August 30, 2007

Hacking your email

Moving Outlook Express messages to your Gmail account

Let's say that you've been using Outlook Express for your email client. Let's also stipulate that you've been using it for a looonngg time and have a bunch of emails that you don't want to lose. However, you've finally reached a point where


  • You want to move to another email client.
  • You're moving to another OS *Linux, Mac OS).

More specifically, you don't want to use a standalone client anymore, but rather a web-based client like Gmail. What do you do? You can, of course, forward all of the emails. I've done it; it sucks. Your emails are no longer sortable by time and date. Threading is equally impossible. Again I ask, What do you do?

Fortunately for all of us, a bright guy named Mark Lyon created a tool called Gmail Loader, which can help. A lot. You also need to install Thunderbird, as Gmail Loader only works with emails in the mbox format, not the dbx format that OE uses. Anyway, on with the countdown, so to speak.

  1. Download and install Thunderbird.
  2. Import your OE messages into Thunderbird
    • Select Tools | Import... from the menu in Mozilla Thunderbird.
    • Make sure Mail is selected.
    • Click Next >.
    • Highlight Outlook Express.
    • Click Next > again.
    • Now click Finish.
    • Select File | Compact Folders from the menu. [Note: this is a MUST do before proceeding]
  3. Download Gmail Loader.
  4. Start Gmail Loader.
  5. Click Find under Configure Your Email File.
  6. Locate the file pertaining to the Mozilla Thunderbird folder you want to import into Gmail.
    • Find the files corresponding to your Mozilla Thunderbird folders.
    • Have Windows display hidden files and folders to see the Application Data folder.
    • Use the files that do not have a file extension (not the .msf files).
  7. Click Open.
  8. Make sure mBox (Netscape, Mozilla, Thunderbird) is selected under File Type: in Gmail Loader.
  9. If you are migrating sent messages, choose Mail I Sent (Goes to Sent Mail) under Message Type:, otherwise select Mail I Received (Goes to Inbox).
  10. Type your full Gmail address under Enter your GMail Address.
  11. Click Send to GMail.

The details were lifted in large part, amost verbatim, from About.com. Go there if you need more details.

I'll be honest: this is probably the first or second time that I've found something useful in the About.com domain of websites. The author was very detailed in his instructions about something that's fairly technical. I guess that I might have to give that section of the Intertubes a better look going forward.

Posted by Physics Geek at August 30, 2007 04:01 PM | TrackBack StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!
Comments

Praise you above all mortals. If this really works I am in your debt.

I F*CKING HATE. HATE. Outlook.

Posted by: caltechgirl at August 30, 2007 08:23 PM