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New in Gmail : Anyone can import Mail & Contact in Gmail

A few months ago, we added the ability to import your old mail and contacts to Gmail. We made this feature available for all newly-created Gmail accounts first, since people new to Gmail benefit most from being able to move their stuff with them. Friends who wanted to use Gmail but kept telling us how painful it would be finally made the switch!

But many old time Gmail users (including us) also have old accounts lurking. Often, these accounts predate Gmail, and occasionally we have to log into them to look at some old confirmation email or find the email address for someone with whom we've lost touch.

Now, with just a few clicks anyone can copy all of that to your Gmail account. It's easy — just go to the Settings > Accounts & Import page and click "Import mail and contacts." A window will pop out to lead you through the short import process. If you want us to continue to forward any new mail your other account gets for 30 days, we can do that too.

Copying mail over usually takes a couple days, occasionally up to a week — but eventually it all arrives. And once it's done, you can forget your old account and enjoy having everything in one place.


Google has just enabled its Gmail  tool that allows existing users to import emails and contacts from other non-Gmail accounts — new sign-ups for the service have been able to do it for a few months.

Sign into Gmail, click the Settings option and look under the "Accounts and Import" option for the button labeled "Import mail and contacts". Click it to trigger a wizard that leads you through the steps necessary for grabbing old messages and contact lists from other non-Gmail accounts.

The process does hinge upon the messages still being on the server, of course — something that may not be the case with POP3 accounts. The tool is also different to the Gmail option for checking external POP3 accounts for new messages on a regular basis — the import is a one-off, while POP3 checks are ongoing.

With Gmail currently offering 7360Mb of free storage, now is a good time to consider consolidating all of your old messages into one place. Even if you don't delete the old messages, copying them into the Gmail inbox will make them easily searchable and you'll have a handy backup in case those old, unused email servers go down (or in Hotmail 's case, your account gets closed after 365 days' inactivity).

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