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Upgrade from Gmail to Outlook.com in 5 easy steps

Just last week we introduced a new personal email service called Outlook.com. In my previous post we described how to upgrade from Hotmail to Outlook.com. Now, let’s take a look at how to upgrade from Gmail to Outlook.

Get modern email without giving up your Gmail account

Upgrading from Gmail to Outlook.com offers many advantages including:

  • A fast, modern UI that shows you more of your email with less clutter
  • An address book that connects to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, so all your contacts are in one place
  • Pictures from Facebook in messages from your friends, messaging that lets you chat with your friends on Facebook right from your Inbox
  • Great tools to help handle newsletters, deals and more
  • SkyDrive and Office built-in to make it easy to share and collaborate

And, of course, Outlook.com respects your privacy – it won’t use the contents of your personal email to show you ads; in fact, you won’t see ads when reading email from friends.

You don’t even have to tell people to change the way they communicate with you. You can keep your Gmail address and can get all your mail right in Outlook. Here are the five steps:

  1. Get an Outlook.com account
  2. Forward your new mail from Gmail
  3. Set up Outlook.com to be able to send email using your Gmail address
  4. Connect your address book to Gmail
  5. Import all your old mail

Step 1: Get an Outlook.com account

When you’re upgrading from Gmail, you’ll fall into one of three camps:

  • You already have a Hotmail account (@hotmail, @msn, @live, etc.)
  • You use your Gmail address to access Microsoft services, like Xbox Live or SkyDrive (@gmail)
  • You don’t have a Microsoft account and you don’t use any Microsoft services

We’ll cover each of these, below.

Already have a Hotmail account (@hotmail, @msn, @live, etc.)?

Just sign in to http://outlook.com with your Hotmail account to upgrade it to Outlook.com. We’ll show you below how to get your Gmail messages delivered to your Outlook.com inbox.

Do you use your Gmail address to access Microsoft services, like Xbox Live or SkyDrive?

If yes, it means you already have a Microsoft Account, and can use it to sign in to Outlook.com.

(NOTE:  You can rename your account to an @outlook.com address, but this is entirely optional. You can read instructions for renaming your account in our upgrading from Hotmail post .)

Go ahead and sign in to http://outlook.com using your Gmail address and Microsoft password. If you’ve never verified your Gmail address with Microsoft, then you’ll be asked to do so.

No Microsoft account?

It’s easy to get a new Outlook.com account. Just go to http://outlook.com, click on “Sign up” and fill out the form to create a new account.

You’ll get a welcome message, and then you’ll be in your clean, new Inbox. Keep this window open while you do the next step.

Step 2: Tell Gmail to forward your new mail to Outlook.com as it arrives

It’s easy to set up your Gmail account to forward new messages to your Outlook.com inbox. First you have to hook up the two accounts for forwarding and then tell Gmail to start.

To set up forwarding:

  • Click here to sign in to Gmail
  • Click on “Add a forwarding address.” Type in your Outlook.com account name (e.g., myname@outlook.com)
  • Make sure the address is correct and click OK in the confirmation dialogs

Gmail will send a confirmation email to your Outlook.com inbox. Return to the Outlook.com inbox (the window you kept open in Step 1), click the “refresh” icon next to Folders (or just click on “Inbox”), and you should see the confirmation email.

 

 

Open the message and click the confirmation link. You’ve just confirmed you want Gmail to forward email to your Outlook.com account.

Now you’re ready to tell Gmail to start forwarding:

  • Click here to go back to the setting page for Gmail forwarding
  • Click “Forward a copy of incoming mail to” your Outlook account. By default, this also keeps a copy of the email in Gmail’s Inbox.
  • Click on “Save Changes”

Leave the Gmail setting page open – you’ll come back to it in the next step.

Step 3: Set up your Gmail address as a “send-as” address.

You’ll want to enable Outlook to use your Gmail address when you send mail. This lets Outlook know that messages forwarded from Gmail were really sent to you, and lets you avoid getting the message “This content has been blocked for your safety” when you read those messages.

(You can skip this step if you used your Gmail address to sign in to Outlook.com. You’re already done!)

In Outlook, click on the Settings “cog” in the upper right corner, then click on “More mail settings”

 

 

  • Under “Managing your account, “click “Sending/receiving email from other accounts”
  • On the next screen, under “You can send mail from these accounts,” click “Add another account to send from.”
  • Enter your Gmail account name in the box labeled “Add an email address,” and click “Send verification email”

 

     

    Now, go back to the Gmail settings page (see Step 2) and you should see a new email from Outlook that says “Outlook: Verify your email address.” Open this email, and click the verification link.

