Transferring Email From a UW Email Account to UW Google Email

Before Transferring Data

Before you transfer your email, consider the following:

  • Cleanup: It might be an opportunity to do some pruning or housecleaning to get rid of messages or data you no longer need. That may make transferring easier and faster and make things easier to find later. It might even be worth considering abandoning your old email and starting fresh.
  • Get familiar: You might want to get familiar with the new service before moving messages to be sure you'll be able to work with messages as you wish.
  • Originals: Transferring your data does not necessarily delete the original. If you choose the option to leave a copy of the retrieved message on the server, it will remain unless you delete it yourself (or until your account service expires). That may be helpful if you need to refer to it, but with new mail delivered to UW Google Email, things will quickly get out of synchronization.
  • Double-check: After transferring data, you should assure yourself that it is all in place and not corrupt before you delete the original.
  • Folders vs labels: If you are not just transferring your inbox, but also have folders you want to move to UW Google Email, first make sure you understand that Google uses a different paradigm. Folders are replaced by labels. You might want to look at the Gmail Help Article on Using Labels and this discussion of improved label management.
  • Time commitment: If you have a lot of data to transfer, the process could take a long time -- hours or even days. Plan accordingly.

Options for Transferring Email

You have several options for transferring email from your UW Email account to UW Google Email. The easiest method can be used via the manage UW NetID webpage. Once you setup a UW Google Apps account and change your forwarding to UW Google Apps, you may use a special "Deskmail Copy" link on the Manage UW NetID page to transfer your mail.

If you would like to use a different method for any reason, the method you choose will depend on what you want to transfer and whether or not you have MS Outlook (2003 or 2007) on your computer.

If you have MS Outlook (version 2003 or 2007) installed on your computer and you want to transfer all of your email folders from your UW Email account, you can use the Google Apps Sync tool. The tool will need to be downloaded and installed on your computer. See the section below on using the Google Apps Sync tool for instructions.

If you only want to transfer the messages in your inbox or you don't have access to MS Outlook, you can use Google's Mail Fetcher program to transfer your existing email. See the section below on using Google's Mail Fetcher for instructions.

Using the Google Apps Sync Tool

Introduction

The process of transferring your email using the Google Apps Sync Tool can be labor and time intensive, but it will allow you to transfer all of your email folders to UW Google Email. If you also have contacts, calendar items, and tasks stored in MS Outlook, you can copy those to your UW Google Apps account as well. You may wish to work with your departmental IT support staff if you have questions. The general process involves connecting MS Outlook to your UW Email account, creating a copy of that account in the form of a PST file, installing the Google Apps Sync tool, and importing the PST file into UW Google Email using the Sync tool. Please note that these instructions are for transferring email from a UW Email (deskmail) account. If you are using UW Exchange, please contact your departmental IT support staff prior to changing your email forwarding or transferring email to UW Google Email.

Forwarding email

Your email forwarding should be set to your UW Google Apps account prior to syncing your email with the Googla Apps Sync tool. The sync process is a one-time process and it does not continue to import new messages from your UW Email account later.

  1. StepsActions
  2. Update your UW Email forwarding to point to your UW Google Apps account. This is because once you export the PST file from your UW Email account, no new messages will be added to it and those new messages will not be transferred to UW Google Email. You must have your email forwarding set prior to syncing the accounts.
  3. Configure MS Outlook to connect to your UW account (the one you want to move messages from). You can find detailed instructions on the Configuring Outlook 2007 for Windows for UW Email page. Make sure you work through all 27 steps!
    Note: If your email account is on UW Exchange, please contact your departmental IT support staff prior to changing your email forwarding or transferring your existing email to UW Google Email.
  4. Make sure MS Outlook is displaying all of your folders on your UW account. If they are not all listed in the folder pane, right click on any of your folders and select IMAP Folders. Click Query. A list of your folders will appear in the All tab; subscribed folders will appear with a folder icon to the left of the name.
    ol2007_subscribe

    Select all of the folders that do not have a folder icon next to them. (Note that you can select all of the folders within the list by selecting the first one, holding the Shift key, then selecting the last folder.) After the folders are selected, click the Subscribe button. When finished, click OK.

  5. Now you should be ready to create the PST file. In Outlook 2007 go to File, select Import and Export, then select Export to a file. Click Next, select Personal Folder File (.pst), and click Next. Select the top level of your mail folders (labeled as UWNetID@u.washington.edu; not the one labeled as Personal Folders) and select Include subfolders.
    exportpst
  6. Click Next and select the location (e.g., desktop) of where you want your PST file placed. Also select Allow duplicate items to be created and click Finish. (Optional: When prompted for a password, you can create a password for your PST file. If left blank, no password will be created. You will be asked to enter the password before the PST file is created.) This will create a copy of your email folders in PST format. The process may take several hours to complete and you must leave MS Outlook open during the process.
  7. Now that you have a copy of your UW Email account in the form of a PST file, you are ready to install the Google Apps Sync Tool. Make sure MS Outlook is closed before proceeding.
  8. Go to the Google Apps Sync download page to review the system requirements. If your computer meets the system requirements, click on the big download button to download and install the tool.
  9. Once the Google Apps Sync tool is installed on your computer, go to the Windows Start menu and choose Set up a Google Apps Sync user.
    syncstart
  10. Next you will be asked to sign in to your UW Google Apps account. Fill in your email address as UWNetID@uw.edu (where UWNetID is replaced with your own UW NetID). Select the option for No, help me sign-in, select Remember me and click the Continue button.
    syncsignin
  11. The Sync tool will launch a Web browser window where you can sign in with your UW NetID and password. You will then need to click on the Grant access button to complete the sign in procedure.
    grantaccess
  12. Next you are prompted to create a Google Apps profile in Outlook. Check Import data from an existing profile and use the pull-down menu to select From a PST File...
    importpst
  13. A window will pop up asking you select the location of your PST file. Once you have selected it, you are returned to the previous window (see above) where you can select the type of data you want to import. Google recommends not importing Deleted messages and Junk email since you probably don't need any of them. When you have finished selecting all the types of data you would like imported, click Create Profile.
  14. You are almost finished. Click Start Outlook to launch Outlook. Sign in to your new UW Google Apps profile and wait for the synchronization to begin. The Google Apps Sync tool will work as long as you have your UW Google Apps profile opened in MS Outlook. If you close Outlook, the synchronization will be placed on hold and will resume the next time you open your UW Google Apps profile in Outlook. To check the status of the synchronization, point your mouse to the Google Apps Sync icon in the Windows system tray.
    syncprogress

