Outlook.com makes it even easier to switch from Gmail

Today, we are announcing a new service that makes it easier than ever to import your Gmail account to Outlook.com. This will be rolling out to everyone over the coming weeks, so if you don’t have access to it yet, check back soon.

Growing frustration with outdated email services

When we first launched Outlook.com, we set out to shake up the world of personal email. We wanted to build a service that was personal and designed for modern devices, with a clean user experience and smart and powerful tools that let our customers get things done faster. The response to our work with Outlook.com has been overwhelmingly positive and we continue to be humbled by how much so many of our customers love using it.

At the same time, there are people who aren’t quite as happy with their email service. For example, discontent with Gmail seems to be on the rise.  According to a recent study* by market research firm Ipsos, nearly 1 in 4 consumers would switch email providers if it was easier to do. That same study also highlighted the areas that customers identified as most important; these include ensuring ads don’t interfere with the email experience (70%), offering advanced spam filters (69%), providing an easy-to-understand user interface (67%), and not scanning the contents of email to serve ads (58%). We have focused on many of these areas with Outlook.com, and so for those looking to make a change in their personal email provider, Outlook.com is a natural choice.

It’s easier than ever to switch

Of course, even if you are frustrated with your current provider, the thought of switching to a new service can seem daunting.  So we’ve introduced new functionality right into Outlook.com that does the heavy lifting for you. All you need to do is follow a few simple steps to connect your Gmail account (using OAuth) to your Outlook.com account (if you don’t already have one, it’s easy to get). This will import your Gmail emails into your Outlook.com inbox and, because you’ve connected both accounts, your Google contacts will automatically appear in Outlook.com. The structure of your inbox, including read/unread status of your emails, will be preserved. The new tool will even set up your Gmail address as a “send-only” account so you can continue to send email from your @gmail.com address, right from Outlook.com, if you still want to.

How it works

Below is an overview of how the process works. For detailed instructions, including information on your Gmail labels, you can visit our help site.

To begin, simply start the process here and sign in with your Outlook.com account. If you want all your mail from Gmail to be copied into a new set of subfolders, click Options and select that option, otherwise click Start.

Outlook.com gmail import start screen

You’ll then need to sign in to Gmail and grant the tool access to your account. Once you OK this, we’ll start copying email into your account and you’ll be navigated back to Outlook.com.

Gmail access authorization page

The mail that’s currently in your inbox will be copied from Gmail. We won’t make any changes to your Gmail account.

Once you start the import process, we’ll send you step-by-step instructions on how to set up email auto-forwarding. This enables your Gmail account to forward all your future email to Outlook.com.

Gmail auto-forwarding page

That’s it, you’re done! The rest, we’ll handle. The import happens in the background, so you can continue using Outlook.com or even log out while it’s happening. Once the import is complete, we’ll send you an email to let you know we’ve finished.

You can always return to Gmail and continue to use it in the way you always have. However, we’re confident that once you try Outlook.com, you’ll love it.

We encourage you to try the tool for yourself and tell us what you think.

–Naoto Sunagawa

*Study of 1,019 personal email users conducted online by Ipsos Public Affairs from November 5-13, 2013. The survey participants were all 18+ years old, and reflected the U.S. population of adults according to U.S. Census Bureau data.  Margin of error +/- 3.1 percentage points.  Commissioned by Microsoft Corp.