Let’s start with the bad news: there is no fully automatic way to merge two or more Google accounts into one. if you have a g suite at school or work that is going to be deleted and want to move the data to a different account first, need to use multiple accounts but hate switching between them, or if you just don’t want your email address to be [email protected] ever again, there is no quick and easy fix.
merging google accounts is a manual process. You must transfer data to and from each individual Google product you use: Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, etc. While this process isn’t easy, we’ve got the step-by-step instructions, along with some helpful automated workflows, to help you accomplish the feat in less time and with fewer headaches than you might think.
Reading: How to connect two gmail calendars
here’s how to combine multiple gmail accounts into one and get all your email, calendar events, and contacts in one place.
how to merge gmail accounts
how to notify people of your new email address
how to merge google contact accounts
how to merge google calendar accounts
how to merge gmail accounts
There are two ways to merge gmail accounts.
The first method is to add your old gmail account to your new one, where you can send and receive emails from both accounts within your new gmail account. is great because it will automatically pull all archived emails from your old account to your new or main account, and allow you to send and receive emails from both your old and new accounts.
Unfortunately, Google’s security measures make the first approach error-prone, so while it’s ideal, it can require a great deal of troubleshooting.
The second method (moving your old emails to your new address and changing to only use the new account) requires less troubleshooting but isn’t as straightforward. Although you will be able to receive emails from your old account to your new account, you will need to use another email application to copy your email file and you will not be able to send emails from your old account’s email address.
Choose your poison and follow the instructions below.
option 1: add your old gmail account to your new gmail account
want to use both of your gmail accounts through your new account? This is the option for you, and if it works, it’s the best way to move to a new gmail account. I recommend trying this approach first. if you hit a wall, leave it and try option two. this is how it’s done:
1. You need to set up your old gmail account first to allow other apps to access your emails. To do so, sign in to gmail with your old account.
2. click the gear icon, then select see all settings.
3. click the forwarding and pop/imap tab, then select the enable pop for all mail button in the pop download section.
4. then click the dropdown menu when accessing messages with pop and select archive gmail copy to keep a copy of all emails in the old account, or delete copy of gmail to have emails from the old account deleted when they are sent to your new account. (We highly recommend the first option just in case, unless you’re almost out of storage on your old account, which could cause problems when forwarding.)
5. save your changes.
6. Now that you’ve enabled popup access, you’ll need to set up your google account to allow popup apps to connect to your gmail account. that requires a slight adjustment in your account security settings. open your google my account settings and go to the less secure apps page.
7. click the slider to turn on the allow less secure apps setting.
8. you’re done with your old account – it’s time to add this account to your new gmail account. sign out of your old google account, or open a different browser, then sign in to gmail with your new google account.
9. click the gear icon, then click view all settings as before.
10. click the accounts and import tab, then click the add an email account link next to the check email from tag other accounts.
11. enter your old account email address in the pop-up, then click next.
12. that will open a new window showing the email address you entered and asking for your login details. enter your entire old gmail address, including the @[domain].com extension, in the username section and type the password for your old account.
13. use default settings for pop server (pop.gmail.com) and port (995).
14. check the box next to always use a secure connection (ssl) when retrieving mail.
15. check the box next to tag incoming messages. you’ll use this tag later to create reminders to update your email address. use the default tag or click the dropdown to create a new tag.
16. finally click on add account to combine the two accounts in gmail. If everything works, continue with the next steps below; if not, the following troubleshooting tips will help.
connect old gmail account with two factor authentication
1. open an incognito window (in chrome, found in file > new incognito window), or open another browser like safari or microsoft edge, so as not to affect your current session. then navigate to your google my account page and sign in with your old gmail account.
2. scroll down to the sign in to google section below the security section.
3. If you’ve already enabled 2-Step Verification on your account, skip to the steps below to create a one-time app password for your old Gmail account. Otherwise, to set up 2-Step Verification, click the 2-Step Verification section below sign in to google.
4. click the start button and verify your google account password.
5. add your phone number and select if you want to receive the verification code by SMS or phone call.
6. Once Google sends you a verification code, enter it and click next.
7. click the activate link to enable two-step verification for that account.