    You’ll get a verification message, and you can click “Return to Inbox.”

    That’s it. Now, when you compose an email, or reply to an email, you can select your Gmail address in the “From” drop-down menu. But you don’t even need to do that when you reply to a message forwarded from Gmail -Outlook automatically does it for you.

    A side note on “Sent on behalf”

    You may notice that messages you send using your Gmail address will be sent “on behalf of” your Gmail account. This means that Outlook is actually sending the email, but setting the “From:” address to be your Gmail address. The From: header in most email clients will look something like this:

    From: myname@outlook.com on behalf of Dick Craddock (myname@gmail.com)

    We’ve gotten feedback from some of you that you don’t like the “on behalf of header” and so we’re working to change this – stay tuned!

    Step 4: Link your Gmail contacts to Outlook.com

    You can easily import all your Gmail contacts to Outlook. We’ll go to the People page to import contacts. Just click on the little “down-arrow” next to Outlook in the header (it will show up when you hover over the header”).

     

    Then click on “People”

     

     

    Now, click on “Google contacts”

     

     

    You’ll see a wizard that will lead you through connected your Outlook.com account to your Gmail contacts:

     

     

     

    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.”

    You’ll also get a confirmation email in your Outlook.com inbox telling you that you’ve connected Contacts from your Gmail account.

    It might take a little while for your Gmail Contacts to be imported. When they are, they will show up right in Outlook – both on the People and Compose pages.

    Step 5: Get your old mail into Outlook.com

    You’ve already got all new Gmail messages to be forwarded to your Outlook.com account. You might also want to import your older messages as well. You can use a tool called “TrueSwitch” to do that.

    Click here to go to TrueSwitch. You’ll notice that this page refers to “Hotmail” accounts, but it works just great for Outlook accounts. Since you’ve already set up forwarding from Gmail, Sending from Gmail, and connected your contacts, all you need to do is get old mail and optionally your calendar events.

    • Go to TrueSwitch
    • Enter your Gmail name and password in the box labeled “Other e-mail:”
    • Enter your Outlook name and password in the box labeled “Hotmail e-mail:”
    • Uncheck everything EXCEPT the first checkbox, “Copy your e-mail messages”

    Click “Copy to Windows Live Hotmail.”

    You’ll get a confirmation screen. Note that it may take up to 24 hours to copy all of the email from your Gmail account into your Outlook account. Your Gmail mail will show up in a new folder called “GMAIL_Mail”, your Gmail labels will be mapped to folders in Outlook.com, and you’ll get a confirmation email with details.

    Using Outlook.com

    We hope you’ll love using Outlook.com. We’ll be making continual improvements to Outlook throughout the Preview period, and we’d love to hear from you. You can give us feedback right from Outlook.com – just click on the Settings “cog” in the upper right corner and click “Feedback.”

    Thanks for using Outlook.com.

    Dick Craddock, Group Program Manager, Outlook.com

     

    Join the conversation

    58 comments
    1. I would consider moving to Outlook.com from Gmail, but I don’t know if there is a way to keep my organization. Currently, I either delete or label everything that comes through my inbox. When I label an email, I take off the Inbox label, thus removing it from my Inbox view. All of the emails that I keep are sorted (work, school, personal, etc.) in labels. Is there any way to carry over that organization to Outlook.com (through folders, categories, or whatever)?

    2. The "sent on behalf of…" problem is the only thing keeping me at Gmail. I’m really glad to hear that you guys are working on that!

    3. Thanks for the walk through, David.

      I’ve noticed that imported email is not indexed. So searching imported mail is slow, but new mail sent directly to @Outlook.com can be searched super fast.

      Maybe imported email can also be indexed. Love the rebranded and enhanced Outlook.com!! Nice work, team. Beautiful

      • If that’s the case, the managers at outlook.com need to fire some techs. Especially if they’re trying to take back people form Gmail, doing something like this is stupid.

        Atleast your search works, mine doesn’t work at all.

    4. Thank you for finally addressing the "on behalf of" issue. I’m glad to hear that you are looking to change this – I’m looking forward to centralizing everything on Outlook.com once that is fixed. It is literally the only thing keeping me from using Outlook.com.

    5. What about migrating Gmail labeling? To me that’s the most important part and why I can’t just transfer all my daily activity over to Outlook.com.

    6. We need either IMAP or a full exchange so we can use this on a MAC. I would switch 100% if I could see my folders on a MAC client but now I have to use webmail

      • That’s exactly what they want. You don’t the advertising when you use a desktop client.

