Import Your Email Messages and Contacts Into Gmail

Consolidate your email accounts

What to Know

  • In Gmail, select Settings (gear) > See All Settings > Accounts and Imports tab.
  • Select Import mail and contacts. Enter your email address and select Continue > Continue.
  • Select Yes to confirm permissions, select your options, and then select Start import.

This article explains how to import your messages and contacts, including data from a Hotmail or Windows Live email account, into Gmail. You'll need access to the desktop version of Gmail to complete this transfer.

Import Your Messages and Contacts Into Gmail

Before you start the import process, prepare your account by copying any messages you want to keep from your Deleted Items and Junk Email folders into your Inbox (you may not have any messages you want to keep that are in these folders—after all, these are folders where you usually just have emails you want to get rid of and do not need—but just in case). 

To migrate your messages, folders, and address book contacts to Gmail, follow these steps:

  1. In your Gmail account page, select the Settings button in the upper right of the page (it looks like a gear icon).

    Turn off Gmail conversation view
  2. Tap Settings. In newer Gmail versions, select See All Settings.

    Settings menu item in Gmail web page
  3. At the top of the Settings page, select the Accounts and Import tab.

    Gmail settings screen with the Accounts and Import menu highlighted
  4. In the Import mail and contacts section, select Import mail and contacts.

    If you have previously imported, the option will read Import from another address.

    Gmail Accounts and Import settings with the Import mail and contacts option highlighted
  5. A window will open and ask you What account do you want to import from? Type your email address and select Continue.

    Importing Outlook to Gmail
  6. Another window will open with some information. Click Continue.

    Confirmation window in Gmail with the Continue button highlighted
  7. In the next window, you'll confirm permissions for Gmail to access your Outlook account. Review the terms and click Yes to continue, and then close the Authentication successful screen.

    Permissions in Gmail with the Yes button highlighted
  8. In the window labeled Step 2: Import options, select the options you want. These are:

    • Import contacts.
    • Import mail.
    • Import new mail for next 30 days—messages you receive at your address will be sent to your Gmail inbox automatically for a month.
  9. Select Start import and then click OK

The import process will run without further assistance from you. You can resume working in your Gmail account, or you can log out of your Gmail account; the import process will continue behind the scenes regardless of whether you have your Gmail account open.

The import process can take a while, even a couple of days, depending on how many emails and contacts you are importing.

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