Migrating Mail from GMail to M+Google Mail

Overview

This document will help you migrate email from your personal GMail to your university M+Google account using the open-source Gmvault tool. Gmvault is a command-line tool and is  not supported by U-M. It also requires you to use your own computer to complete the migration. The migration copies (syncs) messages from your source accounts to the local drive on your computer. After the sync is complete, another process restores the messages from your local drive to your target account.

Prepare for the Migration

Depending on the size of your mailbox, the migration can take many hours to complete. Before beginning, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure your computer will remain awake for the duration of the migration.

Because Gmvault runs on your local computer, that computer needs to be powered on and awake for the entire migration process. To prevent your computer from sleeping, you may need to temporarily disable the power saving features. You may also consider using an app to prevent your computer from sleeping

  1. Verify you have adequate hard drive space.

Before beginning a migration, verify that you have enough space on your hard drive. To view how much space your mail will require, open Drive (not GMail). At the bottom-left of the Drive window, the total amount of shared data in your account is displayed. Hover over the Manage link to see how much data Gmail will require.

  1. Verify your Google Mail/GMail accounts each have IMAP enabled.

To verify that both of your accounts have IMAP enabled, follow these steps.

Install Gmvault

Installers are available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Visit the Gmvault download page to locate your computer’s installer and follow the installation instructions.

Migrate Your Mail

The migration process generally occurs in two phases: syncing and restoring. Both phases will ask you to sign into the appropriate Google account and authorize Gmvault to access your Mail account. It is important that you are signing into the appropriate account for each phase. Sign out of any active Google sessions in your default browser before beginning.

Syncing Email from Your Gmail Account

Mac

  1. Open Terminal and navigate to the bin directory for Gmvault.
  2. Enter the following command with your personal gmail.com email address (note the leading dot):
    ./gmvault sync your_account_name@gmail.com
  3. When prompted, press Enter to authenticate. Once you press Enter, your default browser will open asking you to sign into your Google account.
  4. Sign into your @gmail.com account. This sign-in process works with two-step authentication if you have enabled that feature on your account.
  5. When prompted, grant Gmvault access to your account.
  6. Return to Terminal and press Enter. Gmvault will begin the sync process.

Windows

  1. Double click on the Desktop shortcut to launch the Gmvault-shell
  1. This will also set variables to easily operate Gmvault.
  1. Enter the following command with your personal gmail.com email address:
    gmvault sync your_account_name@gmail.com
  2. When prompted, press Enter to authenticate. Once you press Enter, your default browser will open asking you to sign into your Google account.
  3. Sign into your @gmail.com account. This sign-in process works with two-step authentication if you have enabled that feature on your account.
  4. When prompted, grant Gmvault access to your account.
  5. Return to Terminal and press Enter. Gmvault will begin the sync process.

Restoring Email to Your M+Google Account

Mac

  1. Open Terminal and navigate to the bin directory for Gmvault.
  2. Enter the following command with your @umich.edu email address (note the leading dot):
    ./gmvault restore uniqname@umich.edu
  3. When prompted, press Enter to authenticate. Once you press Enter, your default browser will open asking you to sign into your M+Google account.
  4. Sign into your M+Google account using your uniqname and UMICH password.
  5. When prompted, grant Gmvault access to your account.
  6. Return to Terminal and press Enter. Gmvault will begin the restore process.

Windows

  1. Double click on the Desktop shortcut to launch the Gmvault shell.
  2. Enter the following command with your @umich.edu email address:
    gmvault restore uniqname@umich.edu
  3. When prompted, press Enter to authenticate. Once you press Enter, your default browser will open asking you to sign into your M+Google account.
  4. Sign into your M+Google account using your uniqname and UMICH password.
  5. When prompted, grant Gmvault access to your account.
  6. Return to the Gmvault shell and press Enter. Gmvault will begin the restore process.

Notes

Once you authorize Gmvault for a particular account, Gmvault stores that authorization on your computer so it can automatically authenticate later. These credentials are stored in $HOME/.gmvault (or %HOME%/.gmvault for Windows).

Gmvault backs up your complete gmail account by default into $HOME/gmvault-db (or %HOME%/gmvault-db for Windows)

Revoking Access to Your Account

When you are done migrating your mail, you can revoke Gmvault’s access to your accounts. To do so, open your Account Permissions page for each account, locate the items titled “Gmvault - Backup your Gmail account”, click it, and then click the Revoke access button in the right column.

Advanced Features

Gmvault also has advanced commands not covered in this document that allow syncing specifics portions of your mail account, local backups, and maintenance of the synced email on your computer. While these topics aren’t covered here, see Gmvault’s documentation if you’re interested in using these features.