I've finally tired of checking multiple Gmail accounts, so I sat down to figure out how to get all of my mail coming to a single, master Gmail address -- there are multiple parts to this tutorial, so I apologize for the length.
FIRST -- set up forwarding in the account you want to stop logging into:
- Log into the Gmail account you want to stop logging into
- Click "Settings" in the upper right
- Click "Forwarding and Pop"
- Click the radio button next to "Forward a copy of incoming mail to . . ."
- Enter the address that you want the mail to be sent to in the box that says "email address"
- From the drop-down, decide what you want done with the forwarded mail -- in my case, I selected "delete Gmail's copy" so that no new mail will be added to the account
- Decide if you want to do the Optional Pop part below, if not, click "Save Changes"
OPTIONAL POP (totally optional) -- set up POP access to get any saved mail out of the account you no longer want to log into and into the single account you plan on using
- Click the radio button next to "Enable POP for all mail (even mail that's already been downloaded)"
- Select from the drop-down what you want done with mail that is accessed via POP -- in my case I selected "delete Gmail's copy" so that once all of the old mail is extracted via POP, it is deleted from the account I'm no longer logging in to
- Click "Save Changes"
SECOND (optional) -- configure your master Gmail account to allow you to respond to e-mails with the address from the account you will no longer log into. If you have no desire to continue to use the address of the account you are no longer logging into in your replies, but still want mail forwarded from said account, you can skip this step.
- Log in to the master Gmail account
- Click "Settings" in the upper right
- Click "Accounts"
- Click "Add Another E-Mail Address" -- this will trigger a pop-up window
- Enter your name as you wish it to be seen by recipients and the e-mail address of the account you are no longer logging into
- Click "Next Step" -- this will trigger a verification number e-mail to be sent to the e-mail address of the account you are no longer logging in to and change the pop-up screen to an entry screen for the verification number
- Leave the pop-up screen open and click "Inbox" in the Gmail screen -- if you have configured forwarding correctly, then the confirmation e-mail should be in your Inbox
- Click the e-mail from Gmail to open it
- Select the verification number and copy it
- Go back to the pop-up window and paste the verification number into the "Verification Number" field
- Click "Next Step" -- the pop-up window will close and you will be left at the Inbox view
- Click "Settings"
- Click "Accounts" -- if everything went through correctly, then you will now see another e-mail address listed from the account you are no longer logging into
- I suggest checking the radio button next to "Reply from the same address the message was sent to.", which will cause Gmail to automatically use the address that the e-mail was sent to when replying.
OPTIONAL OLD E-MAIL IMPORT (totally optional continuation of the Optional POP above) -- this will allow you to pull out all the e-mail saved in the account that you no longer wish to log into and load them into your master Gmail account. Note that many of these instructions are duplicated from my original post on how to get e-mail out of Ureach and into Gmail. Further note that these instructions are for Windows. I would not suggest attempting this process on a dial-up connection and have only tested on broadband.
- Download gExodus. Once done, you will have a zip file — be sure to use the WinZip Extract
button instead of dragging and dropping the files out of the archive.
The first time I installed, I did a drag and drop and the program could
not find the Python dll file. Once you have extracted to whatever
folder you have chosen, go ahead and double-click the gExodus exe file
to make sure it works. Keep gExodus minimized throughout this process
until I call for it in the instructions.
- Download and install Thunderbird.
Once installation is done, launch Thunderbird and cancel out of the
wizards. Unless you are going to continue to use Thunderbird, there is
no reason to waste time filling in any information. Keep Thunderbird
minimized throughout this process until I call for it in the
- Maximize Thunderbird and follow the Google Instructions to configure it for the account that you no longer want to log into.
- Once Thunderbird is configured, click "Get Mail" -- if everything is configured correctly, Thunderbird will download all of the mail from the account you no longer want to log in to
- The most important thing to do is to located where the Thunderbird
mail files are on your computer. In order to do this, you must have
invisible files and folders activated in your Windows view options and
you should have the hidden file extension option de-selected (Google
this if you don’t know what I’m talk about). I highly suggest locating
the folder before using gExodus, but it depends on your level of
comfort. The files are located here:
- C:\Documents and Settings\xxxx\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\xxxx.default\Mail\Local Folders\Outlook Express Mail.sbd
- Note that the red letters represent items that will be unique to your system.
that there will be a regular version of a file and a .msf version of
the same file in the folder (i.e., “Inbox” and “Inbox.msf”)
- Maximize gExodus
- Under “Account Setting” enter your master Gmail address
“Import From” either paste in the path from your Explorer window or
click the “Browse” button and navigate to the file that you want to
import. Note that you should select the file that does not have the
.msf extension (i.e., “Inbox”)
- Under “Label”, you can add a
label if you really want to, but read the example below the box — I did
not use this when I did my imports.
- Leave the “SMTP server” alone and click “Import into Gmail” -- Note that if you have a problem with the address that's in there, click the "MX lookup for Gmail" link jsut below the box and enter one of the results that comes up in the browser
- The “Progress” box will let you know about any errors, when everything is complete, etc.
- gExodus essentially forwards all of the e-mails in the file you
have decided to import into your Gmail account — while the To and From
information is retained, the date information that shows up in Gmail
will be the date and time the you run gExodus; there is no way that I
could find to fix this issue.
- Every e-mail shows up in Gmail as
an unread e-mail, so you will need to do a select all on every page and
mark every e-mail as read.
All of the processes and steps listed on this page can be used for forwarding multiple Gmail addresses to a single, master Gmail account; at the time of writing this post, I have 2 Gmail addresses forwarding and incorporated into a single, master account.
It is my hope and I have heard rumors that Gmail is adding POP access support to Gmail accounts so that the vast majority of whole Thunderbird and gExodus process described above becomes obsolete.
As usual, use all the stuff in this post at your own risk and your mileage may vary -- I'm always happy to help with questions.