Microsoft's Guide For Gmail Users To Switch To Hotmail

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 27, 2012
Updated • Jan 27, 2012
Email, Gmail, Google, Microsoft

Google recently revealed the plan to merge the privacy policies and terms of service for most of the company's products. This move gives all Google services direct access to all user data. Google search for instance can take into account what kind of emails a user gets in Gmail to personalize the search results based on that. This even goes further for Android phone users, who may now reveal their favorite restaurants, shops and locations to all other Google services.

A new post by Microsoft employee Dharmesh Mehta on the Inside Windows Live blog highlights core reasons why users might want to switch from Gmail to Hotmail, before explaining the actual steps that migrates their email account to the Hotmail email service.

  • Hotmail & Facebook work well together. You can update your Facebook status, chat with Facebook friends, view their updates, and comment right from your Hotmail inbox. You can't do this from Gmail.
  • You can easily share lots of photos and large attachments. Hotmail lets you share hundreds of photos or other files in one message using the integrated online storage from SkyDrive. You can't do this in Gmail.
  • Hotmail works great with Office. Using the Office Web Apps, Hotmail lets you view and edit Office docs for free right in your inbox. Gmail doesn’t work well with Office.
  • Hotmail lets you get a handle on graymail. With customizable categories and scheduled sweeps, you can quickly clean up things like newsletters, social updates, and daily deals so you only see the mail that really matters to you. Gmail doesn’t have Sweep.

These features alone won't convince many users to move their email account to Hotmail. Combined with Google's announcement however they could be enough to get some users to move their accounts.

It needs to be noted though that Gmail offers features that Hotmail does not offer. This includes IMAP support or two step authentication, both of which are not supported by Hotmail.

add gmail account to hotmail

The guide to switch from Gmail to Hotmail lists three steps.

  • Create a Hotmail account. If you don’t already have one, you need to create a Hotmail account. The best way to do this is to get a new email address either or Or, if you already have an email address you want to keep using, you can keep using it and sign up here. You don’t have to use our domain.
  • Import your old messages from Gmail. You’ll probably want to keep your old email and contacts so we’ve made it simple to bring them in. TrueSwitch is an easy tool which will import your email and contacts and forward any new email to Hotmail for 90 days. Go to the TrueSwitch site and follow the steps there. When you sign back in to Hotmail, you’ll notice that it’s beginning to import your emails (this could take a few hours if you have a lot of emails to bring over).
  • Connect your Gmail account. This step is optional, but if you want to make sure you receive future messages from Gmail, you can have Hotmail automatically get all new emails that are sent to your old Gmail account. These are the steps to connect your accounts:
    a. In your inbox, click Options and then More options.

    b. Click Sending/receiving email from other accounts.

    c. Click Add an email account.

    d. Provide your Gmail account details.

Step 2 and 3 address core issues that users who move mail accounts want resolved before they even start thinking about it. Access to all previous mail messages and the forwarding of messages that are send to the old account are covered in those two steps.

Are you considering moving your Gmail account to another provider?


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  1. nilehs said on February 3, 2012 at 4:28 pm


  2. Roman ShaRP said on January 28, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    No, I don’t want to move. I don’t have much trust in Google, but my trust in Microsoft is even less.

  3. virtualguy said on January 28, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    They want to connect your cell phone number to your email account, because, using the “location awareness” features of your cell phone (especially those with GPS features enabled) they can literally track and record your movements around town, or around the world. Any data they collect on you is added to your accumulated profile which allows them to sell you as a “targeted” advertising recipient. It is a complete and utter violation of your privacy. But, it is a violation that many either don’t recognize or are too lazy to concern themselves with.

    Of course, the claim is that such invasive data collection is to improve your online experience. But, the truth is, the data is used to increase the potential advertising revenues of the company holding your personal information. Companies looking for a specific demographic with certain apparent interests will pay premium ad fees for such targeted prospects.

    Yes, giving Google or Microsoft your cell phone number to make it easier to reset a forgotten password might be convenient, in that aspect. But, they immediately connect your phone number with your browsing habits, your email keywords, etc., etc., and it significantly enriches the profiled data collection they make on you, more to their advantage than you know. And, it becomes a very real loss of your personal and private information.

    Since these companies may process your profile data on servers in other countries as well, your personal and private information is now potentially exploited, not just in your home country, but in any number of potentially non-friendly countries.

    Isn’t technology grand?!!

