Migrate to Fastmail from Gmail
The following information makes it easy to move all your information into Fastmail, once you have chosen a plan.
- Set up your email address and/or domain
- Transfer your mailbox contents
- Transfer your calendars
- Transfer your contacts
- Making the most of Fastmail
1. Set up your email address and/or domain
If you don't own your own domain, you'll need to select an email address at one of the Fastmail domains.
If you have your own domain, follow our domain and email migration guide to learn how to transfer your domain, mail accounts, and aliases to Fastmail.
2. Transfer your existing mailbox contents
You can transfer your current mailbox into Fastmail using two methods: IMAP or POP.
Mail that is held on the server is accessed via IMAP and we recommend using this method. This allows you to make use of our backup services; and lets you access your mail from any of your devices or from any web browser.
Mail that has been downloaded to the desktop and lives within an application is accessed via POP. POP will only download mail from your Inbox; it won't download mail that is directed to other folders you have created.
Mail held on the server (IMAP)
You can import all your mail from your existing provider onto Fastmail. This is a one-time task to transfer all your mail, and may take some time to complete.
Be aware that each tag in Gmail is created as a folder in Fastmail. If you have email with more than one tag, you will end up with multiple copies of that email: one in each resulting folder. This will result in more storage quota being used at Fastmail than at Gmail if you have a lot of (large) email with multiple tags.
- Open the Import & Setup screen.
- Click the "Import mail from another service, such as Gmail or Yahoo" link.
- Enter the IMAP server address (imap.gmail.com), your Gmail username and your Gmail password, and 'Yes' to use SSL.
The "Folders" settings lets you choose whether to:
- Import the mail straight into your existing folders, or
- Keep imported mail separately in a new set of folders (you can then manually move the messages into your existing folders later), or
- Select particular folders to migrate (you choose which folders after you push the migrate button)
Click the "Migrate" button.
Please be advised that imports can take some time, especially for accounts with large amounts of mail. You will receive a migration report in your inbox.
It's important to be patient while this is processing. Do not start another migration from your account whilst the first one is still running as it will result in your getting 2 copies of every message in your account. While mail migration is in effect our services receive no interruption, so you can continue to use your account as normal. Even with a valid username and password, Google will sometimes block us from connecting to your Gmail account, as we are not using the same network that you normally log in from. If you enter your correct login details but the import fails to connect, you will need to grant us access explicitly.
To allow our import servers access to your Gmail account:
- Go to gmail.com, and log in to your account.
- In a new tab, go to https://accounts.google.com/b/0/DisplayUnlockCaptcha.
- Click on the button labelled "Continue".
After completing these steps, Gmail should allow our servers to log in to your account for the next 10 minutes (the import will probably take much longer; it's just the initial login that has to happen within this time). You can repeat the steps to open another 10 minute access window as required.
If access is still denied, it may be because Google doesn't recognise the the Fastmail servers as a device authorised by you. If this is the case they will email your Google account with a link to "review your recently used devices". You need to take the option of flagging the Fastmail server as a device you recognise.
Additionally, you need to enable less secure apps (at least for the duration of the migration). There is no explicit error message or warning from Google that you need to do this.
Once you have migrated your existing email, we recommend you enable email forwarding at Gmail to forward any new email to Fastmail.
Mail stored on the desktop (POP)
If your old mail isn't stored on an IMAP server because you have already downloaded it to your desktop using POP, you can leave it where it is, or you can transfer it to Fastmail's IMAP servers for access through the web client.
To transfer mail in your desktop client to Fastmail's servers, log onto Fastmail from your desktop client and drag the folders containing your existing mail into the Fastmail account's folders. Depending on how much mail you have, this can take some time before the mail completes uploading to our servers.
3. Transfer your calendars
The instructions and screenshots are for importing your calendars from Gmail.
To export a calendar from Gmail, hover over the calendar you want to export and select ‘Options’, then click on ‘Settings and Sharing’. From there click on ‘Export Calendar’ and you’ll be prompted to save it in a zip file.
To import your calendars to Fastmail:
- Open the Import & Setup screen.
- Click the "Choose Calendar File" link.
- Select the ICS file and upload it. (You'll have to open the zip file and upload your calendars individually)
Need more information? Check out our calendar migration guide.
4. Transfer your contacts
Please follow the instructions and screenshots provided to import contacts from Gmail.
To export contacts from Gmail, click on the contacts tab. Select the drop down arrow next to 'Actions' and click on 'Export'.
You will then be prompted to select a file format for your exported contacts. The compatible formats to import to Fastmail are 'Gmail CSV' and 'vCard Format'.
To import your contacts to Fastmail:
- Open the Import & Setup screen.
- Click the "Upload Address Book File" link.
- Select the file and upload it.
5. Making the most of Fastmail
Here are a few more things to do to help you get the most from Fastmail.
Secure your account (2FA)
- Keep your account safe from hackers with our two-step verification support.
Configure your mobile devices
Configure your mobile devices to use Fastmail on the go.
- The official Fastmail app is the best way to use Fastmail on your iPhone, iPad, or Android device.
- We also have instructions on configuring popular desktop clients if you want access to Fastmail in addition to our web interface..
Announce new email address
If you have changed your email address (not applicable if you use your own domain), then be sure to notify everyone in your contact list of your new address.
- Go to Contacts
- Select all contacts
- Compose to
- Cut 'to' list and insert into 'bcc' field (This is important to ensure that individual email addresses are not shared to everyone.)
- Write to all informing them of your new address.
Forward mail from old account
Set up forwarding/importing and leave them in place for some time (not applicable if you use your own domain).
- New mail will still arrive into your old account (either people who didn't read your email above, or newsletter subscriptions that you haven't updated yet). Use a fetch identity or set up a forward at your old account to send any new mail to your account at Fastmail.
- You may wish to set up a vacation autoreply on your old account to send information back to anyone who mails you of your new details.
Update old subscriptions
- Save a custom search (looking for all mail at your old email address) in Fastmail so you can easily see what mail is still coming to the old address.
- You may wish to monitor your Inbox for mailing list subscriptions that need to be updated. Set up a search for:
header: "List-unsubscribe: <" header:"X-delivered to: <old email address>"
- Save this query so you can run it again periodically to check for any list mail being sent to your old address.
- You'll need to manually change your subscriptions: Fastmail can't change your subscription automatically for you unfortunately!
6. Migration complete
You're done. Welcome to email, calendars and contacts done right.