There are at least a couple of reasons I can think of where you would want to migrate a current Gmail account to another one: marriage, divorce, or plain desire to move from the teenager-ish handle (aka calisurfer69) to something a bit more professional, ya know… career-worthy.
I had to do this with my wife’s accounts tonight, and I realized that, though it didn’t take me long, there are a few littles which I had to look up all over the web. So in this article, I will guide you through the steps required to successfully move your Gmail account.
The assumptions are essentially the scenarios I dealt with:
- You have a Gmail account – we’ll call it: firstname.lastname@example.org
- You have a significant amount of mail in that account
- You have a calendar, which is shared, and you have a calendars which are shared with you
- You have all your contacts, connected to email@example.com
- You have a Google Voice, which you would also like to move.
- You have a mobile device. (in this case we’ll talk about an iPhone) to which you want to forward mail to.
note: in this step, it may be beneficial to open either 2 browsers, or open up one window in Firefox/Chrome or IE 8-9, and then another one in “Private Browsing” or “Incognito” mode. This way, you will be able to sign in to both accounts, and avoid having to type your password over and over again while switching.
Move your contacts:
To move your contacts, the process is very simple. Head over to your Contacts, then click on Contact Export under the More Actions… dropdown. Save all your contacts on your desktop, or any other temporary location, then go to your new email, and go to Contact Import under the More Actions… dropdown.
If all went well, your contacts should show up in your Gmail.
Move your calendar:
The calendar has a little “gotcha”.
Go to your calendar in firstname.lastname@example.org, and select Calendar Settings… from the top right “Gear”.
Click on the “Calendars” tab. At this point, you will be tempted to select the “Export Calendars” option. Don’t. In my experience, this does not seem to import correctly on the other end of the process. Instead, follow this process:
- Select the calendar you want to export.
- Scroll down to the “Private Address” area, then right-click on the “iCal” link, and select Save As… then save that file called: basic.ics to a temporary location.
- Now go to your new account, and open your calendar settings, and once again, click on “Calendars“
- Click on “Import” and browse to the basic.ics file that you saved in the previous step.
- Select the calendar that you want to import your events to, and click on “Import“.
If all went well, you will get a confirmation with the number of events that got imported.