  4. Harris said on January 28, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    i have always had some concerns regarding google snooping through my email and my searches, looking for key words that are then used to direct specific advertising at me and also effect my search results. the latest changes in in their privacy rules, which come into effect march 1/12, are enough to make me change my email address.

    i have had a hotmail a/c since the late 90’s and have never had any real issues so i decided to open another hotmail a/c. after opening the new a/c and managing to send out a few mails re the address change, hotmail suddenly stopped sending my emails “due to suspicious activities….blah, blah, blah my a/c was temporarily blocked”. i had used bcc and sent each email out to about 10 friends at a time so i assume this is why hotmail blocked my email. 24 frustrating hours later and it is still blocked and to unblock it they have to send a text message giving me a code to my cell phone. in the interest of decorum i won’t bother reiterating my thoughts about that. what an email address has to do with my cell phone is beyond me. the other option is for me to send a note to a moderator – there is nothing to moderate – and wait for some kind of response. i don’t think that this can get much dumber but at this point nothing that these companies do surprises me.

    i have had a gmx a/c for a few years without any problems so i think i’ll go that route.

    thanks for letting me rant…i look forward to your daily blogs….harris

  5. JG said on January 28, 2012 at 12:11 am

    This Microsoft employee hasn’t done his homework.

    1. Google Plus is better than Facebook and Gmail is integrated with that (however, I do realize this is quite objective so don’t criticize this. I’m simply pointing out Google has an equivalent service).

    2. Google Docs and Google Photos let you share as much as you want through email.

    3. You don’t need Office at all since you have Google Docs, which is better than Hotmail’s Office app.

    4. You don’t need to sweep thanks to Gmail’s Important feature. Simply read everything that’s listed in important, and hit Mark all read to take care of everything else.

    Microsoft still can’t compete with Google even if Google gets a trifle overwhelming to the corporate minded user:)

  6. MacMac said on January 27, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    YES !!! YES !!! YES !!!
    Switch to hotmail RIGHT F*#CKING NOW AND IN DROVES, because that will totally NOT – I REPEAT – NOT usher in a second dark age of the web, microsoft said “trust us” !!!
    *raises “sarcasm” flag for the humor-impaired*

    On a more serious note, if you are considering dumping Gmail, I recommend you stay away from hotmail too.
    Try a privacy-oriented service like LavaBit, they have a pretty good free option.

  7. Morely the IT Guy said on January 27, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Why in the name of the Flying Spaghetti Monster would anyone with an IQ higher than 50 ever switch *to* Hotmail?

  8. Frank said on January 27, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Googles spam filters are far superior to any other company out there. Just based on this alone I will stay with them.

    As for searching, I use DuckDuckGo just like VirtualGuy. I don’t want my search linked to what my friends +1 or send me in email.

  9. Cristi Constantin said on January 27, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Hotmail is completely useless on Linux ; it only uses POP3.
    What’s the point in using a mail client if it only works on WIndows ?

  10. virtualguy said on January 27, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Further, if the general public knew what Google was doing (and they don’t) I believe Google would be shooting themselves in the foot with their invasive practices and exploitation of private, personal information.

  11. virtualguy said on January 27, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    I stopped using Hotmail years ago because the SPAM was just intolerable. I don’t know if anything has changed. Yahoo’s SPAM filter has gotten better, but still can’t hold a candle to Gmail. Gmail SPAM filters are the best in the business.

    But, it seems to me, if I’m not logged into a Google account, and I’ve deleted my browser and LSO cookies (every time i close the browser), I don’t see how my Google account data (Gmail only) can significantly influence the results on a Google search, because Google can’t readily connect my search querry with my account. Not unless they are somehow using my IP address to indentify me with the account data, and that is a flawed model because residential internet accounts have dynamic IP addresses.

    But, the very fact that Google thinks they know what I’m searching for better than I do and attempts to skew the search results based on what they *think* I want is the primary reason why is MY default search engine. F*ck Google and the prissy little horse they rode in on.

  12. Robert Palmar said on January 27, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    I have and use both a Gmail account and Hotmail (MSN).
    Up until recent changes in Hotmail I thought Gmail
    had a superior web interface but not any longer.

    If one uses Outlook or the Windows Live Mail client
    the Hotmail Connector is lightning fast and Gmail
    under IMAP takes a bit of time to sync folders.
    The Hotmail Connector is much faster than
    IMAP for any provider using that protocol.

    Other email clients only use IMAP or
    POP to read accounts so the advantage
    disappears if you use one of those clients.

  13. Yoav said on January 27, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    How low has Google sunk that you are writing this post? This would be unimaginable a few years ago.

  14. KoalaBear said on January 27, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Microsoft can’t stand that Gmail is superiour. Also #donotwant FB.

    I’ll stay at Google.

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