So you have this Hotmail account and you want to migrate to GMail for all the obvious reasons. How can you do that?
A few months ago it was possible to forward your Hotmail e-mails to another e-mail account, which made it very easy to migrate to any other e-mail provider. However, Microsoft decided to limit this functionality so that you can only forward within the Microsoft e-mail services (such as hotmail.com, live.com, etc). This limitation looks like a desperate attempt to limit the drain of e-mail users.
Since mid-March, Microsoft provides POP3 access to your live.com or hotmail.com e-mail account. It looks like Microsoft had to let this go because users want to receive their e-mails to their mobile devices, etc.
Thus, how do you migrate from Hotmail.com or Live.com to GMail?
- In GMail, click on Settings→Accounts and scroll down to Get mail from other accounts.
- Click on Add a mail account you own.
- When you click on Add Account », GMail will check on the spot if it can access the Hotmail account. If there is a problem, you will be prompted with the precise error. For example, I noticed that Hotmail does not like logging on in POP3 twice with 15 minutes. So, when you add two Hotmail accounts, space it out to over a quarter of an hour.
On the next screen, you are prompted if you want GMail to setup an e-mail identity for this Hotmail account. What this does is that it allows you to reply to the received e-mails using your Hotmail e-mail address while you are inside GMail! Here I recommend to enable this feature, but select your GMail address in the Reply-To field. This means that by default, when you reply to your Hotmail mails, the sender will be your GMail account. However, on demand, you have the option to select the identity of your Hotmail e-mail account when composing a new e-mail. This process helps in your contacts learning gradually that your e-mail address is actually your GMail one. For those that continue to send mails to your Hotmail.com account you can remind them which is your current address.