Migrating email from gmail to Google Apps

My domain is registered at GoDaddy, but instead of using their email application or a fat client, I have it setup to forward all my emails to my gmail account. This gives me 'anywhere access', a significant amount of storage, and great UI for free. So what's the problem? Well, for one, it still enforced the GoDaddy SPAM filters, which I'm not really sure how to control, or get reports from. Since I've had several people (not just you Ted) have issues with their emails to me getting bounced, I got fed up and decided to migrate.

So I signed up for a Google Apps account for ericdaugherty.com, verified my domain ownership, and added the appropriate email accounts.

Before I changed the MX entry to make it live, I imported all the mail from my original gmail account. Since I only signed up for the basic (free) version I had to import using POP. While I read elsewhere that Google wouldn't let you do a POP import from gmail, I had no issue with that. Just went to the Account tab in Settings and added an account to download from. It had a few errors along the way, but seemed to self heal and import the emails. However, I realized that this would not bring over the Labels, which I do use, so...

Since Google offered a free 30 day upgrade to the Premiere version, I upgraded to that and did an IMAP migration. This is actually done through the Admin screen instead of the gmail interface, and seemed to work pretty well. Not real fast, but it brought over all the emails. At first I thought that it wasn't brining all the labels for each email, but then I realized it was downloading them by label (folder in IMAP) and was assigning the labels as it found the emails in different folders.

I then went ahead and moved the MX entries over and fired off a test email. Worked like a charm.

I have several other google applications tied to my gmail account. For now, I guess I'll keep them all as is. I see no real value in migrating those over yet.

Overall, it wasn't too painful. In the next week we'll see what other issues I forgot...


  1. Eric -

    Thanks for the advice on Google Apps. I've run into the same problem and am looking for a switch. While evaluating your alternative, I had the idea of signing up for Google Apps then doing a forward on that email account to my traditional gmail account. This way I don't have to migrate anything. Haven't tried it yet -- but any issues you can foresee going down this route?

  2. I came across someone else who recommended that as a solution for the Gmail Mobile issue.

    The only minor issue with that is that you still have the 'on behalf of xxx' stuff in the header instead of coming directly from your domain email address.

    Other than that (which you have now anyway), it should work great.

  3. I am facing the same challenge. Which "Server Software" setting did you use?

  4. The Generic 'Other' setting (or equivalent.

  5. Many thanks. Worked like a charm.

  6. It worked well for us, except for the following:
    1) Items in the gmail inbox DID NOT move to the APPS inbox - everything was archived
    2) lots of extra labels were created to indicate which emails were migrated, etc. Not necessarily a problem but kinda annoying.

  7. Julia,

    Good points. I did see that as well but it was easy enough to delete the unnecessary labels.

  8. What did you specified for "IMAP path prefix:" for you GMail account? I used following settings-

    Connection settings:
    Host: imap.gmail.com
    Port: 993
    IMAP path prefix:
    Blackouts: None
    Excluded folders: None

    and faced "Failed to contact IMAP server" error.


  9. Vinod,

    Did you set "SSL" in the connection settings? I failed to originally and got the same result.

    -Jay McGavren

  10. We have created a simple web interface that does all the migration in the background without installing any software. It can also be used to migrate from/to regular Gmail accounts.

    Feel free to give it a try here: