Microsoft makes switching from Gmail to Outlook.com easier

Microsoft announced a few months ago that its Outlook.com email service had 400 million registered accounts. However, it would clearly like to attract more users, especially those who might switch to Outlook.com from Google's Gmail service, which Microsoft has been highly critical of for some time.

Today, Microsoft announced that it will be rolling out a new system that it says will make the switch from Gmail to Outlook faster and easier. You will have to have an Outlook.com account already set up to begin this process but once that's done, users can either click "Start" or go to Options if they want their Gmail messages to be put in a new subfolder.

Microsoft says that users will then have to sign into their Gmail account and grant it access to their Microsoft Account. That will begin the process of copying email from Gmail to Outlook.com. It adds:

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. 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.

Microsoft hopes that this streamlined import service will lower the barrier when it comes to switching email providers.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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35 Comments

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perhaps for registration but they wouldn't just delete an email out of the blue

Yahoo did this earlier this year with @ymail.com and @rocketmail.com emails, they closed registration but people still kept their accounts if they signed up prior

Two things keep from completely switching to outlook.com

The inability to save attachments directly into skydrive.. gmail offers this to drive!
The inability to auto sync my pics/videos from my phone without a 3rd party sync app!

Other than that, Its a nicer clean gui, and I still think google apps are too fragmented and need to be more integrated.

I would switch over but the outlook.com app for Android got some really bad reviews. So i'm sticking to gmail until MS can make a better Android app.

On my Galaxy S4, I monitor my Outlook.com account using the built-in email reader. You can set Outlook up as an Exchange account and you will get all of the benefits with none of the bloat of the Outlook app. Full access to individual folders and your calendar.

From Microsoft:

On your device, tap Email, then tap Add account.

Enter your Outlook.com email address and password, then tap Manual setup.

Under What type of account is this? tap Exchange.

If there is a Domain field, leave it blank. If there is a Username field, enter your email address.

Enter your password.

For Server name enter s.outlook.com.

Make sure the Use secure connection (SSL) checkbox is checked, then tap Next.

Choose your account options and tap Next.

To finish setup, tap Done.

I have an S3 and a live account... rather than setting up the live account to show up on my S3 following everything that is written above, I simply forward my email to Gmail, have setup so I can send email from gmail using my live account (Send mail as:).

I wonder if that works for an Office 365 account. I switched my personal domain from Google Apps to Office 365 a while back and had to manually move over what I wanted to keep. There are some IMAP duplicators, but I didn't have enough stuff to really bother.

Nice they have a guide, but will not be switching. Google is the dominant player on the web these days, not Outlook

Nice!! I also switched over after all the horrible G+ integration. Everytime in Gmail/Youtube when I change privacy account settings, they seem to automatically change it back to the defaults! And all the important settings seem to be so hidden. At least in Microsoft account (Outlook) it's so much easier and things don't change automatically like that.

I switched over to Outlook.com 6 weeks ago when I got a Lumia phone however I have today switched back to Gmail because I just find Outlook.com too slow for a lot of things whereas Gmail is much more responsive. Shame as Outlook.com is visually so much nicer than Gmail, I guess that is part of the problem though

You can enable messages pre-load (don't know if it's enabled by default) to make outlook faster.

Settings > More mail settings -> Group by conversation and pre-load messages > Pre-load messages to speed up reading

PeTiNgA said,
You can enable messages pre-load (don't know if it's enabled by default) to make outlook faster.

Settings > More mail settings -> Group by conversation and pre-load messages > Pre-load messages to speed up reading

Yeah I found that setting while trying to speed things up. My biggest complaint is when first loading the Outlook.com page it takes a good few seconds to actually get to the actual site. I have both Gmail and Outlook.com on my bookmarks toolbar in Firefox and Gmail loads in ~1 second but Outlook.com can take upto 10 seconds while the address bar bounces around from outlook.com to mail.live.com to dub11.mail.live.com etc. It is frustrating unless I leave the window open all the time which I don't really care to do.

InTheSwiss said,
I switched over to Outlook.com 6 weeks ago when I got a Lumia phone however I have today switched back to Gmail because I just find Outlook.com too slow for a lot of things whereas Gmail is much more responsive. Shame as Outlook.com is visually so much nicer than Gmail, I guess that is part of the problem though

I've had a similar problem. One of my outlook.com accounts, which is located on dub111 server, took a very long time to load, sometimes even failing to do so and forcing me to reload.

I faced similar issues with some websites too, probably 1-out-of-30. One of them was gsmarena.com.

I always thought it was either my connection, or my PC, or that simply those sites were poorly coded or were hosted on weak servers.

Well, guess what, it was my DSL modem/router all along. A piece of crap ZTE, given to me by the internet provider.

I now use a D-link (I know it's not the best, but still better than ZTE) and no such issues any longer.

Saying all that, outlook.com does take longer than gmail to load, but it shouldn't be more than 3-4 seconds.

Edited by eddman, Dec 11 2013, 7:41pm :

I have the same problem when on different connections (i.e. at home and at work), with different browsers, different computers, etc. Sucks

InTheSwiss said,
I switched over to Outlook.com 6 weeks ago when I got a Lumia phone however I have today switched back to Gmail because I just find Outlook.com too slow for a lot of things whereas Gmail is much more responsive. Shame as Outlook.com is visually so much nicer than Gmail, I guess that is part of the problem though

I've that the same problem with Outlook and Xbox.com as well.

I think it's just a side effect of the way that Microsoft handle's their "single sign on" live facility. You can't just go to outlook.com and stay there, it redirects you to a live site for authentication, then back again. It's really unnecessary these days and just adds pointless delay.

That said, I rarely use the web interface. I've got Outlook 2013 on my PC, and the built in mail client on my Surface, so I never see those delays.

AWilliams87 said,

I've that the same problem with Outlook and Xbox.com as well.

Yeah I have found quite a lot of people who have the same issue. It isn't the worst thing in the world obviously but it is damn annoying when it happens.

Did it manually about a month ago. After the ****ty G+ intergration on YouTube. Deleted my G+ account and will be slowly deleting all of my Google related services.

Never understood the way people recoil from G+ integration. To me it's just taking advantage of a common user account back end, not very different from Live accounts.

Heck, for a while, Live had a 'social network' style home page view, where you could see people's messenger status updates, connected social network posts, etc. Sure, nobody used it, but nobody complained that all Live.com account activity ultimately came back to it, either.

Google does it, though, and suddenly everybody's George Orwell.

techbeck said,

Because Google is the company that people love to hate.


actually that's microsoft not google. the reason google+ is not popular because its just redundant and too complicated as opposed to wel established easy to use facebook.

trojan_market said,

actually that's microsoft not google. the reason google+ is not popular because its just redundant and too complicated as opposed to wel established easy to use facebook.

Dont forget that it redirects you every day you log in to create one until you do or redirects you to add your phone number or whatever else its missing. G+ is so aggressive. That is why people dont like it. Just let me check me email and watch YouTube. Thats all I want to do Google...

It's not the comment system, it's the YT account.

One day I got a notification for using my real name on YT. As I have done for 2 years or so, I selected no. But it still happened, and now I got two channels.

All my filters for the original account was transfered to the new G+ account. The ones on the original account disappeared. I had used about 1 hour to filter all of my over 100 YT subs. Also each time I login to YT I have to choose the correct channel.

Why should I have two channels when I only need one? So I say screw them

x-byte said,
It's not the comment system, it's the YT account.

One day I got a notification for using my real name on YT. As I have done for 2 years or so, I selected no. But it still happened, and now I got two channels.

All my filters for the original account was transfered to the new G+ account. The ones on the original account disappeared. I had used about 1 hour to filter all of my over 100 YT subs. Also each time I login to YT I have to choose the correct channel.

Why should I have two channels when I only need one? So I say screw them

That happened to me. If made me make a new channel one day, gave me a way to use another name, and I named it the same as the name I had. Now I have my real name channel, and 2 channels of the same name. Thanks a lot YouTube... That probably counts as 3 accounts now when they report their stats...

I never went all-in for GMail integration primarily due to lack of any Android hardware. (My Android VMs and Google Chrome *are* integrated into my Google+ profile - however, that's pretty much it.) Everything Microsoft is tied into my Microsoft account - again, that's logical. (The process of THAT began in the XP era, and improvements in their services merely accelerated that integration process.) My iCloud (Apple) account bridges the two, in addition to being my hub of my Apple "cider" (all my Apple OS/Hack doings tie in there - again, for sensible reasons). I have e-mail accounts with all three services - two of the three are also fetched via my primary e-mail software - Microsoft Outlook. (Outlook has been my GMail account retriever of choice since I've had GMail - I only use the browser-side client when I can't use Outlook. Truth be told, the same applies to Outlook.com - and iCloud.com on the Apple side of things.) I've never - as in ever - been a fan of entirely Web-based e-mail - that is, in fact, one of my biggest complaints about Yahoo Mail's US mail service policy.

Good for those who want to switch to keep their emails. I dont plan on switching anytime soon tho. I got my Outlook name reserved tho if I decide to do so.

trojan_market said,
I know many who already switched to Outlook from gmail. Outlook hast a cleaner interface in my opinion.

That was never a question that people are switching. Just saying I am not for now. I prefer GMAIL but have an Outlook account as well.

trojan_market said,
I know many who already switched to Outlook from gmail. Outlook hast a cleaner interface in my opinion.

Much cleaner. I stuck with Gmail for a long time, but they finally drove me away for being determined to make the Gmail interface more cumbersome. I'd been thinking of moving for a while, but I needed that shove. So ... thanks, Google?

Really doesnt matter. Both platforms are easy to use and look nice. Always going to be something you dont like. I am mainly GMAIL now because I have an android phone.