Now that you have 2-Step Verification enabled, you need to create an app password to use instead of your general login credentials.
create an app password:
1. return to my google account page.
2. scroll down to sign in to google under security as before.
3. click app passwords in the password & login method section.
4. choose mail from the select application dropdown menu and select other (custom name) from the select device dropdown menu. we are connecting your new gmail account, so maybe name the password new gmail and then click the generate button.
5. copy the password.
Now, return to the add an email account window of your new gmail account. This time, paste the app password into the password field instead of your google account password. click add account and this time everything should work.
with your two gmail accounts connected, there are just a few final steps to get everything set up:
1. Once you have successfully added the password to your old gmail account, select yes in the window that asks you whether or not you want to send mail from your old email account.
2. enter your name (or the name you want to appear when people receive an email from your old gmail address) and check treat as an alias.
3. leave the smtp server (smtp.gmail.com) and port (587) fields unchanged and enter your username, including the @[domain].com extension.
4. paste your google account password or app password into the password field, depending on which one you used in the last section.
5. select the secure connection via tls button and click add account.
6. there is only one final step. gmail will send a confirmation code to your old email address. open your old gmail account again, find the confirmation email from google and copy the confirmation code; then switch back to your new gmail account and paste it into the verification window.
you did it! now you can send and receive emails from your old gmail account on the new one. click the compose button in gmail, and now you can choose to send emails from your old or new gmail address. and when you go back to your new gmail account inbox, you will see that all the emails from your old account are being imported to your new account, which could take quite a while if you have a lot of archived emails.
don’t want all those old emails cluttering up your inbox? You can set up a gmail filter to automatically move those messages to a gmail label where you can still easily find them when you need them. wait a bit and make sure all your old emails are in gmail, then we’ll show you how to filter them:
add a filter to move and archive old gmail emails
1. let google finish your import, then open one of the emails from your old account. click the more dropdown menu and click filter messages like these.
2. delete the text in the from text field and add your old email address to the to text box. then click create filter with this search.
3. check the box next to skip the inbox (archive it) and the box next to also apply filter to matching conversations. this will archive all old emails that are now in your inbox so you don’t have to do it manually. optionally add a label to move these messages to a new label if you want, even though each of your imported messages is already tagged with the new label you created earlier.
Now, when new messages arrive in your old account, you don’t want them automatically archived as well. so now you have to delete the filter you just created. this way any new emails to your old account will arrive in your inbox.
go ahead and click the gear icon again in your gmail inbox view and select view all settings. click the filters and blocked addresses, search for the filter you just searched for. created and click the delete link to delete it.
tada! You now have access to all archived emails from your old account in your new account, and you can send and receive emails in the new account for both your old and new accounts. now, you just need to update your email address; if so, go to the next section.
or maybe not. if that didn’t work for you, go to option 2 where you can forward emails from your old account to your new one.
option 2: forward emails from your old gmail account to the new one
If option one didn’t work for you, it’s not a total loss. With much less steps and permissions, you can make your old gmail account forward all new emails to your new gmail account. here’s how:
1. sign in to gmail with your old account.
2. click the gear icon, then click view all settings.
3. click the forwarding and pop/imap tab, then click the add a forwarding address button.
4. enter your new email address and click next.
5. gmail will open a new window to confirm that you want to forward the email to that address: click continue, then click accept in the next window.
6. gmail will then send a confirmation to your new email account that you want to receive emails from this account. log in to your new gmail account, open the confirmation email and click the confirmation link to start forwarding. on the confirmation page, click confirm.
now all new emails sent to your old email address will be automatically forwarded to your new email address. you’ll have to manually change your email address for each place/person still using it, but there are a few ways to make it easier which are listed in the section below.
back up and move your old gmail emails
Note that this only forwards new emails your old gmail account receives, not archived emails you received in the past. If your old account is being deleted but you need access to your file, use Google Takeout to download an email file. in fact, this may be the only step you need to take if your email account is going to be deleted anyway. here’s how:
1. by default, google takeout will let you download a backup of your entire google account, but we only want old emails. so on the google takeout landing page, click deselect all to deselect everything google already picked, then check the box next to mail to get just a mail file.
2. click next, then select your preferred file type, file size, and delivery method (the defaults are usually perfect), and click create file.
