How to Consolidate your Email Addresses in Gmail

How to Consolidate your Email Addresses in Gmail

If you are like most people chances are you currently have more than one email account. While there are benefits to having multiple accounts, there may come a time when you decide to simplify and just use one email account for all of your emailing needs.

If you have decided that the time to simplify is now, you may want to consider moving all of your emails to Google’s web based email or gmail. One of the main reasons to choose gmail is because it is not just an email host, it is also an email client. With Google you will be able to get emails from any number of external services and consolidate them in your gmail inbox. This means that you do not have to worry about emails that are going to your old email address and you do not have to notify every contact you have to let them know your email address has changed.

There are a couple of options available for you if you want to move all of your emails to your gmail account. One option is to use the mail fetcher from Gmail and the other option is to forward all your mail from another address to your gmail account automatically.

Using Gmail’s Mail Fetcher

It is likely that your current email provider offers a POP access for retrieving mail from it. The mail fetcher from Gmail can get these messages using the POP and then display the messages in your inbox alongside the emails that come directly to your gmail account. You can get emails in your gmail account from up to 5 other email addresses using this system in gmail.

In order to use the mail fetcher you will need to make sure that your old email account offers POP access. To determine if the old account offers POP access you will need to check the account settings or contact customer support. You will need the POP server address, the port, and your username and password for the account. You will also need to sign up for a gmail account if you have not done so already.

When you are logged on to your gmail account you can then configure the mail fetcher to retrieve any messages from your old account by following these steps:

  1. Click settings while in gmail
  2. Click on accounts
  3. Click on the get mail tab located in the other accounts section. Here you can add a new mail account, up to 5.
  4. Enter the email address of the account you want access to and then click on the next step icon.
  5. When possible gmail will fill in the POP server, username, and other port fields. You will then enter your password for the account.
  6. If you are only going to check email through gmail you can uncheck the box that says “leave copy of retrieved messages on server. If you are only using gmail as a backup and want to still be able to use the other software to access your mail make sure that this box remains checked.
  7. Click on any other options you want and then click on add account. If any of the settings are incorrect you will receive an error message and you will need to fix the problem.

Automatically Forwarding Messages to Gmail

The other option for consolidating your email into a central gmail account is to have your emails directly forwarded to gmail. This is the only option available if your former email address does not have POP access. It is also the best option if you have more than 5 former email addresses that you want to consolidate through gmail.

The steps for forwarding email to gmail will vary based on the account. If the email provider you are using offers an auto-forwarding feature you will find it under your account options tab.

Writing Messages

Once you have all of your email going to a single gmail account you may want to still use the different addresses when you are replying to your emails. If you have several different online personas that you want to keep, but want to access each of them through gmail, you can use different from addresses when you are sending out emails. To change the from address on your email when replying follow these steps:

  1. Click settings located at the top of the page and then select the accounts tab.
  2. Click on the add a new email address located in the send mail as tab.
  3. Enter your name in the name field and the email address that you want to send messages from into the email address area.
  4. Click on the next step tab and then the send verification.
  5. A verification message will be sent to your email address to confirm that you want it added to your gmail account. If you have this email setup to come to your gmail account it will appear in your inbox.
  6. Click on the link provided in the email or enter the confirmation code in order to complete the setup process.

Once the account has been verified you will then be able to send emails from your gmail account using the new email address. When you next compose an email you will be able to choose the email address you want the new email to come from by using the dropdown list that is available.

You should know that your gmail address will also be included in the headers from your message. This is to prevent emails from being marked as spam. While most email clients do not display the sender field, there are some that do.

Consolidating your email into a central gmail account is really quite simple and it can alleviate some of the stress involved in maintaining several email accounts at once.

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