How to (Painlessly) Switch From Yahoo Mail to Gmail

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There was a time when Yahoo Mail was the hottest thing going. It seemed everyone you knew had a free Yahoo email address. Then along came Google, and the new smartest email account to have was Gmail.

If you have a Yahoo address and want to make the jump to Gmail but don’t want to risk losing all the emails and contacts you’ve amassed over the years, you’re in luck. Moving services is, for the most part, pretty painless. Just follow the steps outlined below to switch from Yahoo Mail and you’ll be all-in on Gmail in no time.

Step 1: Get Gmail

First things first, you want to create a Gmail account. Head over to and enter your information. If you already have a Gmail account and just want to consolidate, skip this step and go straight to step 2.

Step 2: Accounts and Import

Log in to your Gmail account, click the Gear icon in the upper right corner and then click Settings.

Selecting Settings from Gmail gear drop-down menu

Next, go to the Accounts and Import tab and then click on Import mail and contacts.
Accounts and Import tab in Gmail Settings

In the pop-up window that appears, enter your Yahoo email address and click Continue.

Entering Yahoo email address in Gmail pop-up window

You’ll now be prompted to sign in to your other email account. This means you should open a new browser tab and log in to your Yahoo account. When you’re logged in there, click Continue in the Gmail window (pictured below).

Sign into your other email account pop-up window in Gmail

If you logged in to your Yahoo account successfully you should see a new pop-up appear. This one asks you to verify Gmail’s access to your Yahoo account. To continue, you must click Agree.

Yahoo email access authorization window in Gmail

You’ll then be prompted to close the pop-up window to continue. The first pop-up will think for a few seconds, and then you should see the “Import options” window in Gmail (below).

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Here you get to choose what you want to import. The only box here you should pay close attention to is the last one. This enables forwarding for the next 30 days to make sure any stragglers you have in your account can make the jump. Click Start import to continue.

Gmail Import Options window

When the process has started you’ll be prompted with an OK button. Click this and close the pop-up window. The import process can take some time depending on the amount of mail and contacts you’re importing, so be patient if your account is large or old.

Step 3: The Results

Once the process is complete you should see a new label in your Gmail sidebar that has the same name as the Yahoo account you imported. This label is applied to every email that was imported. This way, you can find your old Yahoo emails easily.

Along with emails, you should be able to click on Contacts in Gmail and see your Yahoo contacts all moved over.

Selecting Contacts from Gmail drop-down menu

With contacts and emails moved over, the process is complete. You can forward emails from your Yahoo account indefinitely, but unless you need them, you’ll probably just be forwarding spam.

Don’t Be a Yahoo Zombie

If you no longer need Yahoo Mail, it’s also wise to delete your account. Old, unused accounts are known as “zombie” accounts and can be taken over and used for spam since the owners don’t log in to them any more. If you’re done with your account, better to delete it and move on. Gmail is easier, cleaner, and all-around better. You’ll be glad you moved.

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