Tech Made Simple

Hot Topics: How to Fix Bluetooth Pairing Problems | Complete Guide to Facebook Privacy | How to Block Spam Calls | REVIEW: RadMission 1 eBike

author photo

How to Switch Email Accounts Without Losing Emails

by on March 31, 2021
in Software & Games, Computers and Software, Productivity, Tips & How-Tos :: 135 comments

Techlicious editors independently review products. To help support our mission, we may earn affiliate commissions from links contained on this page.

There are plenty of good reasons why you might want to change your email account. You want or need to change email providers, you hate your current email address, or you’ve become inundated with spam.

However, switching email accounts can feel like a daunting task. Not only do you need to notify everybody of your new email address (including all of those sites where you’ve created accounts over the years), but there’s also the fear that you’ll miss an important email from a person or organization that you can’t afford to miss.

Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to make the change and not lose any emails in the process. Here’s how to do it.

1. Try to keep your old email address as long as possible

When switching accounts, you’ll want to hold onto your account for a little while to ensure the process has worked smoothly. If you’re switching jobs or leaving school, find out how long you’ll have access to your old email address before it’s deactivated and plan accordingly. Most organizations won’t let you access your account, but some may forward email for a length of time to your new account.

2. Create a new email address

Create an email address with a free provider like Gmail or Do not use the email assigned by your internet service provider, company or school. When choosing your new email address, use your name or something that will age well over time. If you have a common name, try using your last name first or a combination of your initials and your last or first name.

Create Gmail account

3. Forward emails to your new email account

You can forward your messages while retaining a copy with your old mail service. Or, you can forward your messages and delete the copies on your old mail service.

Forward emails to Gmail

Go to Gmail and select the cog icon in the upper right corner and select "Settings." Select  "See all settings," "Accounts and Import" and then "Add a mail account." Enter your email address and leave the box "Treat as an alias" checked so when you reply to email it will come from your new Gmail account. Keep the option to "Send through Gmail" selected. You'll then need to "Send Verification" to show that you own your old email account.

Add account to Gmail

For most email services, all of the fields will be pre-populated, if not, you can get the information from your email service provider. Then select Add Account.

Once you have connected your account, go back to Settings > Accounts and Import> and choose to "Always reply from the default address," which should be your new Gmail address.

Forward emails to

Go to and select the settings cog in the upper right corner. Scroll down to and select  "View all Outlook settings." 

Select Mail > Sync email and then select either "Gmail" or "Other email accounts." You’ll fill out your name, email address and password and choose where your imported email will be stored: Create a new folder for imported email or Import into existing folders (like Sent Items, Drafts, Inbox etc.). Depending on your old email provider, you may have to enter your email settings manually. You can also "Set default From address," which is important as you move people over to your new email account. add account

4. Import your contacts from your old email address

Chances are that you have an address book associated with your old email account and you’ll want to import them for use with your new account. Before importing contacts, you'll need to export your contacts from your current provider to a CSV file or, for Google Contacts, a CSV or vCard file. Search for "export contacts from (name of your old email provider)" for instructions.

Importing to Google Contacts

Go to Google Contacts, select Import and upload your *.csv or *vcf file.

Import contacts to Gmail

Importing to

Before importing contacts, you'll need to export your contact from your current provider. Search for "export contacts from (name of your old email provider)" for instructions. Then go to your account, select the People icon, choose "Manage" and then "Import Contacts." import contacts

5. Tell people about your new email address

Once you have your new email up and running, it’s time to email everyone telling them about your new email address. Be sure to use the Bcc option (blind copy) in the address bar, so you don’t accidentally share other people’s email addresses with the whole group. You may also want to add a signature that calls out the fact that your email has changed. For go to Settings > View all Outlook settings > Mail > Compose and reply. For Gmail for to Settings > See all settings >General and scroll all the way down to Signature.

Gmail BCC Message

Updated on 3/31/2021 with new instructions

[Image credit: hand holding phone with email via BigStockPhoto, screenshots via Techlicious/Google/Microsoft]

Discussion loading

Help! Can I move my cox emails to my email account?

