How to upload all your email to Gmail using Windows Mail

April 29, 2010 by | Comments

What a mess!

That’s what happens sometimes when you try to help someone: you make things worst!

I was trying to help a friend of mine having troubles with her buggy webmail provider, you know, the same old story about lag, disconnections, timeouts, sluggishness, etc. Believe it or not, she could barely browse her inbox.
As I thought myself as a genius, I advised her to use a computer client, storing all her webmail locally, on her computer.

I’m still asking my self: “why did you do so”?

[toc] We managed to setup her VISTA Windows Mail client, configuring a POP3 email account; in a snap all her webmail was relaxing locally on the computer.

All things done? Not quite!

All the emails had been wiped out from the webmail server, and…. details I’ve forgot to mention: my friend travels continuously without her notebook, and needs to access her email everywhere.

A disaster.

If only I would have remembered to configure her Windows Mail client to leave a copy of the messages on the server, at this time I’d be munching peanuts in a coffee bar.

Looking for a solution

So I’ve started searching a simple way to send back the local emails to the webmail server, but after a while I’ve discovered it’s (almost) impossible: the easiest, effortless solution would have been to forward the email messages back to webmail server, restoring them with altered time stamp and, worst of all, with my friend’s email as the sender.

I’ve kept on patting my friend’s shoulder (me coward!) telling her it wasn’t too bad….

At heart, once done with the forwarding, she could somehow open the forwarded messages to see the true original sender. Cold comfort.

But the nightmare got worst when we discovered that Windows Mail cannot forward multiple messages, individually! How nice, eh? The bad boy was stuffing all the emails in just one email, with an endless list of attachments. Crazy!

Could Gmail help?

While she started looking at me in a strange way, probably choosing what way to kill me, I’ve realized my friend had also a secondary email account, hosted by Gmail.

“Did someone ever wanted to upload all his local email to Gmail?” I thought.
That’s when I started to dig again, and soon it seemed like the problem was quite widespread .

Handy appeared to be the Google Email Uploader, a utility to import all your emails stored locally on a computer, into your Gmail Inbox. Very simple and effective….. if your email client is one out of the following:

- Microsoft Outlook 2002, 2003, 2007
- Microsoft Outlook Express 6.0
- Mozilla Thunderbird 1.5+

Still on a steep route: unfortunatelly VISTA’s Windows Mail is not supported, basically because Microsoft has changed the way it stores messages on your computer! Now each email message is stored as a single file on the hard disk with an .EML filetype/extension; no more single .DBX archives.

I couldn’t believe we got suddenly back to start.

When my hopes were almost lost, I’ve found the solution: use Gmail’s IMAP access to upload and import the emails into Gmail’s account!
Once Windows Mail was properly configured to access Gmail’s account, we just had to drag all the emails from the Inbox, to the Gmail folder and wait for the upload. At that point I’ve convinced my self I still had a friend, in spite of the troubles.

After all, she discovered that Gmail is much faster than the buggy provider she was used to, and quite happy about that.

Step by step instructions

Summarizing the problem:

- You want to upload your emails from your computer to Gmail
- You own a Windows VISTA pc and your email client is Window Mail
- Gmail Uploader doesn’t support VISTA’s Windows Mail

Do the following:

Windows_Mail_GMail01Open Windows Mail and select “Accounts” from the “Tools” menu
Windows_Mail_GMail02Add a new email account by pressing the “Add” button
Windows_Mail_GMail03Select “Email account” and press Next
Windows_Mail_GMail04Type your name and press Next
Windows_Mail_GMail05Type your email address and press Next
Windows_Mail_GMail06Select IMAP
Windows_Mail_GMail07Type the incoming server:
Type the outgoing server:
Tick the “Outgoing server requires authentication” box
Press Next
Windows_Mail_GMail08Type the username and password to access the mailbox hosted on Gmail
Press Next
Windows_Mail_GMail09Press Finish
Windows_Mail_GMail17From the Tools -> Account menu, select the newly created google account, and press Properties
Windows_Mail_GMail10Select the Servers tab
Tick “My server requires authentication”
Press the Settings button
Windows_Mail_GMail11In the “Outgoing mail (SMTP)” box type 465
In the “Outgoing mail (IMAP)” box type 993
Tick both the “This server requires a secure connection (SSL”
Press Apply
Windows_Mail_GMail13Go back to the main window and in the folder list window expand the folder; do the same for the “Gmail” folder
Now select the “Inbox” folder, select all your email messages and drag them to the -> Gmail-> All mail folder. The copy will begin, and once done, all your emails will be moved into the gmail account.
Windows_Mail_GMail16Open your browser and head on to your Gmail web account, to check out the copy action. You’re done!

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