How to Transfer AOL Email and Contacts to Gmail

If you are thinking of moving your AOL emails to Gmail, most likely you want to:

  • Change email providers and and switch from AOL to Gmail, or
  • Merge your AOL mail with your Gmail account, or
  • Create a backup of your AOL email and contacts in another account

If this is what you want to achieve, read on. This article will walk you through the two ways of migrating AOL email to Gmail: the automatic method and the manual process.

We recommend using the automatic option because it produces accurate results and requires no manual work. All you have to do is just connect your AOL and Gmail accounts and click “Start”.

The manual method is less reliable, has a number of limitations, and requires additional resources that may not be immediately available. But you could give it a try if you are ready for some challenge and are willing to do most of the work yourself.

How to migrate AOL emails and contacts to Gmail automatically

Since AOL is yet to offer the functionality of transferring AOL mail to another account, the only way to move your email automatically would be to use a third party app.

We suggest that you try VaultMe because it migrates content between the accounts at the fastest rate allowable by email providers and is very easy to use.

VaultMe can copy your AOL emails (with folders) and contacts to your personal Gmail or to a Google Workspace account quickly and securely.

Here’s what makes VaultMe a perfect choice for AOL to Gmail migrations:

  • It offers precise results (the formatting of the messages, their read/unread status, and attachments are all copied)
  • VaultMe will transfer your AOL folders to Gmail preserving the structure of your account
  • VaultMe works online in a browser (no software to download)
  • It takes only a minute or two to set up an AOL to Gmail migration
  • VaultMe has made lots of people happy as proven by the reviews!
If you have any questions about VaultMe, please contact us at We’d be happy to help!

How to copy AOL emails and contacts to Gmail manually

If you decide to go down the manual route, you’ll need to copy your AOL emails and contacts separately.

Transferring AOL emails to Gmail

This method has a number of important limitations which will be described below. Please consider them carefully before you begin.

To copy your AOL emails into Gmail manually, you will need to install a desktop email app (such as Thunderbird or Outlook).

After you install the app, do the following:

  1. Connect your AOL account to the app using the IMAP settings displayed below.
    IMAP settings for connecting an AOL account
    Settings for connecting an AOL email account to a desktop email app
    If you have Thunderbird installed, you may use Mozilla’s instructions for manual configuration.
  2. Connect your Gmail account to the app.

    You may need to enable IMAP in Gmail first.

  3. Drag and drop your emails from your AOL to your Gmail account.

But before you transfer your AOL mail to Gmail manually, consider the following:

  • The email app will use your hard drive storage for a temporary copy of your AOL email account. For the migration to complete successfully, you should have enough free storage space for the full archive of your AOL mail on your hard drive.
  • If you have a lot of messages and folders in your AOL account, the copying process may take several days or sometimes even weeks. We do not recommend manual copying for accounts with over 10 000 items and/or 10 GB of used storage, but even smaller accounts may take several days to sync.
  • Your computer will need to stay powered on during the copying process.
  • Some of the email messages and folders may fail to copy, especially if power supply or broadband connection is interrupted.
  • Moving AOL emails to Gmail manually may slow down the work of your computer.

Transferring contacts from AOL to Gmail

To transfer your AOL contacts to Gmail, you’ll need to export them from AOL and then import them to Gmail.

To export your contacts:

  1. In a browser, sign in to your AOL account.
  2. Navigate to the “Contacts” tab and click “More” in the top menu.
  3. Select “Export”.
    Exporting contacts from AOL mail
    How to export AOL contacts manually
  4. Download your AOL address book in a .csv file.

Once you’ve downloaded your contacts in a .csv file, you’ll need to import it to Gmail.

To transfer your AOL address book to Gmail:

  1. In a browser, sign into your Gmail account and go to Contact.
  2. In the left hand menu, click “Import”.
    Importing contacts to Gmail
    How to import AOL contacts to Gmail
  3. Select your downloaded .csv file and click “Import”.


Copying email and contacts from AOL to Gmail manually seems to be reasonable only in limited cases (such as when you are migrating a small account). This option may seem “free”, but it may cost you more in terms of time and effort.

We recommend that you use VaultMe as your automatic option, unless you are absolutely sure that you know how to fix the issues that may arise. VaultMe is fully automated and provides accurate, predictable results. An additional advantage of VaultMe is that it will transfer your contact list from AOL to Gmail together with email (you’ll need to export it manually otherwise).

If you have any questions about VaultMe, please contact us at We’d be happy to help!