3. depending on how large your mailbox is, this could take a few hours, or even a few days, to complete. however, once it is complete, gmail will send you an email with a link to download your email file.
4. You must then use an email application such as Thunderbird, Apple Mail, or Microsoft Outlook to view and import your file into your new Gmail account. Usually you will login your new gmail account in email app first, then import the email file and add it to the gmail tag you want. wait for it to sync and you will have all your old emails in your new gmail account. here are detailed instructions to import gmail emails into thunderbird, mail and outlook.
notify people about your new gmail address
Before you lose access to your old google account, you should email everyone you know with your new email address. One of the best ways is to add a Zapier automated workflow that will automatically create a new task every time someone sends an email to your old address and reminds you to tell them about your new address. Or you can have zapier automatically email the contact and tell them your new address without you having to do anything.
first, make sure all emails sent to your old email address are uniquely labeled when received. if you followed all the instructions in option one, this should already be set up. If you used the instructions in option two, create a rule to automatically tag email sent to your old account:
1. log in to gmail with your new account.
2. click the gear icon, then click settings.
3. click the filters and blocked addresses tab, then click create a new filter.
4. enter your old email address in the a text field, then click create filter with this search.
5. check the box next to apply tag, then click the choose tag dropdown menu and select new tag.
6. give your new tag a name and click create, then click the create filter button.
Now every email sent to your old email address will automatically get a label when it arrives in your inbox. you can then set up a zapier automated workflow, or a zap as we call them, to add a task to your to-do list when an incoming email receives that tag, reminding you to update your mail email address with the sending individual/company.
here are some pre-made zaps to help you get set up, but you can browse our app directory to find the apps you use the most and create a custom workflow.
do you want zapier to notify them automatically? add a gmail action to your zap and have zapier send an email to the sender, or use this zap to speed things up:
how to merge google contact accounts
Unfortunately, the above steps do not migrate your contacts, only your email. but you will want your old gmail contacts to be in the new gmail account as well. Here’s how to migrate contacts from your old gmail account to your new one:
1. sign in to gmail with your old google account.
2. click the google apps icon and select contacts, or just open contacts.google.com directly.
3. click the more dropdown menu and select export. (note: this only works on the old google contacts layout, if you’ve upgraded to the new one, click the button first switch to the old google contacts button on the left to see this menu).
4. select the group of contacts you want to bring into your new account, or select all contacts to get all, then click the button next to google csv format and click on export .
5. sign out of your old gmail account and sign in again with your new gmail account.
6. go back to the contacts view and click import contacts in the left menu (and again, if you’re using the new google contacts layout, click switch to old google contacts first).
7. select the csv file, then click import.
Now all the contacts from your old account should be in your new gmail account so you can easily email everyone you’ve kept in touch with over the years.
how to merge google calendar accounts
If there’s anything else related to your gmail account, it’s your google calendar. Every time you receive an event invite in Gmail, it will be added to your Google Calendar, as will upcoming flights, event tickets, and more. You’ll also want to bring your old calendar with you for the move.
To merge data from an old google calendar account with a new google calendar account, you’ll need to export your old calendar and then import it into your new calendar. here’s how:
1. sign in to google calendar with your old account.
2. click the gear icon, then click settings like in gmail.
3. click import & export button on the left, then click the export link at the bottom. Or, if you’re still using the old google calendar interface, click calendars and then click export calendars
4. find the ical.zip file in your downloads folder and open it. then copy the .ics file to your desktop.
5. sign out of your old google calendar account and sign back in with your new google account.
6. click the gear icon, settings and import & export (or the calendars tab in the old google calendar). this time, click the select file from your computer button under import.
7. select the .ics file you just downloaded from your old google account. all of your existing meetings and events should now appear in your new account’s google calendar.
If you think there’s a chance you’ll still get new meeting invites in your old account, please enable this zapier workflow to automatically copy new events created in your old google calendar to your new google calendar:
and with that, you’re done. All of your email, contacts, and calendar appointments are in one place, your new Gmail account, and you’ll still get any messages or appointment reminders coming into your old account. It’s the best of both worlds.
Originally published in February 2018, the most recent version of this article contains contributions from Elena Alston.