Transferring email question

Hey everyone, I am looking to move my email from to gmail. I don’t know how to Google this question so I’ll ask here.

When I point my MX name to Google, will the old emails move over to gmail eventually? Will I still be able to access the old email account, even though mail won’t go to that inbox any longer? (We have the account for another 4 months).


You need to migrate the emails to the new server.
Google G-Suite (paid service) has a migration assistant. Alternatively you can find services that copy the email between the email servers.

Once the migration process has been completed you can change the MX records to change the direction to what server the emails will flow.

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I migrated someone’s email from a standard POP/IMAP mail server to Gmail in two stages…

The initial stage, I used Gmail’s “import” functionality, while the user was running Outlook. This was painful because each mailbox had to be handled separately.

Then we switched to Apple Mail and could just literally drag messages from a folder on one account to a folder on the Gmail account. SO MUCH EASIER!!!

One caveat about dragging large amounts of emails over. Your Mac will be sending the messages out. By sending tens of thousands of emails your ISP often blocks your IP address from sending more messages thinking you are sending spam.

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Will that significantly vary depending on the ISP?

As others mentioned; migrating emails has two steps:

  1. Migrate email traffic (i.e. MX changes as you mentioned), this will migrate the traffic to Google servers, this step is not retroactive (any emails that was received in the past, will not be migrated). Also, no emails will get lost during the process, they will be delivered to either Google or the old server.

  2. Migrating the old emails (this step is optional), some teams won’t bother migrating the old inboxes to the new accounts, as it’s a very long process. Sometimes, teams are happy with downloading a local copy of the emails. As @MacExpert mentioned, Google as has a service to help with that migration.

My recommendation, if you have 4 months access. Then migrate the MX records ASAP, this will leave you with 4 months to figure out the second step, and the best way to do it. Also the team will figure out whether they actually need the old emails migration or not.

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No. Your Mac won’t be sending out messages. Unless you actually send them to your new account. Which is by no means what you should do. Using IMAP you can copy over messages from one account to another.

And to the OP: please be careful with the term MX name. That’s usually used in the conext of DNS. I assume you mean the server name of your outgoing mail-server?

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I am using the terms found in the GSuite email set up. It sends me to my domain website (who hosts my email now) and change the MX records so that any new mail is handled by Google instead of register.

Just wanted to second what vco1 said, that IMAP syncing from dragging in a big folder of email isn’t email sending. You won’t run into any trouble from your ISP from doing that.

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Yes that is the point, most people want to have their email archive moved with them to the new server and not have part of their email locally stored.

Just watch the activity monitor in Mail when you do this…

I migrate email accounts on a weekly basis for clients… But hey give it a try and drag 50K of messages around.

For sure. I don’t doubt it’s resource-intensive.

+1 to this. Transferring messages between IMAP servers will not look like SMTP traffic to your ISP, so you should be fine.

That being said, if they are using IMAP, you should be able to tell Gmail: “Hey, my old mail server is and my login information is foo and password is bar, please transfer” and it will do it directly.

This seems to be relevant documentation:

Migrate from IMAP servers to Google

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You all rock thanks.