How to Transfer AOL Email to Gmail

"Can I transfer my AOL account to Gmail?" If you are asking yourself this question, you'll find everything you need to know about transitioning from AOL to Gmail in this article.

You may be thinking of transferring your AOL email because you want to:

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

While it is not possible to switch to Gmail and keep an AOL email address, it is possible to save the AOL emails when transitioning to Gmail.

Our 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 start a migration.

The manual method is less reliable, has many 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.

In this article:

Since AOL has yet to offer the functionality of transferring your AOL email to another account, the only way to move the 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 allowed by email providers and is very easy to use.

VaultMe can copy your AOL emails (with folders) to your personal Gmail or to a business Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) 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!
VaultMe automates email migration between hundreds of email providers

To import AOL emails to Gmail automatically:

  1. Navigate to the VaultMe app.
  2. Select "AOL" as your source service provider.
  3. Select "Google" as your destination service provider.
  4. Connect both accounts to the app.
  5. Start your migration and close your browser! You'll get an email when your migration finishes.

While VaultMe is a paid service, having the job done quickly and accurately pays off.

If you have any questions about VaultMe, please contact us at We'd be happy to help!
This method has several important limitations which will be described below. Please consider them carefully and back up any critical data 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).

To transfer AOL emails to Gmail manually:

  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 import 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 your power supply or broadband connection is interrupted.
  • Moving AOL emails to Gmail manually may slow down the work of your computer.

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

To export your AOL 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 mailt
    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".

With this method, AOL messages that have custom labels will not be transferred to Gmail. Only emails from "Inbox" will be imported. For this reason, this method cannot be considered a proper alternative to other ways of importing content, although it may still work for some users.

To import AOL's "Inbox" folder and contacts:

  1. Sign in to your Gmail account.
  2. Click the gear icon ("Settings") in the top upper corner and then click "See all settings."
  3. Click the "Account and Import" tab or "Accounts" tab.
  4. Click "Import mail and contacts."
  5. Connect your AOL account in a pop-up window.
  6. In the left-hand menu, click "Import".
    The menu for connecting an AOL account to Gmail
    Import AOL email to Gmail, Step 5: Signing in.
  7. Click "Start import."

For more information about this feature, refer to Gmail's help article.

Copying email from AOL to Gmail manually seems 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.}