From JudiQ on May 19, 2019 :: 5:29 pm

I’ve moved to a city that does not offer cox, so I’ve set up a new email account on my iPad . . .  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
I’ve set things up so that current emails to the cox account automatically send a duplicate to the iCloud account.  Now I’m trying to find an efficient way to go back and export groups of emails from cox to iCloud . . . I.e all emails from certain individuals or all emails on a certain subject . . . .  Do I have to forward to my iCloud address?  Or can I batch select and move groups of emails from cox inbox to iCloud archive mailbox?
Thanks for any help you can provide!


Delete Incredimail

From Patti on June 07, 2019 :: 11:26 am

If I delete the Incredimail program, will I lose all the saved info and contacts? (gmail)


Are your contacts in Gmail?

From Josh Kirschner on June 07, 2019 :: 12:22 pm

I’m not familiar with Incredimail, but if you go to your Gmail account and see your contacts, etc. there, then deleting the Incredimail program won’t affect those contacts stored in Gmail.


HELP! Moving Rogers e-mails on MacMail..... to a new provider (soon).

From John Dickson on June 10, 2019 :: 5:35 pm

I hope to leave Rogers as my e-mail service provider - finally - after 12 years of poor service!  It has been a horror show! 

I use and love MacMail on both of my Mac computers. If I move to another provider (e.g., Bell Canada) how do I transfer my saved e-mail (approx.10,000 in number) in advance of moving to a new provider?  Yes, I want stay with MacMail. Note: I do not like Gmail at all. 
Obviously, my Rogers e-mail address will vanish once I move to a new provider…. but, again, how to I save my years of business contact e-mails saved on MacMail in advance of the change?  Easy peasy answer?  Please HELP!


Mail Program versus Webmail

From Tony on June 11, 2019 :: 9:17 pm

MacMail is an email program on your computer, which is capable of reading emails from any provider. So it doesn’t matter what webmail service you move to, you can still add it to your MacMail program and keep on going.

The messages in MacMail are saved locally on your computer, whether or not you continue with the service they were received through. The Contacts depend a bit on what your habits were in adding and synchronizing.


Reverse Question

From JB on June 26, 2019 :: 5:54 am

Hello, great article and thread! My question is somewhat the reverse of the original topic. For several years, I’ve had my professional email address (Outlook/Office 365-based) automatically forward to my personal gmail account. I will be leaving the company in the near future and that Outlook account will presumably close. Will emails from that Outlook account recieved and sent via gmail disappear from the gmail account when the linked Outlook account closes… or are all of those emails “permanently” part of my gmail account unless/until I delete them from gmail? Thank you!


Downloaded Email Storage

From Tony on June 26, 2019 :: 4:13 pm

Yes, all of those emails remain “permanently” part of your gmail account unless/until you delete them from gmail. This is because of the difference between POP3 and IMAP. Gmail’s methods of accessing mail from other accounts is all POP, not IMAP. So it is a local download, not an online synchronization.


Hotmail Sync to get Sympatico Emails - If Closing Sympatico account - will I still see the Emails in

From Jen on July 14, 2019 :: 3:32 pm

Firstly, I’m blown away by your kindness to take time to answer questions and help all of these strangers on the internet. Thank you so much.

I’m moving from Bell Sympatico email and I opened a account and synced the sympatico email. They all moved over to hotmail beautifully.

It appears that if I make any changes in sympatico now that they do not replicate in hotmail - which leads me to believe if I delete files and email from the sympatico email - they will remain in the hotmail account. I tried it and it seems so.

MY QUESTION: I want to close the sympatico email permenantly - will this make all of the emails that were synced to hotmail disappear? Or are they moved to hotmail for good?

If closing the sympatico email will delete all emails from that email account that are now showing up in my hotmail - would you mind to please tell me what I can do to avoid that - so when I close the sympatico account I will have all my emails in hotmail?

Thank you so much for your time and kindness.



You set up with POP, right?

From Josh Kirschner on July 15, 2019 :: 3:46 pm

It sounds like you set up the syncing using POP, which is a one-way transfer, not IMAP. So deleting the Sympatico emails don’t impact your hotmail account.

