If you’re interested in why I make the switch, that post is here. This post merely documents the actual steps to move your stuff over.
Overall, I’m very happy with the move.
Setup a vacation response to announce your new address
If people are going to email you at your email address, you need to remind them to use your new email address. Instead of sending a bulk email (which you can), I also prefer setting up reminder when someone still uses your old email. So, in Gmail, look in the top right for a “gear” icon => settings. In the General settings, scroll down to “Vacation response”. Turn it “On”, put the start date as today’s date. Here is what I used:
Subject:Please update your address book
Message:Hi, This is an automated message. My new email address is “<removed>@outlook.com”, so please update your address book / contact list with this email address for me. The older gmail email address is now unmonitored. Thanks
Transfer your email from Gmail to Outlook.com
In Gmail, Look in the top right for a “gear” icon => settings => Forwarding and POP/IMAP => enable POP and set to delete from Gmail after POP download. In Outlook.com look in the in top right corner for “More mail setting” => Your email accounts => Add a send-and-receive account => Add your Gmail here (if you have two factor authentication on Google, disable it or use your app-specific password here. If that’s confusing, just disable 2-factor authentication in Google). I had over 14,000 emails and the transfer took about 3 days. It’s a server to server transfer, so you can shutdown your computer, go hiking or whatever. And if you need some old email, it will always exist in one place or the other during the transfer – just search. After three days, I had 14,000 unread messages, so I just marked them all as read and I was all set.
Transfer your contacts from Gmail to Outlook.com
Log into Gmail, go to the Contacts view (click ‘Gmail” in the top left, under the Google logo). In the top bar, click “More” => Export contact => I selected the group “My contacts” => Outlook CSV format => Export. You get a file on your desktop.
Now log into Outlook.com, in the top left corner, click the “down” Chevron symbol/arrow (next to “Outlook”) to switch to “People”. Some where in the middle of the page you’ll see “Import from file” and now give the file you exported from Gmail just before.