    7. I’m having a problem when switching from Hotmail to Outlook.com and nobody can help me. Why not support? Answers.microsoft.com could not solve my problem. 4 days I cannot use mail.

    8. There is no way to chat with GMail contacts through Outlook. Please add that feature just like Facebook chat.

    9. No, thanks.
      I have no Gmail account.

    10. I would happily switch today if there was some option of IMAP support, even paid.

      • Why IMAP when you can use ActiveSync? ActiveSync is so much better than IMAP as it also syncs calendar and contacts and it works on pretty much every client.

    11. There is no way to chat with GMail contacts through Outlook. Please add that feature

      • and i don’t want notifications of everything….. it creates hooch pooch on inbox

    12. Sir please provide an option that if i import contact from face-book i don’t want its notifications to be my outlook email id
      also i would like if all my contacts get updated and are kept in the form of excel document in the alpabtical order.
      Also arranging button for from which to block emails looking on main accout just by click
      there shouldn’t be such a big step as creating filter on outlook account as it is on gmail

      • linking your facebook account with outlook, will not change the email address you had used to register with facebook.
        Also unless you go into your facebook account settings and change it yourself, your email address for facebook notifications will not be changed by outlook.com
        No reason to worry here.
        Also if you go into the People Hub, the contacts will be displayed in alphabetical order.

    13. So far I love the new Outlook.com! THANKS. But…can I pay a fee for no advertising?

    14. There are several advantages to using Forwarding. For instance, forwarding happens instantly, whereas POP is polled every 30 minutes.

    15. Wow i love outlook!! But will it still be the same if i have a @hotmail to a @outlook???

      • You can use your @hotmail account with Outlook.com. There is no need to change your account. Just sign-in at http://outlook.com with your Hotmail account.

    16. Some things I have problems with…happens on latest builds of Chrome Stable, FF, and IE9. So I am pretty sure, it ain’t me. This is my sole PC, but I tried to load Outlook on a PC at another location, and these same things happened. I also emailed a friend who is a well-known tech analyst, and he says he doesn’t see any of the things I am describing.

      When I open the mail program, more often than not, the color schemes in the "Color Schemes" JPEG…never fill in. They stay gray.

      In the "Messaging Panel," it takes five, ten minutes to sign in. All you get is the "Signing in……. " I was IMing someone @ their FB account…I closed the Outlook page, then came back to it…and it would never sign back in. So that conversation was lost.

      Same for "People Sign-In." Takes forever to load, if it ever does.

      Some other random things–
      *How do you clear a conversation out of Messaging Panel once it’s over?
      *Can you guys make some kind of Email Notifier that works for the major browsers?

    17. ah and one more thing—-MAILTO: in browsers like Chrome and FF; how does that get addressed?

    18. I tried to use Trueswich to import my old emails to Gmail, but does not work
      I waited well over 24 hours but after a message that the work is in progress does not happen more than anything and no emails is imported

      • Hi Roberto, are you still having issues with TrueSwitch? If so, send me the email address you’re trying to switch TO. You can send to my microsoft.com account using davidden@. Thanks.

    19. I have set OutLook.com up twice without a problem but when I sign off and then try to sign back in using http://outlook.com I keep getting connected to my old Windows Live Hot mail account. What am I doing wrong?

    20. I’m having a problem with TrueSwitch, where it is telling me my gmail account information is not correct (invalid password), but I know it is.

      Is there a problem with the authentication between TrueSwitch and Gmail now?

      • False alarm – seems Google was blocking it – I got a notification in google that it was detecting unauthorized access, and I had to approve it – might be worth mentioning this in the steps above —

    21. is there any few feature with outlook.com like
      if i delete my mail in outlook.com also gets deleted in gmail.com
      or if i read a mail in outlook.com also marks mail as read in gmail.com?

    22. OK, I have outlook.com now. But I also have two personal domains that I receive on Windows Live Mail. How do I connect them to Outlook and receive all my emails in one place?

    23. I like the new look of Outlook.com, but am concerned that the Spam filtering is not as effective as that of Gmail. I’ve run a test where I’ve configured the same email account (POP3) to be received by both Gmail and Outlook.com. Gmail filtered all but 7 of the 3,000+ Spam messages sent to the POP3 account, but Outlook.com allowed over 1,000 to pass to the inbox. Is there a way to improve the effectiveness of Junk Mail/Phishin Scam filters for Outlook.com? I’d like to get away from Gmail but can’t justify the switch unless the filtering can approach the effectiveness of Gmail.

    24. Will it ever be possible to import from Google Apps accounts (Gmail, but your address doesn’t end in gmail.com)? TrueSwitch doesn’t like this. My usual backup plan is massive IMAP copying, but outlook.com doesn’t yet support IMAP, and I’m not comfortable writing an ActiveSync tool for this.

