There are a few different methods out there to move Gmail from one account to another and I’ve tried most.
The problem is that they all have some sort of requirement that makes them work for some people, but not all. Or maybe they get the email, but miss the labels. None seemed to work for everyone, all the time.
The good news is I found a way that should work for everyone using Mozilla’s Thunderbird.
To get started, download and install Thunderbird. It works on Mac, Window and Linux so everyone can take part.
Next, make sure IMAP is enabled in both of the Gmail accounts you’re working with. It doesn’t matter if they are free Gmail accounts or Gmail that’s tied to a domain name.
Once IMAP is activated, setup both accounts in Thunderbird and let Thunderbird fully download all the email in your current Gmail account. This could take some time depending on how much email you have.
After all your email has been downloaded, you can drag and drop your folders from one account to the other. Thunderbird will then copy the folders (aka labels) and all the emails in them to your new account.
With the inbox, sent, deleted, all mail and drafts, you’ll need to select all the emails in those folders, right-click, and copy them into the new account’s inbox, sent, deleted, all mail or drafts folders. Drag and drop won’t work for these folders as they are special folders.
Again, depending on how much email you have, this could take a while. I usually start it and then walk away. It’ll do it’s thing and by the time I get back hopefully it’s done.
Once all the email is moved over, give Thunderbird some time to ensure that all changes get re-synced back up online. The easiest thing to do here is to log into the new account online and see if all your mail is there.
And that’s it. You’ve now moved all your email from one Gmail account to another.
With this method, it doesn’t matter if you’re on a Mac, Windows or Linux computer. It doesn’t matter if it’s a free Gmail account or a Google apps account. It doesn’t matter how many labels you have or how you organize your email. It just works, or at least it did for me.
Ohh and if you need to move your Gmail filters from one account to another, check out the labs section of Gmail and enable the ‘Filter import/export’ functionality.