How to Move Emails from Outlook to Gmail — Two Options

Whether you want to back up your emails to Gmail, convert Outlook to Gmail, or fully switch from Microsoft to Google, you are probably wondering how you can transfer Outlook to Gmail with the least possible effort.

Essentially, you have two options: you can migrate your Outlook emails to Gmail automatically or you can copy them manually.

But remember: when someone refers to Outlook, they may mean two things:

  •, or Outlook on the web, which is Microsoft's own email service. Examples of Outlook on the web email addresses include,,
  • The desktop or mobile application named Outlook. The app can be used both with addresses and non-Microsoft email accounts (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, and others).

In this article, we will explain how you can migrate your Microsoft email to Gmail. The instructions will work for both and custom Microsoft 365 email addresses.

This complete 2024 migration guide explains two migration options along with their benefits and downsides. Additionally, it provides some tips that may be useful after you have finished copying your content.

The following topics will be covered in this article:

Depending on how much time and effort you are willing to devote to copying your content and how valuable your folder structure is to you, you can choose one of the following options:

Option 1. Copy your Outlook emails automatically using VaultMe (recommended).
This method is quicker and more reliable. Your folder structure as well as email formatting, dates, attachments, and read/unread status will be saved. No software will need to be installed.

Option 2. Transfer your Outlook emails to Gmail manually using a desktop app.
This is a potentially slow and error-prone method. Additional software may need to be installed on your computer. Precise results are not guaranteed.

VaultMe is a secure online migration app that copies emails between Microsoft and Gmail accounts automatically. It preserves the folder structure of the copied account so your Outlook emails will stay organized in Gmail.

Moving Outlook emails to Gmail using VaultMe
How to migrate from Microsoft Outlook to Gmail automatically using VaultMe

VaultMe is a quick and easy way to transfer your Outlook emails to Gmail. Here are some of VaultMe's advantages:

  • The app is fully automated and does not involve any manual work
  • It is secure and it works online in a browser
  • The setup is quick and simple
  • The app provides accurate results (VaultMe preserves email formatting, attachments, folders, read/unread status)
  • The app doesn't remove emails from the Outlook account, it only copies them

VaultMe can also copy your Microsoft / Office 365 calendars, contacts, and OneDrive files to your Google or Google Workspace account.

If you are using a desktop email app with your account, please make sure that your emails are synced with the cloud before you proceed. Sign in to your account in a browser and check if you are seeing all of your emails and folders there. If you can't find them there, this indicates that your email is stored only on your hard drive. In this case, proceed to Option 2.

You may still be wondering, "Is the automatic option the most efficient way to migrate Microsoft Outlook to Gmail?"

And yes, it is. It only takes several minutes to set up an Outlook migration to Gmail!

To use VaultMe as an Outlook to Gmail migration tool:

  1. Go to
  2. Connect your Microsoft 365 ( account as a source account.
  3. Connect your Gmail account as a destination account.
  4. Select the type of content that you wish to copy.
  5. Start your automatic migration!

After your migration starts, you can close your browser and even power off your computer. You will get an email when it's done!

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

With this method, you will be able to export your Outlook emails to Gmail's servers and use your copied emails in Gmail in a browser even if you uninstall the Outlook app from your computer after you've finished.

But there are some things you should consider before you begin:

  • You will need to transfer your contacts from Outlook to Gmail separately. You can use Microsoft's instructions for exporting and importing contacts.
  • Depending on the size of your account, the export and import process may take several hours or days.
  • Your computer will have to stay powered on during the copying process. Any power disruptions will cause the export or/and import process to fail.
  • The accuracy of the export and import will depend on how stable your internet connection is. The quality of your broadband connection will also affect the speed of the process.
  • Exporting and importing Outlook files may slow down the work of your computer.
  • You will need to have enough free storage space on your hard drive for a copy of your Outlook account.

If you are using a Microsoft account, you probably have the Outlook app already installed on your computer. But you can also use any other desktop application (such as the free Mozilla Thunderbird) to copy your Outlook emails into Gmail.

