So I have a google apps standard edition account that I use for my personal apps and e-mail. A couple of months ago, I set up a second domain name on it -- not as an alias, as an entirely separate domain name -- for a non-profit I work with while they waited for their official recognition as a 501(c)3 in order to get a Google Apps for Non-Profit.

They now have the official recognition and we've been approved for Google Apps for Non-Profit. I'd like to be able to transfer the domain name with out wiping out the e-mails on my existing account. I went to remove the domain from my existing account, in order to use it to create the new account and it told me I'd need to remove all the users first. I looked for a way to transfer the users to one of the other domains and couldn't find a way to move a user from one domain to another on the same apps account. Is there any way to move the users over to another domain before I delete the domain?

I'd like to keep the user accounts around so people can transfer their e-mails, calendars and documents to their new Google Apps for Non-Profit accounts before I delete their temporary accounts on my apps instance.

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately, there's no completely automated approach to this. Either you or your users will need to follow this approach:

  1. "Re-name" all of the users on the domain you want to migrate. Re-naming actually gives you the option to change which domain a user account is part of. See Google Help Article.
  2. Once you've moved all the users to your main domain, you can delete that domain from the original (temporary) google Apps account. Because none of the users have been deleted, all of their email, calendar, docs, etc. will still exist in that account.
  3. Create the new Google Apps account with that domain name
  4. Create user accounts for all of those users in the new Google Apps account
  5. Use Gmail-Backup to backup all of the users' emails, and then use the same tool to restore those emails (together with all labels) to their new account. If you're doing this yourself, you'll need to temporarily set all of the users passwords to something you have access to.
  6. If necessary, you can also log in to each of those user accounts and export their mail filters and then re-import them on their new accounts.
  7. Go into calendar settings in each users Google Calendar account, and "share" each of the users calendars with their new account. Give them access to "make changes and manage sharing". If this doesn't work, it's probably because your current Google Apps account has the calendar settings too restrictive, you need to be able to share calendars with users outside this organization (namely your new Google Apps account)
  8. Go into Google Docs for each user, and go to "All Items" under "More" on the left. Scroll to the bottom and make sure that all items have finished loading. Then select all docs using the checkbox at the top left and then select "sharing". Share all of these Google Docs with the users new account. Again, you may encounter restrictions from your original domain that you have to remove. You also may encounter issues sharing documents that were originally shared with this user by someone else. In that case you may have to share all of that users' own Google Docs with their new account, and then handle individually the items that were shared with them by others.

There is (unfortunately) no other way that I know of to transfer an account from one Google Apps domain to another. Although there are many steps here, it's not a very big job unless you have many users.

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