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From Hotmail to Gmail/Googlemail

February 15, 2009

I’ve just opened up a googlemail account for my wife, and configured it to slurp up messages (including all her old ones) from her old hotmail account. Somewhat surprisingly, most of the guides at the top of my Google search were out of date, so I just thought I’d give a quick account of what I did.

The easiest way to transfer any existing email/webmail account to googlemail is to add the old account to the googlemail account (Settings > Accounts > Get Mail From Other Accounts), and let google get your old massages via POP (aka POP3).

The tricky part for hotmail users is finding out the POP3 access settings for their hotmail account. A lot of the guides at the top of my google search either said that is couldn’t be done, or that you had to use some shonky 3rd-party app or IMAP-based workaround. Bleugh.

Actually, hotmail now gives POP3 access to their accounts for some (if not, by now, all) of their users. Initially, I got the hotmail POP3 access settings from here, but you can see the original Microsoft message here.

For those of you who can’t be bothered to follow either of those links, the settings you need to give googlemail are:

POP server: (Port 995)
POP SSL required? Yes
User name: Your Windows Live ID, for example
Password: The password you usually use to sign in to Hotmail or Windows Live

(If you need any further help, I suggest that you check out this guide, which is the best I’ve found thusfar).

So, finally, why? Well, I got fed up with troubleshooting various random hotmail issues, like attachments that wouldn’t attach, attachments that wouldn’t download, lost messages, unsaved drafts… It’s bad enough having to put up with these things when you know that there should be a better way, but when you have to put up with them when you know that there *is* a better way and you’re already using it…

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