Unless you’re receiving a lot of spam in your Sympatico accout, you may want to consider keeping it open. At some point you may stumble upon an account you need to get into where you don’t remember the password and it is set up with your Sympatico email. Keeping the account will let you get those password reset emails.



From Jen on September 07, 2019 :: 1:32 am

Oh just seeing this reply now. Thanks so much. I thought I selected to get an email when any reply happened but didn’t get one.
I’m cancelling my Bell Account and the Sympatico email came with it. Bell has been overcharging me for home phone and internet for decades. I tried to get them to let me have the smaller, cheaper internet plan that they do have for new customers but they won’t give it to me. So - very happy to get rid of Bell and Sympatico email.
Thanks again!
You’re awesome!



From J Stoc on July 30, 2019 :: 5:41 pm

Earlier this year Verizon stopped there email service & switched everyone to AOL..I am thinking about switching from Verizon DSL to cable internet. Can I still use my Verizon email if I join aol when I switch to cable?


I'm a little confused

From Josh Kirschner on July 30, 2019 :: 7:58 pm

Did you already switch your email to AOL when Verizon stopped offering theirs? If so, then you can use your AOL email when you switch to cable. Not sure what you mean by “still use my Verizon email”, since that’s been terminated.


use the best email site that I can use the one I already have

From Mike Wissel on August 05, 2019 :: 2:58 am

I was using Incredimail and somehow it quit working and now I can’t download and install it anymore.
I don’t know what happened but now I can’t put back on my computer.
If anyone can help me that would be nice.


change primary e-mail add

From Margaret Mags Musgrove on August 25, 2019 :: 8:44 am

how can i change my primary e-mail add to the one i use most times.


de-activate my google acc.

From Margaret Mags Musgrove on August 25, 2019 :: 8:57 am

i’m very confused with google, if i remove my google acc,  can i set another one up, using my HOTMAIL acc


I'm confused

From Josh Kirschner on September 03, 2019 :: 2:19 pm

You want to de-activate your Google account, then create a new one? Is your goal to change your Google username or something else?


One gmail account being closed

From Michelle Murphy on September 28, 2019 :: 2:42 pm

Hi - I think I understand the article (not tech savvy), just wanted to clarify one thing.
I have 3 active gmail emails. On my iPhone under mail I can toggle between the three inboxes.
One account is being closed by my company - I’m not concerned about new emails coming in - just want to make sure the old emails will still be archived and accessible as they are now? Or do I need to do something on my end?
Thankyou - Michelle


I'd recommend installing a software

From Suzanne Kantra on September 30, 2019 :: 1:44 pm

I’d recommend installing a software program called UpSafe. You can back up your emails (it’s a manual process) and then access them even after the account has been closed.
Scroll to the bottom of the page for the link to download the software.


re email address and access if I go from Verizon to Optimum

From Joanne on December 04, 2019 :: 12:30 pm

If I change internet providers and have used Verizon/AOL email and I created multiple folders regarding retirement, finance, residential repairs, etc., can I still access AOL and my email address if I use Optimum for my internet/phone/tv??  We are retiring from our primary residence to our vacation home which has Optimum. I started forwarding email from Verizon/AOL to optimum, but hope it’s not necessary. Plus notifying everyone about a change in email address.  Is it easier to just change to Verizon at our vacation home which will become our primary home?


Yes, but confirm with Verizon

From Josh Kirschner on December 04, 2019 :: 4:46 pm

Optimum is your internet provider - you can access any email you want through Optimum, including your old Verizon and/or AOL emails. However, you should confirm with Verizon that they won’t deactivate your Verizon email address if you cancel your account with them.


re email address and access if I go from Verizon to Optimum

From Joanne on December 04, 2019 :: 9:43 pm

Thank you so much. I will check with Verizon. Hopefully they wouldn’t deactivate the Verizon/aol email. That would be the easiest for me ( a senior)!


Archiving old email before closing account?

