How to migrate your email from to

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 11, 2012
Updated • Nov 30, 2012
Email, Gmail, Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft launched the new mail interface on the last day of July 2012 with the intention to replace its traditional email service Hotmail with the new service eventually. Hotmail users currently can switch between the old and new interface as they please, but can only make use of some of the new features if they are logged in to the new interface. users can integrate emails from other services such as in to the account, and a new blog post at the Outlook blog highlights how this is done. The post begins with a list of features that Gmail users get when they switch to Outlook as their web email service. The list includes an address book that can be connected with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to receive information about contacts directly from within the Outlook website, SkyDrive and Office web apps built-into to the service, integration of Facebook messaging, and automatic filters that highlight specific email types under quick views in the interface.


Migrating from Gmail to Outlook

If you migrate your Gmail address to Outlook you retain the full functionality of that address. This means that you can send and receive messages, get access to all contacts and access to all past email messages. The thing that changes is the interface you access those features on.

There are five steps to the process:

  • Creation of a Hotmail or Outlook account. Can be skipped if you already have a Windows Live, Hotmail, MSN or Outlook account.
  • Forward all Gmail mails to Outlook
  • Configure Outlook so that you can send emails using your Gmail address
  • Import your Gmail address book to Outlook
  • Import all your old mail from Gmail

The Outlook account

This is without doubt the easiest step. If you already have a Windows Live, MSN or Hotmail account, you can sign right into and skip the rest of this chapter. If you are using a Gmail address for Microsoft services such as Xbox Live or SkyDrive, you already have a Microsoft Account and can use it to sign in to as well.

If you want, you can rename your account to get an email address, but that is optional.

If you do not have a Microsoft Account yet, you can sign up for an account over at the outlook website linked above.

Forward Gmail messages

You need to head over to Gmail and sign in to your account on the site. If you have troubles doing so check out our Gmail login troubleshooting guide to resolve the issues.

Please note that the first Gmail link above leads right to the Forwarding and POP/IMAP settings of the Gmail account. Here you need to find the forwarding menu and enable the forwarding of all Gmail messages to your email address (that is the email address that you use to sign in to

gmail forward email

When you configure the forwarding, you will receive a confirmation message to your outlook email address. This email contains a confirmation link that you need to click on to confirm the forwarding. Go back to Gmail once you have made the confirmation and enable the forwarding in the same settings menu on the website. You can keep a copy of the email in your Gmail inbox, archive the message, mark it, or have it deleted.

Send Gmail emails from Outlook

If you do not want to send emails using your Gmail account from Outlook skip this step. Otherwise, click on the settings icon next to your name on the Outlook website and select more mail settings from the options there. Locate sending/receiving email from other accounts under managing your account here, and click on add another account to send from on the next screen.

managing your account

Enter your Gmail email address under add an email address here and click on send verification email afterwards. If you have enabled forwarding already, you should see the email in your inbox. You can alternatively head over to Gmail if you have configured the forwarding to not delete emails that get forwarded.

Open the email and click on the verification link to confirm the process. Once done, you can select to send emails from your Gmail address from the outlook interface.

Adding Gmail contacts to Outlook

To import all of your Gmail contacts to Outlook move your mouse cursor over the outlook logo on the website and click on the down arrow that appears next to it. Select the people icon and then Google Contacts from the import options.

Just follow the wizard from this point on. Please note that you need to enter your Google account credentials during the process.

Click "Connect," then enter your Gmail sign-in information. You'll see a confirmation screen, which shows you that Gmail is confirming that Microsoft is asking to connect to your Gmail contacts. Click "Allow access." You'll get a final confirmation screen, and you can click "Done."

Microsoft notes that it may take a while before the contacts start to appear in your outlook address book.

Import old Gmail emails to Outlook

You can import all your old Gmail emails using Microsoft's TrueSwitch service. Just visit the website and do the following here:

import gmail emails

  • Enter your Gmail address and password under "Other email"
  • Enter your Windows Live, Outlook or Hotmail email address and password under "hotmail e-mail"
  • Select what you want to copy to the Outlook account (email messages, address book, calendar)
  • You can also tell contacts about your switch, with options to personalize the message and choose the contacts that you want to notify.
  • Lastly, you can configure the service to forward Gmail emails for 90 days to Outlook.

As you may have noticed, there is a bit of redundancy here. If you have already imported your contacts, there is no need to keep the option enabled. The same is true for the forwarding which you have configured in step 1.

