How to Move Emails from Outlook to Gmail — Two Options

Whether you want to back up your Outlook.com account to Gmail or are moving away from Microsoft to Google, you are probably wondering how you can migrate Outlook to Gmail with the least possible effort.

Essentially, you have two options: you can transfer your Outlook emails to Gmail automatically or you can do that manually.

This article explains both options along with their benefits and downsides. Additionally, it provides some tips that may be useful after you have finished copying your content.

How to copy emails from Outlook to Gmail

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

Option 1. Copy your Outlook emails automatically using VaultMe (recommended).

Option 2. Transfer your Outlook emails to Gmail manually using a desktop app (a potentially slow and error-prone method).

Option 1: Copy your Outlook emails to Gmail automatically using VaultMe

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.

VaultMe is a quick and easy way to move your Outlook emails into 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 set up up is quick and simple
  • The app provides accurate results (VaultMe preserves email formatting, attachments, folders, read/unread status)

VaultMe can also copy your Microsoft calendars, contacts, and OneDrive files to your Google account.

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

And yes, it is. It only takes several minutes to set up a migration and the app does the rest!

To copy your Outlook emails to Gmail using VaultMe:

  1. Go to https://app.vaultme.com.
  2. Connect your Microsoft (Outlook.com) 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. Click “Start”.

After your migration starts, you can close your browser and even power off your computer.

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

Option 2: Copy your emails manually using the Outlook desktop app

This method has important limitations which will be described further below. Please consider them carefully before you start.

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 Mozilla Thunderbird) to copy your Outlook emails into Gmail.

To move mail from Outlook to Gmail using the Outlook app:

  1. Open the Outlook app on your computer and make sure you are signed in your Outlook.com account.
  2. Export your account to a .pst file and save it on your hard drive.
    1. Go to File > Open & Export > Import/Export > Export to a file.
      Step 1 of migrating Outlook to Gmail. The menu for exporting a .pst file from the Outlook app.
      How to migrate Outlook to Gmail manually
      Step 2: Export your email
    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.
  4. Add your Gmail account to the Outlook app.
    1. Go to File > Info > Add account.
    2. Sign in.
  5. Import the downloaded email file into your Gmail account.
    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.
  6. Sign in your Gmail account in a browser and check the results.

The steps described above will upload your Outlook mail to Gmail’s servers. You will be able to 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:

  • Depending on the size of your Outlook.com account, the export and import process may take several 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.

After you migrate Outlook to Gmail

If you want the transition from Outlook 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 account, you can set Outlook to forward 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 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.

Conclusion

Moving emails from Outlook to Gmail can be hard, but it can also be easy. Basically, that depends on how you approach the task.

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 migration will not be ideal. Moving emails using a desktop app involves elaborate manual work, 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 the automatic option. Its set up is quick and easy, and the results are accurate.