From Javier Bonafont on December 13, 2019 :: 12:31 pm

I’m considering changing ISP’s away from ATT/Yahoo, but I have a decade of emails in my ATT/Yahoo account.  If I migrate to a gmail account, can I migrate all my existing emails as well?  How?  I understand how to forward new emails, but how can I keep all my old ones?  I could conceivably pull them all into my home computer with Mac Mail sync, but there are multi gigs of attachments and media.  I would rather keep them on the web if possible.  Thanks!

Oh wait, I just found out something interesting, you can keep your ATT email account as a free account even if you cancel ISP service.  So maybe I’m fine.  Heres the article:


Another problem I’ve encountered with

From David Murphy on December 29, 2019 :: 7:31 am

Another problem I’ve encountered with the ‘+’ method on Gmail addresses is it seems increasingly common for sites to not see email addresses with a + as valid. I’ve tried to use it in numerous places just for organization sake to keep track of where emails are coming from in case a company sells the info or there’s a security breach or to just be able to auto-filter that address to spam but quite often I’m told it’s an invalid address and to change it.


Losing emails over time

From Patty Types on December 31, 2019 :: 10:26 am

When will they ever make a mail program that lets YOUR COMPUTER store the emails?  I will buy the space.  I am sooo tired of losing incredibly valuable emails, esp. if I am not using it for three months or more, maybe a year or two even, and the compacting which has lost a lot of my mail, never to be seen again.  I have lost mail from loved ones who passed on, important codes I was keeping on file and receipts of things I bought… but if I don’t use it and let it sit, they think it’s okay to just delete it.  I don’t want to pay “the cloud” because if I have to leave town or go to the hospital or have other problems, I don’t want to come home and find it gone because I didn’t pay them.  There are so many gimmicks by these big companies to get our money.  I am sooo tired of losing important emails and being at the will and mercy of companies who really don’t care.


Not clear what you're experiencing

From Josh Kirschner on December 31, 2019 :: 5:03 pm

Hi Patty,

It appears you are using Gmail for email, but Google doesn’t autodelete email unless you created a filter to do that or autoarchive. Google will delete items in Trash or Spam, but that doesn’t sound like what you are describing. That said, if you’re not using your Gmail account for YEARS, it’s possible they may deactivate it.

If you’re using a different email service, their policies may differ.

That said, you can use the desktop version of Outlook to store emails locally if that’s what you want to do. It’s been around for more than 20 years and will do what you want to do.



From Patty Types on January 01, 2020 :: 10:04 am

I only recently started using gmail as a public and back up mail.  I loved the old Outlook set up for mail but not the new one.  But still, they controlled the history more than me.  I want mail that I can save on MY computer than can’t be taken away because I was “away” or not using it for a year - or whatever.  I’ll pay for the space on my computer to store it, I just don’t want to lose emails that are important, special and precious to me, including the pictures in them.



From Patty Types on January 01, 2020 :: 10:05 am

I recently brought this email up to use again and the old mail I thought it was keeping has now disappeared!  Let ME decide these things.  I’ll pay for the space!


Email Service vs Email Program

From Tony on January 01, 2020 :: 1:43 pm


When you sign up for an email service, you need to know their rules, especially if it’s free. When you don’t use your free service for a very long time, some providers will leave it alone, others will deactivate it but you can get it back with all the data gone, while others will delete the account altogether.

Providers of paid email services will have a greater obligation to contact you before deleting your stuff, so long as you have continued paying your monthly fees.

If you use an email program such as Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird to connect to the email service, the messages are always yours and live on your computer, even if you lose the account you had from your service provider. BUT, computers crash or get stolen, so you still need to consciously backup all that’s stored on the machine, which includes your downloaded mail.


msn mail

From msn not responding on January 07, 2020 :: 6:38 am

Actually, I find it very helpful, your article helps me a lot to understand about this. After reading your article I have good knowledge of this. Thanks for sharing this. Here we provide information about MSN not responding issue.


Losing synced emails

From LJoy on January 17, 2020 :: 12:45 am


Thank you for the above instructions.

I’ve read through the comments above, but I’m not sure any quite answer my question. I have set up a new outlook email address that, following the above instructions, I have synced all items my original outlook email to. If I closed the original email account will I then lose the synced copies in my new email account too? Also if I keep running both email addresses for a while, will new emails to the original account automatically sync to the new email account?