Closing Words

If you prefer to use a web-based email client then it is a matter of personal taste which you choose.  Both services offer the means to control the other service's email address. While we are at it: do you prefer a specific web interface?


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  1. JMGG said on January 19, 2012 at 8:25 am

    You said that Outlook isn’t your main email client, so which is your main one?

    1. BalaC said on January 19, 2012 at 9:42 am

      I think its thunderbird

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on January 19, 2012 at 10:15 am

      It is Mozilla Thunderbird.

  2. Salaam said on September 24, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Awesome! This actually solved my problem… what a stupid bug.

  3. Claud said on December 19, 2012 at 2:08 am

    If this is the same bug that I’ve encountered, there may be another fix: (1) hover over open Outlook item in Taskbar, cursor up to hover over Outlook window item, and right-click; (2) this should give you Restore / Move / Size / Minimize / Maximize — choose Move or Size; (3) use your cursor keys, going arbitrarily N/S/E/W, to try to move or size the Outlook window back into view. Basically, the app behaves as though it were open in a 0x0 window, or at a location that’s offscreen, and this will frequently work to resize and/or move the window. Don’t forget to close while resized/moved, so that Outlook remembers the size/position for next time.

    1. Lynda said on February 12, 2013 at 3:37 pm

      THANK YOU Claude!!! I could get the main window to launch but could not get any other message window to show on the desktop. You are my hero!!!!

    2. Chad said on November 20, 2018 at 4:24 pm

      Solved my issue! 6 years later and this is still problem…

    3. Ivan X said on January 21, 2021 at 4:50 pm

      Fantastic. Thank you. Size did the trick.

  4. Andrew said on October 26, 2013 at 7:06 am

    This solved my Outlook problem, too. Thank you. :)

  5. Charles said on December 7, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Thank you so much, this started happening to me today and was causing big problems. You are a life saver, I hope I can help you in some way some day.

  6. garth said on November 7, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    You are a god – thank you!

  7. Faisal said on February 9, 2015 at 10:09 am

    thanks a lot…. work like charm.. :-)

  8. Simon said on March 24, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    Yah…thanks Claude. I’ve been having the same problem and tried all the suggestions…your solution was the answer. It had resized itself to a 0/0 box. Cheers

  9. Olu said on April 14, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Excellent post. This had me baffled even trying to accurately describe the problem. This fixed it for me.
    Thank you

  10. Coenig said on July 23, 2015 at 7:36 am

    Thanks a lot for the article. Don’t know why it happenend, don’t know how it got fixed, but it was really annoying and now it works :-)

  11. Fali said on January 20, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Thanks a lot. I was facing this issue from past 3 week. I tried everything but no resolution. The issue was happening intermittently and mainly when I was changing the display of screen ( as i use 2 monitors). The only option i had was to do system restore. But thanks to you.

    1. MIki said on January 10, 2019 at 11:54 am

      I’ve been tried to sole this problem for 12hours. Your comment about changing the display of screen helped me a lot!! Thanks!!

  12. Christina said on January 20, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    Thank you…don’t know why this happened but your instructions helped me fix it. Running Windows 10 and office pro 2007

  13. Oz said on July 22, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Great tip! Thanks!

  14. Tracy said on September 1, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    Worked for me, too – thank you!!!

  15. shawn said on September 9, 2016 at 10:25 am

    It’s Worked for me, too
    thank you very much!

  16. Jari said on October 31, 2016 at 11:53 am

    I had a similar issue with Outlook 2013 on Windows 10 and this helped me to fix it. Thank you very much!

  17. Michel H said on November 30, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Thank you so much. Solved!
    Considering you published this in 2012, incredible not been debugged by Microsoft.
    Thank you again. M

  18. Ziad Bitar said on January 9, 2017 at 2:00 am

    This problem was faced by only one user logging to TS 2008 r2 using outlook 2010.The issue was resolved.


  19. Anonymous said on February 15, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    Great tip. Thank you!!!! If it helps, I had to use the Control Key and the arrow keys at the same time to bring my window back into view. Worked like a charm.

  20. Rochelle said on March 6, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Thank you, this worked !!!!

  21. anom1234 said on May 20, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    Man, you are a fucking god. Thanks a lot, what an annoying bug!!

  22. JC said on October 12, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    Awesome, this post solved the issue. Many thanks!

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