How to Copy Email Messages from Google Workspace to another Gmail Account
This step by step guide explains how you can easily move all your email messages from your Google Workspace (GSuite) account to a Gmail account. The archived emails will be available in Gmail even if the original email account is deleted.
Your organization is currently using Gmail with Google Workspace for email. You are moving to another company and would like to archive all your existing email messages before the contract is terminated and the emails are permanently deleted from Gmail servers.
Our previous email migration guide discussed ShuttleCloud, a service built into Gmail that uses Gmail APIs to copy your emails from one Gmail account to another. That approach, however, will not work when you are transferring emails from Google Workspace (or Google Apps) to a free Gmail account.
Here’s an updated step-by-step guide for easily transferring your emails from an existing Google Workspace / GSuite / Google Apps (Legacy) account to a new Gmail address.
In your existing Gmail (Google Workspace) account, go to Settings, click the
Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab, choose Enable POP for all mail in the POP download section and save your changes.
Most modern apps work with the OAuth protocol that do not require you to share your Gmail password with third-party apps, the POP3 protocol does require your password in plain text to download your emails.
While you are logged into the Google account, open myaccount.google.com/security and scroll down to the
Less secure app access section. Here, click the
Turn on access button. Google will automatically turn this setting OFF if it’s not being used.
Please ensure that 2-Step Verification is enabled in your Google account else you’ll receive a message saying
The setting you are looking for is not available for your account. when generating the app password.
While you are logged into the Google account, go to myaccount.google.com/apppasswords, choose Custom from the Select App drop-down, enter a name (like Backup Gmail through POP) and click the
Generate button to generate the app-specific password.
Make a note of the 16-character long app password since it will not be shown again. This is just like your normal password, this app password grants complete access to your Google Account.
Open a new incognito window in Google Chrome, go to
gmail.com and sign-in with your new Gmail account where you would like to transfer your old emails. Next, go to Settings, click the Accounts and Import tab, and choose Import mail and contacts.
In the pop-up window, enter the full email address of your old Gmail account hosted on Google Workspace (GSuite or Google Apps). Click Continue.
In the next step, enter the app-specific password of your old Gmail account that you’ve generated in the previous step. The POP username is the same as your email address while the pop server is pop.gmail.com. Choose port 995 and enable the “Use SSL” setting.
Enable the settings “Leave a copy of retrieved messages on the server” and “Label incoming messages” to easily identify emails fetched from the old address. Click “Start Import” and Gmail will immediately start copying your old messages to your new email address.
That’s it. The process may take a while to complete based the size of your mailbox. The email transfer happens in the cloud so may shut down the computer and it will continue importing the emails.
PS: This method is recommended for transferring the entire mailbox to another email account. If you would like to transfer a select number of email messages, look at the Gmail bulk email forwarder.
Google Developer Expert, Google Cloud Champion
Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in Google Workspace and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India.