Since 2008 I've been using a Gmail account as my main mailer, and I'm happy with the service. Unfortunately, I'm slowly but surely entering the business world, and my mail uses a children's name (along the lines of DarkShadow). Embarrassing to say the least.

This all wouldn't be a problem if I could just make a new mail, but all of my services, including my YouTube account and a bazillion forums, are linked to that mail. Plus, I have all mails up until the first one from 2008 archived.

Google has a feature to add secondary mails to accounts, but that unfortunately only works partially, because it writes it like " on behalf of ", defeating the whole point.

Is there a feature to migrate absolutely everything to my new mail address? Apart from setting up a universal redirect, I can't think of anything.


1 Answer 1


This is how I would attack this problem:

  1. Create the new, more "mature" Google account
  2. Set up the original account to forward all messages to the new account [Google Support]
  3. Set up a filter on the new account that will find auto-forwarded messages and apply a label to let you know the origin of the message (e.g., forwarded-messages)
  4. Install Thunderbird and set it up with mailboxes for both accounts using IMAP1
  5. In Thunderbird, drag-and-drop all the messages from the mailbox for the old account to the other. You may need to do this piecemeal if you have a lot of messages
    • It would also probably be a good idea to put a label on all these manually migrated messages so that you know where they came from
  6. Going forward, give out the new address
  7. As messages come in that went to the old address (and are thus filtered), find those sites/forums/etc., and update your account there

Optionally you might want to set up Gmail so that your new account can send "as" the old account as well as itself. You can even set up separate signatures.

1 Once you've moved all of the messages, you can get rid of Thunderbird and remove IMAP access on your accounts, if you don't want to keep it.

  • Will this preserve dates? I'd like to know that this one email from August 2010 was indeed written on August 2010, for example.
    – Selbi
    Nov 1, 2015 at 23:32
  • The last time I did this it did. I have messages in Gmail that are older than Gmail. I can't imagine this will have changed.
    – ale
    Nov 1, 2015 at 23:35

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