Using Google's Mail Fetcher

Introduction

Transferring email from your UW Email account to your UW Google Email account is fairly straightforward. It will take a copy of all of the messages in your UW Email inbox and transfer them to your UW Google Email account. If you have messages stored on your UW Email account that are in folders other than your inbox, you will need to move them to your UW Email inbox before they will be transferred. The process is easiest if you transfer one folder's worth of messages at a time (for example, transfer your inbox messages, then copy sent-mail messages to your inbox and transfer them, then copy another folder's message to your inbox, etc.). Just be prepared for the process to take a long time if you have a large number of messages and/or folders.

Forwarding vs fetching
While the Mail Fetcher tool will take existing as well as future messages that are delivered to your UW Email account and transfer them to your UW Google Email account, it is not meant to replace the UW Email Forwarding settings that you can apply to your account. If you plan on using UW Google Email to read and send email, we recommend updating your UW Email Forwarding to point to UW Google Apps.
Finding instructions

You can find instructions for accessing and configuring Google's Mail Fetcher at Google's Mail Fetcher help page (link will open in a new window) or continue reading below for step-by-step instructions. Please note: Google will provide some default settings but they are incorrect. The settings you will need to enter are as follows (where your_UWNetID is replaced with your actual UW NetID in all of the following examples):

Settings

Email address: your_UWNetID@u.washington.edu
Username: your_UWNetID
Password: Your UW NetID password
POP Server: your_UWNetID.deskmail.washington.edu
Port: 995
Leave a copy of retrieved message on the server (optional)
Check Always use a secure connection (SSL) when retrieving mail.
Label incoming messages (optional)
Archive incoming messages (Skip the Inbox) (optional)

  1. StepsActions
  2. Log on to UW Google Email at http://gmail.uw.edu and click the Gear symbol at the top of the page followed by Mail Settings.
  3. Click on the Accounts tab.
  4. In the Get mail from other accounts section, click on Add a mail account you own.
  5. Enter your email address as UWNetID@u.washington.edu where UWNetID is replaced with your actual UW NetID and click Next Step.
  6. Fill in the remaining settings as follows:
    Username: your_UWNetID
    Password: Your UW NetID password
    POP Server: your_UWNetID.deskmail.washington.edu
    Port: 995
    Leave a copy of retrieved message on the server (optional)
    Check Always use a secure connection (SSL) when retrieving mail.
    Label incoming messages (optional)
    Archive incoming messages (Skip the Inbox) (optional)
    googlefetch
  7. Click Add Account.
  8. When asked if you want to be able to send email as UWNetID@u.washington.edu, select No and click Finish. Note that if you really do want to be able to use your @u.washington.edu (rather than @uw.edu), you can follow the instructions here.
Optional settings

Here are some things to note about the optional settings:

  • Leave a copy of retrieved message on the server: If checked, this option will leave a copy of your email messages on your UW Email account. If not checked, the email will be deleted from your UW Email account as it is transferred to your UW Google Email account. You will need to decide which method you prefer, keeping in mind that the Google Mail Fetcher transfers messages only from your UW Email Inbox folder. To transfer messages from other folders, you will need to move them into your UW Email Inbox.
  • Label incoming messages: This makes it easy to automatically organize messages as they are transferred. You can read about Google's use of labels.
  • Archive incoming messages (Skip the Inbox): This option is best used if you also choose to automatically label incoming messages.
Removing account settings

Once you have transferred all of your existing messages (or at least the ones you want to transfer), you can remove your UW Email account from Google's Mail Fetcher setting.

Importing Your Contacts Into UW Google Email

Contacts are stored in the program you use to connect to your email account. If you normally use Thunderbird, for example, to access your UW Email account, only Thunderbird has access to the contact information that you have created there. If you are going to use the same program to access your UW Google Email account, you may not have to do anything to transfer your contacts.

If, however, you are switching programs or you are going to use a Web browser to connect to UW Google Email, you will need to transfer your contacts in the form of a comma-separated values (CSV) file and then import that CSV file into Google Apps. Refer to the help section of your email program for instructions on exporting the contacts as a CSV-formatted file. Once you have the file, you can refer to Google's Importing CSV files help page for instructions on how to import the file.

MS Outlook users: You can use the Google Apps Sync tool described above to import your contacts so they are available in MS Outlook as well as the Web interface for UW Google Apps.

Alpine users: If you need to export addresses you have stored in any of the Alpine (Pine) programs, see the Convert My Pine Address Book page and use the Convert Now button to receive an emailed copy of your address book in CSV format.

Last modified: February 10, 2014