about Hotmail or Live Mail is that there is no viewing of messages by thread, like on Gmail or even Outlook. But even if you drag over separate messages from Hotmail, Gmail will re-thread them into a conversation. Very slick!

Gmail IMAP has come in really handy. Using this technique, I've started uploading old messages to Gmail to make them faster to search (not to mention, from anywhere on the planet). I have 2001-2007 covered. I'm not sure if it's worth uploading 1990-something-2001. Is there any email I want to search to find from, say 1995? Doubtful.

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