    25. I love the look&feel and functionalities of the new Outlook.com. My only issue is that the mobile experience on Android devices is painful. The Hotmail app is not optimized for tablet and doesn’t provide conversation-view and archive options. The stock Email client with ActiveSync works quite well (but you can’t change the Outgoing Name…) but again, no archive options. Will MS ever release an Outlook.com android app? Thanks!

    26. Is there a way when i delete my mail in outlook.com also gets deleted in gmail.com
      or if i read a mail in outlook.com also marks mail as read in gmail.com?

    27. TrueSwitch isn’t working for me either, migrating messages from GMail, even with the 10 minute verification.

      Possible other alternatives?

    28. This is a dumb idea. Why would anyone want to use Gmail as a "holding" web service forwarding emails to outlook.com? What about other POP accounts I use in Apple mail? I only got this far because Outlook 2007 is acting up and Gmail keeps flooding my inbox with more mail. Sorry, Microsoft, I’ll pass. Think of something different. Don’t copy what everyone else is doing.

    29. I love everything Microsoft does and admire the team of engineers who work for this company. I wish I had 30% of their ability and intelligence to use and create such wonderful tools. Congratulations!

    30. The new Outlook.com looks great but there is still the search issue! I don’t know if the problem is only with imported messages or with all (when there’s a lot of them), but I’ve imported my emails (about 7000) and I can’t use the search for anything, very frustrating! Same issue is reported many times, for instance here http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windowslive/forum/mail-files/the-search-mail-function-both-basic-and-advanced/61b1d24a-09f9-4578-ac10-756e2c4713cd.

      Is there any chance thas something will be done about this? If not I would be unfortunately forced to switch back to Gmail.

      Thanks!

      • Now it seems the search starts to work on the imported messages but still it seems kind of buggy. For instance when I search "to:(some@recipient.com)" (na matter if simple or advanced search), the search seem not to find some messages that have multiple recipients and "some@recipient.com" is one of them. What’s weird is that some multiple-recipient mails seem to be found but some not. (Maybe the indexing wasn’t finished yet? Still it’s weird…)

    31. Once you have removed the "on behalf of" I’m over from Gmail to outlook.com, as it is, it isn’t good enough.

    32. it would be great if we can se the busy and the away contacts in web messenger :)

    33. Hi! At the moment Im using Google Business Apps! I have tried to import the emails from there into Outlook.com. Everything works fine… but the LABELS are not imported! All the e-mails are downloaded in one single folder in outlook.com. As I have too many emails I dont want starting sort them out manually. Is there any solution to this?
      Kind regards,
      Cristi

    34. having a hard time adding my contacts from gmail to outlook the csv will not import!!! Is this a bug?

    35. how do we add our outlook.com contacts to outlook preview?

    36. I added my Google’s contacts but their secondary email isn’t displayed by outlook.com. It’s a big loss, if you ask me. There is something that I can to do about this?

    37. Umm… Quick question about the the Outlook preview…

      I was using Google Apps Free Edition so I could get a professional looking email address for myself. I wanted to switch to Outlook; however, the only way you can add a domain to an Outlook email address is via Office365 and I don’t have the money cause I am only a 15 year old.

      So I tried adding it as a send from address which is working well but I would like to log-in with it…

      Also I tried using the TrueSwitch tool, but it didn’t work cause (again), I have a custom domain name…

      Can somebody please help me?

    38. Get modern email without giving up your Gmail account…yeah…outlook.com so modern still don´t have IMAP…a lot of modern…

      • IMAP? Why? Look there is POP with download messages to your client and there is IMAP with allow to work with your mail through other applications. But since outlook.com in itself is an aplication it is like IMAP. Why you need IMAP for?

    39. I would like to switch from Gmail to Outlook.com, but I have come to rely on the ability to assign multiple labels to emails, and so reverting back to only being able to file an email in one folder would be a retrograde step for me.

    40. I have and email account that I want to keep however the domain expired. It is annoying as every few seconds it is asking for a password. How to make this dormant as I need these emails?

    41. Rather than forwarding my gmail email I want to access it with POP3. This was not working and I suspected it had to do with two-factor authentication (which I use on gmail). Then I found out that you need to create an application-specific password in order for outlook.com to access my gmail. Once I did this, I could access my gmail account using POP3.

    42. The only thing stopping me from moving to outlook.com is the string "on behalf " being added while sending emails as a different account.

      In addition to POP3, can we please add support for SMTP and avoid this From address change while sending an email?

    Comments are closed.