I thought GMail had a way to import mail from an old account. Searching a little bit, I found this post from 2009 regarding importing mail into GMail. However, there is no longer an "Accounts and Import" tab in the settings, only "Accounts". There is an option to check mail for another accout via POP3, but I want to grab all the mail from another account, and hopefully be able to label it, too.

Is it possible to import to GMail via IMAP?

  • Are you using Google Apps Gmail or just regular Gmail?
    – imtheman
    Jul 7, 2012 at 19:16

5 Answers 5


It's not supported by Gmail natively. However, since Gmail provides IMAP service itself, you can set up a desktop mail client (e.g. Thunderbird or Outlook) for both old and new accounts, then simply drag and drop all messages to Gmail's inbox.

There are also tools like imapsync which can copy everything automatically. (Although I am unsure about how they'd handle Gmail's unusual IMAP structure, so I'd probably stick to manual copying.)

  • 6
    This is how I ended up going about it. Created a couple labels in GMail, added both IMAP accounts in Thunderbird, and used the Copy To functionality so end my old account inbox to GMail "label-inbox", sent folder to "label-sent", etc. Thanks for the idea!
    – Joseph
    Jul 10, 2012 at 1:35

Gmail does not support importing mail via IMAP. However if you are a Google Apps user, then that Gmail does support it.

  • I am a [free] Google Apps user, but still don't see an IMAP import.
    – Joseph
    Jul 8, 2012 at 20:04
  • You can use the Google Apps Migration for Microsoft® Exchange tool to import/migrate from MS Exchange, PST files and IMAP servers. Jul 25, 2013 at 0:08
  • Google now offers a cloud-based data migration service for Google Apps users as well that doesn't require Windows or any software to be installed. You'll find it in your admin console under "Migrations". (Sadly, it requires a SSL connection but does not support servers with self-signed certificates.)
    – user369080
    Mar 21, 2015 at 10:33
  • Individual users cannot import their own email, but an administrator can do so. From the Admin Console, choose the "Data Migration" tool and follow the prompts. You will obviously have to give Google your other account's username and password in order for Google to perform the migration. You might not want to do that, so running impsync yourself might be a better solution for individual users. Sep 16, 2019 at 13:37

When using Google Apps Gmail you don't get Import by default. Your administrator must enable this explicitly.



As far as I know, Gmail doesn't support Import emails via IMAP.

However Outlook.com do support Import emails via IMAP.

  • login to outlook.com
  • click/tap on gear icon at top right corner
  • click/tap on "connected accounts"
  • SKIP THIS OPTION: in connected account DON'T select "Gmail or other email accounts" (it will do the import but will not do the true IMAP two way sync of actions such as read, unread, archive etc)
  • Select "Manual configur account setting" under advanced settings.
  • Select IMAP/SMTP
  • Enter gmail id user name (including @gmail.com)
  • Gmail password ( if you're using 2 Step verification then your gmail password won't work but you need to get a disposable app password for the "app" from here)

    under "App Password" select the app "mail and select the device "other custom name" and type outlook.com

  • Fill the correct IMAP settings.

    incoming server port 993, authentication - basic, encryption SSL

  • If you want to send emails using the gmail id then add SMTP details too

    outgoing server port 465


GMail definitely supports IMAP. It supports all details of the protocol, and some useful extensions to boot. The mapping of the "labels" concept to the "folders" concept used in IMAP does have some unexpected consequences, but it's all really well documented in Google's own documentation. You might have to Enable IMAP in the Settings page, though.

  • 8
    You write about accessing gmail from an imap-client(thunderbird etc) The question is making gmail an imap-client to another imap-server.
    – Lenne
    Sep 13, 2017 at 13:31

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