Thursday, September 06, 2007

How to Move EarthLink Web Mail to Gmail

03/17/08 UPDATE: This post is one of my most popular. If you find it useful please feel free to save to, Digg this!, Share on Facebook and/or Stumble It!. The links for those services are at the bottom. Thanks!

DISCLAIMER: This is not an endorsement. It is simply the quickly researched answer to a question. Use these tips at your own risk. Also feel free to comment on tips and tricks you find that seem to work for your special needs.

This question came up earlier today from someone who has a need to move their personal (i.e. NOT COMPANY) web-based EarthLink email to Gmail. It stems from the fact that they:
  1. Are changing ISP,
  2. No longer plan to use an EarthLink email account, and
  3. Wanted to retain a few years of email.
In their case, they want to set this up, capture their legacy email into Gmail and then disable. This tool will do all that.

Here is the link to Gmail's "Mail Fetcher" which give the basic step-by-step instructions. There are a couple of things to note in the setup as it relates to EarthLink email accounts:
  1. Your login is your full email address []
  2. Only items in your EarthLink Web Mail InBox will be captured by Gmail. Other folders of email will need some special handling to get them to your InBox (I didn't test this yet).

Here's how to get started (from the beginning of the Gmail Help Center page listed above).

  • Click Settings from the top of any Gmail page.
  • Click Accounts.
  • In the "Get mail from other accounts" section, click Add another mail account.

The below example browser pop-up window opens and here we go!

  • Enter your complete EarthLink Web Mail email address [].
  • Click the Next Step button.

  • Enter your complete EarthLink email address [].
  • Enter the password for that account.
  • "POP Server" and "Port" settings are default and should work fine.
  • Select the check boxes that you want. Check the "Label incoming messages" box at a minimum. You will want to easily identify these imported messages and this will help. The others (leave a copy on the server, use SSL and skip the inbox) are really up to you.
  • Click the Add Account button.

  • If you do want to be able to send EarthLink email from your Gmail account as well then you want to say "Yes" here. While the person in question did not to (a one-time capture of legacy email on an account they will no longer use), I have chosen yes so that I can see the next configuration steps.
  • Click the Next Step button.

  • Here you want to type your name as you want it to appear when you send outgoing EarthLink email via your Gmail account.
  • Click the Next Step button.

  • Gmail is going to ask you to confirm you own the account so click the Send Verificaton button.

  • A verification email is sent to your EarthLink Web Mail account. Mine was in the "Suspect Mail" folder. By moving it to my EarthLink Web Mail InBox, Gmail imported it for me. From there you can copy and paste it into the box and click the Verify button.

That should do it! You should now see anything that gets placed into you EarthLink Web Mail InBox show up in Gmail within a few minutes (checked at intervals).

If you have questions, comments, suggestions or critisism, feel free to comment as needed.


  1. I think I am missing something here. This appears to capture new Earthlink Web Mail email into Gmail but not transfer existing Web Mail email to Gmail. Is that correct or have a really missed something? Thanks! Bruce

  2. I'd noted in my original post that only items in your EarthLink Web Mail InBox will be captured by Gmail. My next idea has not been tested by me.

    If I understand correctly you can move email from EarthLink Web Mail folders to the InBox and Gmail will then capture them.

    Hope that helps and thanks.