Losing synced emails

From Tony on January 18, 2020 :: 1:26 pm

It depends what you mean by synced. If done properly, you should now have an independent copy of your old emails in the new account, so no chance of losing them if you close the old one.

And again, depending on the type of connection you set up, all new emails to the old account should be showing up in the new account as well.

So, are you auto-forwarding from the old to the new? Did you configure the new to continuously fetch from the old? Or did you simply do a one-time import of the old into the new.


Switching from TalkTalk to Gmail

From Jill on February 23, 2020 :: 10:06 am

I have a talktalk email address as they used to be my broadband provider. I changed my broadband provider several years ago but continued with my talktalk email address. I am now thinking of changing to gmail. Is the process the same as described above?
Also, I have many folders with saved emails can they be transferred to gmail too?
Thank you


BT Yahoo login

From prince on March 13, 2020 :: 2:46 pm

The BT Yahoo login or BT Yahoo email login is the same. Therefore, it’s actually the process of identifying the ownership of your BT Yahoo Mail account.


Will I lose my email address?

From Cathy on April 20, 2020 :: 1:15 am

We had our internet through Verizon. Then Verizon moved our email over to AOL but we kept our email address with the Then Verizon “sold” our area to Frontier but we still accessed our email through AOL.  We are wanting to change internet providers and drop Frontier. My question seems complicated but will we be able to keep our email address?


Nothing should happen to your email address

From Josh Kirschner on April 21, 2020 :: 11:32 am

At this point, AOL is handling the email addresses so you should be fine. Though it’s possible AOL may drop support at some time in the future. It might be a good time to just make the move to a more up-to-date address.


Changing email provider in Outlokk

From Raleigh Sanford on April 24, 2020 :: 8:51 pm

My sister’s isp is discontinuing email services as of 7-1-20. She is presently set up using outlook. Can she simply set up a new gmail email address as an alias in outlook and have all new email forwarded to the new gmail address. I saw somewhere something about needing to continue to use the old address to sign in in outlook. Is that possible if the old address has been deactivated. Also she is interest and retaining all of old emails received through the old provider and being able to search them, etc. It seems to me these emails should still be there and searchable. Is that correct. Thanks for any help and sorry if my terminology or understanding is not up to par.


Emails in Outlook

From Tony on April 24, 2020 :: 11:03 pm

The emails in your sister’s Microsoft Outlook program are hers to keep, even if her service provider ceases operation. She can add the new Gmail account to Microsoft Outlook as well, so she can simply continue with the familiar emailing experience, and store the new emails in the same place as the old ones.


That's what I was thinking

From Raleigh Sanford on April 25, 2020 :: 8:38 pm

That’s what I was thinking and hoping would be the case but did not know if I was missing anything. Thanks.


Transferring email folders when changing email services

From Jada on June 03, 2020 :: 12:40 am

I am encountering many glitches now with my AT&T email address. I would be willing to go through the process of switching to a new email provider except for one thing—I have many important emails saved in folders in my AT&T email account and do not want to lose these folders and their contents. Am I correct that there is no way to transfer these folders to a new email account? The only thing I can think of is to open each folder and forward emails separately to my new email address, where I would reorganize them. This prospect is very daunting because I’m sure it would involve an immense number of emails.


Yes, you can transfer folders

From Josh Kirschner on June 03, 2020 :: 9:58 am

You can transfer folders and their contents from Yahoo (which AT&T uses) and other emails programs to Gmail by going to the Accounts and Import tab in Gmail and selecting “Import mail and contacts” and following the steps. I just tested it and it worked fine. Note that the process will take a while (hours, or even days) if you have a lot of emails saved.



