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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.
Upgrading from Gmail to Outlook.com offers many advantages including:
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:
When you're upgrading from Gmail, you'll fall into one of three camps:
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.
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:
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:
Leave the Gmail setting page open - you'll come back to it in the next step.
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"
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: email@example.com on behalf of Dick Craddock (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
"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!"
This is great, I can't wait to have a way to send messages without the "on behalf of"!
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.
There is no way to chat with GMail contacts through Outlook. Please add that feature just like Facebook chat.
I have no Gmail account.
I would happily switch today if there was some option of IMAP support, even paid.
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)?
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!
Argh! Everything about Outlook.com is starting to drive me nuts!
Ok, first rant: it's impossible to post on these blogs if using Chrome! The top of the page indicates you are logged in, but the comments section keeps telling me I'm not logged in. I thought something was wrong with my account so I tried to remove it. Not possible. So I created a new one. Same problem. On a whim I tried IE instead of Chrome. Voila! Sorry, but IE lost me a few years ago for poor performance and it's going to take a lot to ever get me to switch back.
Next rant, not necessarily Microsoft's fault, but TrueSwitch doesn't support Google Apps accounts.
Ok, so I should be able to use POP, but I've been trying for the last week and it's simply not possible. It copies a few thousand messages and then just stops. Sometimes it displays an error in the settings, and other times it just stops. I've waited 3 days on this last attempt and it never finished. It ran full speed for a few hours and then acted like it was done...and it never got past 2007 (I have GMail back to 2005).
Let me finish by mentioning that after a week of playing around with Outlook.com I'm not sure it's ready to replace GMail for me. The inability to transfer messages, failed searches (not always, but often), feeble filtering options (seriously, I can only select ONE search criteria??? and only apply filters to NEW messages???), and account setup troubles (alias woes, need to merge, etc) have all caused me to give up on Outlook.com for now.
I like my new Outlook.com email address(es) and will just forward those to my GMail account for now. I'll check back with Outlook.com now and then and see if it's matured enough to replace GMail.
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.
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.
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.
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
I don't know how people can take switching seriously, when a simple and crucial feature as search does not work (for MANY people!). View this thread on their help forums here:
There is no way to contact Outlook about this and it seems no one is replying to the feedback section. It's been over a week and this feature is still broken. Crazy!
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.