I’ve been thinking a lot about the amount of subscriptions I’m paying for, plus my lack of love for all things Google (privacy, security, cost) and am wanting to move away from gmail/gdocs for all my personal stuff (I have a paid account because of how much space I use).
I also have a google account for work and no choice there, but I don’t need my personal Gmail account anymore (so far as I can see). I’d like to shift completely over to iCloud for my personal stuff and then delete Gmail. Now, I’ve had this Gmail account for as long as Gmail has been around, so there are things in there I don’t want to lose and I have a ton of stuff in Drive from back when gDocs was Writely that I want to save.
I’m curious to know if anyone has done this or even attempted it? Is it a fools errand to try and uproot as much of my digital life from Gmail? Will it create serious issues for logging into websites that I’ve been using for uses with the Gmail log in? ? Are there other unforeseen issues I’m missing.
Any success stories? It would be really nice to have all my personal stuff under Apple’s ecosystem and under that one iCloud subscription.
Thanks for any advice you have!
Empty download the data you want from your Google account and move it to you’r Mac / iCloud eco system.
Create up to 3 more Alias email accounts in your Apple iCloud email account. And keep the main account for your most trusted relationships. Move downward from there using your iCloud alias account.
Keep the Gmail account for Junkmail and login to online accounts you don’t want to associate with any of your new iCloud accounts.
If you want to have more privacy while browsing, make sure you are logged out of your gmail / google account from your web browsers.
This is really great. Thank you for these suggestions!
I think deleting Gmail is fine. Yes, there are sites that offer to let you login via Google, but there are not any that require it (except for Google’s own, perhaps). Get your Google Takeout and check to make sure everything is there that you care about.
Switching to iCloud is another matter. I know there are people who use iCloud for everything (or who want to) but I have to admit that I am not one of them. Too many memories over too many years of times that Apple has flubbed online services. I would not trust them with my email, nor do I use them for any important documents.
I’m using Fastmail for email because it allows me to use my own domain name which means I can move pretty much anywhere if I want. If your @iCloud email becomes the one everyone has, and then you want to switch, you‘re in for a giant hassle.
I realize the apparent benefits of having all of your eggs in one basket, but I would not be comfortable with that setup. FWIW.
Thanks for that perspective. I think I’m going to ween myself off gmail but not delete it. I’m going to have there but not active. I’m going to pull everything off of drive. And have all of that just on my mac/iCloud. But yes, I think given that I’ve had that email for almost 20 years I think it’s a good idea to hang onto it. I also know that apple has had its share of issues with its various cloud implementations.
If I owned a domain, can I use iCloud with the domain, for example firstname.lastname@example.org that is connected to iCloud alias 1; email@example.com that is connected to iCloud alias 2?
I think it depends on the service hosting the domain but, if supported, you could definitely do this by setting up rules to forward a “domain.com” address elsewhere.
Replying from the “domain.com” address would need to be set up correctly in the mail client. Otherwise, the “iCloud.com” address would show up. Getting around DMARC and/or SPF checks might take some work unless you rout the outgoing email using the domain.com address through your domain provider’s SMTP servers.
No unfortunately there is no “pro” version of iCloud where you can use your own domain name. Like you can with G-Suite
Time for me to jump back on my bandwagon of not using email as a storage or archiving platform. I have seen too many people lose information because an email database got corrupted with no or inadequate backups.
My preference is to export emails I want to keep as PDF files and store in my filing system.
On switching email providers I did the same a few years ago changing from an ISP account to my iCloud account. After I got most online accounts changed I created a rule that moved all mail to the old ISP account into a separate folder. That made it easy to update those contacts.
I like MacExpert’s suggestion to create aliases for different purposes.
iCloud’s server-side mail rules are also pretty basic compared to Gmail’s…
I’ve moved all my email to iCloud mail, and I don’t really regret it. Like @ismh said, server-side rules are basic, which is annoying, but apart from that, I wasn’t really using any Gmail-related “power user” features.
- how Apple uses pure IMAP compared with Gmail’s wonky implementation
- knowing that my email server is owned by a company that values privacy
- not having to sign up for another account.
Of course, your mileage may vary. If you need more powerful server-side features in email, then you’ll probably be better off with FastMail, ProtonMail, et al.
Thanks. Yeah, I’m not using gmail’s power features either. I use SaneBox for all my sorting and beyond that I’m fine.
Great post! A lot of what I’m asking myself. Thanks for sharing it. I have a website, which I’ve owned for 16 years so perhaps it’s time to use that domain? I’ll consider these options.
FYI you might enjoy this article with app suggestions - “Cutting Google out of your life”
Though Fastmail is that good that I have never considered moving away from them.
They have an excellent migration tool to import your IMAP mail (like Gmail):
In that case you can set Gmail to forward any new mail to your @iCloud.com account and start using your Apple account immediately. (You can also choose to have Gmail delete any new messages after forwarding or keep a copy).
Set up both accounts in Mail.app (or any other preferred client) and IMO, there is no reason to import your old messages unless you choose to delete your gmail account.
Sounds to me like G Suite Basic, which is $5/month, is a convenient choice - you don’t have to migrate out of Gmail, it allows you to use your own domains, there’s no ad, you have tons of alias to use. The only question is - are your nails private to you, even though there’s no ad?
Google doesn’t “collect or use data from G Suite services for any advertising purposes.” https://gsuite.google.com/security/?secure-by-design_activeEl=data-centers
I’m in my eighteenth year as a paid customer!