From Zeina Seddik on August 09, 2020 :: 2:37 pm

I can’t 🤬😡🤬😡🤬😡🤬😡😡🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬



From Angela Robinson on August 15, 2020 :: 5:02 pm

Is there a service that’s will do the all the steps required when changing internet providers for those who don’t feel computer savvy?


primary alias locked

From linda r on August 17, 2020 :: 1:31 pm

my primary alias when I log into is the same as my mircrosoft login ( I believe) . the address for this primary alias is the address i will lose when changing my emails over to . “your organizations policies prevent you from changing your primary alias” -  but I am not part of any organization . what can I do?


my e-mail address is above..but not for long

From Yam Erez on August 27, 2020 :: 11:57 am

My ISP has been blocking my outgoing mail and they told me it’s because somebody is sending multiple mails from my address, and the recommended I change my address (but remain with their service).

So your advice above doesn’t quite fit my situation. I use Outlook 2013 on my desktop PC for most mailing. Is there a way to forward all mails sent to myAddress@myISP to myNewAddress@myISP?


Should be easy

From Josh Kirschner on August 27, 2020 :: 12:37 pm

Every email provider should offer a way to forward emails in your account settings. That will allow you to forward your emails from your old account to your new one. If your provider is forcing you to close your old account to create a new address, that’s a little trickier. Your best bet might be to keep your existing account and create a new account on a different service (Gmail, Outlook, etc.) and forward to that email.


Yam Erez,You say you access

From Tony on August 27, 2020 :: 12:55 pm

Yam Erez,

You say you access your ISP account via Outlook 2013, but do you also know how to access it directly through webmail? You need to go into the Settings dashboard of the old account and see if there’s a way to configure auto-forwarding to the new email address, or go into the Settings of the new account and search for an option to “fetch” messages addressed to the old account.


yes, I do know how to access my ISP mail online/web-based

From Yam Erez on August 27, 2020 :: 1:06 pm

Thanks, Tony, I will remember to set up “fetch”/auto-forwarding after I switch.


Importing emails & contacts

From John on September 01, 2020 :: 5:33 pm

I have been trying to import emails & contacts from Windows Live Mail to Gmail because I am eliminating my previous internet service provider.  It keeps popping up a Yahoo box to complete the import.  Why is that?  Do I have to do it thru Yahoo?


Email Program versus Email Account

From Tony on September 01, 2020 :: 9:16 pm

Hello John,

Windows Live Mail is an EMAIL PROGRAM on your computer, but it just handles whatever EMAIL ACCOUNT you have on the web if you configure it to do so. I assume it’s a Yahoo account you have configured to work through Windows Live Mail.

So, using Gmail’s import option, you really need to think in relation to importing mail and contacts from your account, rather than your program. Depending on how you used your program, this can get a bit messy if a copy of all your mail wasn’t left in your account on the web. Also depending on if you were in the habit of creating all your Contacts in the program on the computer or directly in the account on the web.

You may need to consider another way of accomplishing this task.


Keeping Domain Name

From Jami Gentner on September 29, 2020 :: 2:08 pm

Is there an easy way to have my emails forwarded from Outlook to Gmail if we’re keeping our same domain name (which we own)? I’m not an IT person, but I’m the best bet we have at our small company. We’re switching over to GSuite, and I’m terrified our email will go down completely or I’ll lose our emails in the transfer.


This would be controlled in your DNS settings

From Josh Kirschner on September 30, 2020 :: 2:36 pm

I’m assuming you currently have Outlook Premium, which lets you use your own domain? If this is the case, then switching from Outlook to GSuite simply involves switching your domain’s DNS settings to point to Google instead of Microsoft. I say “simply”, as it is very easy and quick to do, if you know what you’re doing (as in around 15-30 minutes to get the info, make the changes and test them). If you’re not familiar with modifying DNS records, it may be best to hire someone to do that for you. Note that you will need to have account fully set up on GSuite before you make the switch. Follow these steps from Google that will walk you through the process:


Read More Comments: 1 2 3

Home | About | Meet the Team | Contact Us
Media Kit | Newsletter Sponsorships
Accessibility Statement
Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookie Policy

Techlicious participates in affiliate programs, including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which provide a small commission from some, but not all, of the "click-thru to buy" links contained in our articles. These click-thru links are determined after the article has been written, based on price and product availability — the commissions do not impact our choice of recommended product, nor the price you pay. When you use these links, you help support our ongoing editorial mission to provide you with the best product recommendations.

© Techlicious LLC.