Microsoft is understandably keen for more people to use its Outlook.com email service, but Gmail proves stubbornly popular. Concerned that the perceived difficulty of switching email providers Microsoft recently launched a dedicated tool to help ease the transition, and we thought it might be helpful to take a look at how the process works.
The tool is being gradually rolled out to users, so it is possible that it may not be available to you just at the moment -- but if it is not, it will be coming very soon. To get started you will need to pay a visit to the email importing page.
You can click the link above, or sign into your Outlook.com account, click the gear icon to the upper right of the page and select More email settings. Click the Import email accounts link and then click Google. Click the Options link in the popup that appears.
You can then choose to import all of your existing Gmail emails into your existing folders. This means that your Gmail inbox will be added to your Outlook.com inbox and other folders will be created as necessary. The other option is to import everything in to a sub-folder to keep it separate. When you’ve made your selection, click Start.
You'll then be transported to the accounts page of Google where you'll need to sign into your account and click Accept to allow Outlook.com to access your inbox and email.
You can now sit back and wait while your emails are imported for you. If you are giving up on Gmail entirely, you can now setup automatic forwarding so that any messages your contacts send to your Gmail address will be delivered to your Outlook.com inbox. Microsoft automatically sends out an email that details how to do this.
Switch to Gmail, click the gear icon to the upper right of the page and select Settings from the menu that appears. Switch to the Forward and POP/IMAP tab and click the Add a forwarding address button. Type your Outlook.com email address and click Next followed by Proceed.
A confirmation email will be sent out to your Outlook.com address and you will need to click the link that it contains to allow forwarding. With this done, return to Gmail, select the Forward a copy of incoming mail to option and select your Outlook.com email address from the drop down menu.
You can then use the next drop down menu to choose what should happen to messages after they have been forwarded. You may opt to mark them as read, delete them, or archive them.
Having made your selection scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the Save Changes button.