Consolidate Email Accounts
I have three email accounts, and it's a nuisance to check each one. I also have trouble keeping my address books in sync, and when I'm looking for a certain message, I have to check in three places. Is there an easy way to consolidate all my email accounts in one place?
How to Move All Email and Contacts Into One Account
I understand your dilemma. For various reasons, people often end up with multiple email accounts on several hosts: Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc. It gets confusing and hard to keep track of. It also takes a lot of time to check for new mail on all the services.
The good news is that it is possible to consolidate all those email accounts into one, without losing anything stored on the other services.
You'll probably want to keep all your email accounts active and receiving mail, at least for a while. Those addresses are out there and if people don't know your new address, they have no other way to reach you. But you want mail sent to Yahoo, AOL, etc., to be forwarded to your One Address. That way, you only need to log onto one place, saving lots of time. Simple is better.
I chose Google's Gmail for my One Address. It's reliable. The gmail.com name is a respected brand widely used by both personal and business users. Gmail is searchable in many useful ways, and its spam filter is highly effective. Best of all, Gmail now lets you consolidate all your other email accounts very easily.
You could just logon to all your email accounts, and send a change of address message to everyone in your address books. And you should do that, but it won't really help you consolidate everything without a lot of extra effort.
Of course you want to import to your One Address all your email contacts from the other services, AND your old email saved on those services. Gmail lets you do all that with a few simple steps.
Using Gmail's Import Feature
After logging into Gmail, in the upper right corner, click on Settings, then click the "Accounts and Import" tab. Next, click on "Import Mail and Contacts" and just follow directions. One by one, you will enter the email address and password for each of your other accounts.
You'll be given the option to import contacts and old mail; import new mail arriving at the old address for 30 days; and to add the old mail address to the imported mail as a tag to tell you where it came from. Click "Start Import" and go do the same for your other email accounts.
Google advises you that the import process may take several hours, even up to two days, before you start seeing imported mail. In actual practice, I started receiving imported old mail within minutes. Your experience may vary. But importing goes on without you, you don't even have to be logged on to Gmail.
Be forewarned that you will be inundated with "new" mail at your One Address during the import process. This is a good opportunity to review and delete old mail you really don't need, and keep the keepers. Since Gmail has a "filters" function, you may want to set up a rule that routes mail from each old account into a specified subfolder, rather than have everything pile up in your main Inbox.
From here on, you have only one webmail site to bookmark, and just one username and password to remember. Email checking will go much faster with only one account to check. And you'll have all your contacts and messages in one place.
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 13 Nov 2009
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Consolidate Email Accounts (Posted: 13 Nov 2009)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved