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HolidayBuyer's Guide

The e-mail new Gmail users will see

Finding the import option in settings

Tell Gmail your old address

Give Gmail your other account's password

Picking and choosing import options

This might take a while...

Your new, old in-box

Replying with the old address

Gmail has a new feature that lets new users import the entirety of an in-box from another Web mail service. We're going to show you how this process works using Windows Live Hotmail in a brand new Gmail account.

To start, this is the welcome e-mail new Gmail users will be getting, which tells them about the feature.

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To begin the import process, navigate to your account settings and open up the "accounts and import" tab. If you don't see this yet, your account does not yet have it. Google said it would take a couple of days to show up in existing accounts, however all new accounts have it automatically.
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The next step is to drop in the e-mail address from your old account. We're using our Windows Live Hotmail address.
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To grab your e-mail, Gmail needs your account's password. Put this in and hit the continue button to move to the next step.
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The Gmail importer lets you pick whether you want to import just your e-mail, your contacts or both. You can also set it to automatically import your e-mail from your old account for the next month, which is a nice way to transition to the new account.
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When you're all done, and have hit the import button from the previous screen, Google tells you it's going to take up to two days to begin importing your mail. Ours took about three hours to start coming in, and was completely downloaded in about five. This largely depends on how big your old in-box is.
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Once you've got all your messages imported, they'll show up in Gmail, complete with a label that tells you they're from your old in-box.
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One nice touch is that Gmail will save your account information, in order to let you send from that address right from within Gmail. Just keep in mind, that after the 30-day grace period, you'll have to visit your old account to see any replies.
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