Here are the instructions for moving mail from to Gmail manually:

  1. Open the Outlook app on your computer and make sure you are signed in to your account.
  2. Export your Outlook emails to a .pst file and save it on your hard drive.
    1. Go to File > Open & Export > Import/Export > Export to a file.
      Step 2 of migrating Outlook to Gmail. The menu for exporting a .pst file from the Outlook app.
      How to migrate from Microsoft Outlook to Gmail manually
      Step 2: Export your email

      Please note that the menu options may be different depending on your version of Outlook.
    2. Save the file.

      If you are using Windows, the .pst file may be automatically saved to the default "My documents" folder.

  3. Go to your Gmail account in a browser and enable IMAP.
    Menu for enabling IMAP in Gmail
    How to migrate from Outlook to Gmail manually, Step 3: Enable IMAP in Gmail
  • Add your Gmail account to the Outlook app.
    Window for connecting an account to the Outlook app
    How to migrate from Outlook to Gmail manually, Step 4: Connect Gmail to the Outlook app
    1. Go to File > Info > Add account.
    2. Sign in.
  • Import Outlook emails to Gmail. Here's how you do it:
    1. Click on your Gmail account in the left-hand menu of the Outlook app to select it.
    2. Go to File > Open & Export > Import/Export > Import from another program or file.

      Please note that the menu options may be different depending on your version of Outlook.

    3. Select the backup file and wait until the import is complete.
  • Sign in to your Gmail account in a browser and check the results.
  • If you want the transition from Outlook or Outlook 365 to Gmail to be as smooth as possible, there are some steps that you could take after you copy your emails.

    Here's what you can do:

    1. Set up forwarding rules in Outlook.

      If you are not deleting your Microsoft 365 account, you can change the settings of your account so that it forwards all future incoming messages to Gmail. This way, if someone sends you a message to the Outlook account that you are no longer using, you'll receive it in Gmail. To set the rules, see Outlook's help page.

      Please note that if your Microsoft account is deleted, the forwarding rules will no longer work.

    2. Learn how the features that you are used to in Microsoft Outlook (such as flags or rules) work in Gmail.

    3. Delete emails in Outlook. But before you do, make sure that your emails have been copied successfully and that you are happy with the results.

    1. How do I transfer Outlook contacts together with emails to Gmail?

      If you decide to migrate Outlook to Gmail using VaultMe, you can choose to copy the address book together with emails. If you prefer to copy your emails manually, you can follow Microsoft's instructions for exporting your Outlook contacts.

    2. What is the difference between Outlook and Outlook 365?

      Outlook 365 used to be a part of the office productivity package named Office 365. This name has been changed to Microsoft 365, so the email service can now be referred to as simply Outlook. Migration methods outlined in this article work with older and newer accounts.

    3. Can I transfer Outlook folders to Gmail?

      If you choose to transfer your email automatically, VaultMe will copy all of your Outlook folders to Gmail when migrating email. With the manual method outlined above, folders may fail to copy.

    4. How can I migrate Outlook to Gmail for free?

      The only way to copy Outlook emails to Gmail for free is to go through the long and error-prone manual process that is explained in this article. While this appears to be a truly "free" method, it may cost you more in terms of time and energy.

    5. How do I migrate Hotmail Outlook to Gmail?

      This can be done automatically using VaultMe or manually using a desktop email application. Both migration methods explained in this article apply not only to Outlook email addresses but to Hotmail email addresses as well.

    6. How do I transfer my Office 365 email to Gmail?

      Office 365 emails can be transferred to Gmail automatically (for a fee) or manually. Consider using an automated tool like VaultMe if you want the job done quickly and accurately.

    If you want to convert your Outlook emails to Gmail, you'd need to transfer old messages from your account to your Gmail account. There are two ways of moving emails from Outlook to Gmail: you can copy your Outlook emails manually or you can migrate them automatically.

    If you have a small account, are an experienced Outlook user, and don't mind doing quite a bit of work yourself, you may benefit from the manual option. For others, a manual Outlook to Gmail migration will not be ideal. Moving emails using a desktop app involves a lot of effort, may take way more time than you expect, and can result in broken or lost emails.

    If you'd prefer the job to be done quickly and precisely, use VaultMe as your automatic option. Its setup is quick and easy, and the results are accurate.