How to Import Mail and Folders from Gmail into Outlook.com

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Once clean and simple and functional, Gmail has turned to being convoluted, complicated and confusing? What was once Hotmail (and ill-equipped, slow, cumbersome) is now swift, useful and stylish Outlook.com?

Of course, you have taken your current email activity to Outlook.com and, I gather, set it up for sending new messages and replies using the Gmail address to which so many people (including yourself) have become accustomed.

Maybe you have configured Gmail to forward newly incoming emails to your Outlook.com address, too.

Did you know, though, that bringing your email past from Gmail to Outlook.com is easy, uncomplicated and—as far as your actions are concerned to take—fast? Outlook.com will do all the configuration and connecting, and it will create folders for your Gmail labels, too; all done conveniently in the background.

Import Mail and Folders from Gmail into Outlook.com

To have Outlook.com pick up mail and labels (as folders) from a Gmail account:

  • Click the settings gear icon () in the top navigation bar in Outlook.com.
  • Select Options in the menu that shows.
  • Follow the Import email accounts link under Managing your account.
  • Now select Google under Choose from where you want to import your account:.
  • To have Outlook.com create a new top-level folder (and a set of sub-folders) under which all messages imported from Gmail will be placed:
    • Click Options.
    • Make sure Import email into new set of folders and subfolders, including new folders for custom labels. is selected under Choose how you want to import your email..
  • To make sure Outlook.com imports messages from your Gmail inbox into your Outlook.com Inbox folder, sent emails from Sent Mail (Gmail) to Sent (Outlook.com), etc.—with new folders created for custom Gmail folders or labels:
    • Click Options.
    • Make sure Import email into existing folders such as Inbox, Sent and Draft. Create new folders for custom labels. is selected under Choose how you want to import your email..
  • Click Start.
  • If you are logged in to the Gmail account from which you want to import messages:
    • Click Accept under Microsoft would like to:.
  • If you are logged in to a Gmail account different from the one whose mail you wish to import into Outlook.com:
    • Click your name or email address in the top Google navigation bar.
    • Now click Sign out.
  • If you are not logged in to any Gmail account:
    • If the desired account appears in a list under Choose an account:
      • Click the desired account and email address under Choose an account.
      • Type the Gmail account's password over Password under Sign in with your Google Account.
      • Click Sign in.
    • If the desired account does not appear in the list:
      • Click Add account.
      • Type the desired Gmail email address over Email under Sign in with your Google Account.
      • Now enter the Gmail account's password over Password under Sign in with your Google Account.
      • Click Sign in.
    • Continue as above (under If you are logged in to the Gmail account from which you want to import messages:).
  • Optionally, click Open Gmail under Set up forwarding from your Gmail account and configure the Gmail account to automatically forward newly incoming emails to your Outlook.com address.
    Otherwise, click No, thanks.

Outlook.com will import folders and messages from the Gmail account in the background.

Custom folders and, depending on the option you chose, inbox, drafts, archive and sent mail will appear under a folder named "Imported example@gmail.com" (for the "example@gmail.com" Gmail account).

While the importation is in progress, you can follow its status in your Outlook.com's top navigation bar, e.g., Importing (35%). An email will let you know when all messages have been imported.

(Updated October 2014)