Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Forward AOL mail to any e-mail address using GMail

AOL has been on my list of "The Worst Companies" for many years. Let's start with AOL Mail. Even people who pay for their AOL service (is there anyone out there who does) can't forward their mail. Forwarding? Such a simple thing and AOL doesn't allow it? That's right! You know why? Because AOL knows very clearly that sites like GMail are now dominating the free e-mail market and everyone wants their e-mails forwarded to finally get rid of AOL. But as long as AOL denies forwarding, they'll keep their small market share in the e-mail world.

But I'm gonna show you how to get your e-mail forwarded. Simply use...a GMail account! Here's how:

  1. Start by creating a free GMail account at http://www.gmail.com/
  2. Once you are in your new inbox, click Settings at the top right of the screen.
  3. Click Accounts
  4. Under 'Get Mail from other accounts' click 'Add another mail account'.
  5. Type your AOL e-mail address and click Next Step.
  6. Type your password and leave the POP settings the way they are (the standard settings should work fine for you).
  7. Choose the other options such as 'Leave mail on server' which will place everything in the Old Mail folder on AOL once GMail gets it. If you leave this unchecked, you will no longer have any mail in AOL. Click 'Add Account'.
  8. If you want all of your current AOL mail forwarded to your new e-mail address, then immediately go to the 'Fowarding and POP/IMAP' tab on top.
  9. In 'Forwarding', type your e-mail address into the box and choose whether to keep GMails copy or not. Click 'Save Settings'.
GMail will now retrieve all of your e-mail from your AOL account and forward it to the address of your choice. If you only want new AOL e-mail forwarded, give GMail time to retrieve all the current messages before doing step 8 and 9. BTW, steps 8 and 9 are only if you are only using this GMail account only to forward to another account. If you actually use this GMail account and you want the e-mails in this inbox, then you don't need to do the forwarding.

Next I'll talk about the AOL Bloatware.


Digg this story

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice!

qKarma said...

hav u tested this out ? aol uses imap and not pop3 .. this won't work

The Geek said...

I would suggest you try it before leaving a comment saying it won't work. When you've tried it and see that it does indeed work, you can come back and apologize.

Anonymous said...

WORKS GREAT. AOL SUCKS!!!

Anonymous said...

Worked well. Still want to transfer Address Book from AOL to GMAIL. Suggestions?

Curiously, a few of the most recent emails from the "Outgoing/Sent Mail" on AOL did not transfer over.

The Geek said...

You could probably use something like http://aolsync.aol.com/main.do to sync your contacts to Outlook, and then use Gmail's Sync to sync it to Gmail.

I wasn't even aware that Gmail synced the sent items from AOL to it. That's pretty cool. I'm sorry I can't help with why some of those e-mails didn't sync.

Lisbeth said...

Sweet! Thanks

Anonymous said...

the geek rulez

thank you for helping me give it to the man...

question though, hotmail has a stupid policy saying that they will close your account if you don't login every few months. So, does gmail actually login on your behalf thus circumventing their dumb policy?

Or would you still have to set a reminder to login every so often to prevent them from shutting your account down?

The Geek said...

If you are using gmail to collect your hotmail e-mail (which I've never tried before, but great if it works), then you don't have to worry about them closing your account, because every time gmail polls for e-mail it is essentially logging into your account, thus tricking hotmail into thinking that your account is still active.

Enjoy!

Matt said...

I have taken this one step further... If you want to get rid of AOL once and for all you can create a filter in gmail to filter all emails coming in to your AOL and set up a canned response to trigger when the email comes in. Something like... I finally got away from those commi AOL chumps, please send all future email to @gmail.com... Eventually you will be rid of them once and for all!

You can try mine
mattgetch@aol.com

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Geek, you really helped me out big time ;-)

cwylie0 said...

Thank you for this. I am always trying to get clients off the AOL train. Gmail rules AOL drools.

pasquale said...

Hi,
I set this up and it initially transferred all my email and contact info. But it hasn't sent anything new from my aol address. Any ideas?

The Geek said...

As long as you follow the instructions exactly, it will work. Many people have tried, and many people have succeeded. The only people it hasn't worked for are the people who have not followed the instructions to a T.

Good luck.

Gary said...

does AOL have a login policy similar to Hotmail's? Also, if you leave the box unchecked (leave a copy of retrieved message on the server) you won't have to worry about going over on AOL's email space limit (is there one, not sure. I'm doing this for a friend)...

Simon c said...

Thanks for the tip. *But* it should be noted that Google will fetch the mail at intervals determined by how frequently you receive e-mail to the external account. There is no way of manually setting how often the mail is fetched. I receive e-mail quite reqularly and yet it only checks for mail once per hour! I believe this is the problem that some of the people posting are having. I really hope Google include fetch settings, then I will truly be able to dump my AOL account.

wan said...

do you know if theres a way to NOT push all the aol mail to OLD MAIL after it's been sucked into Gmail?

ALSO

After import, will ALL AOL MAIL dissappear???

AstralisLux said...

There's an issue people should be aware before using this method. GMail does not check your AOL account instantly. It could take three hours to receive and send any mail that you have on AOL. That's the major drawback with GMail POP3.

Benjamin said...

I set my mom up with a gmail account and imported all of her aol info to her new gmail email address about a year and a half ago. However, she does not take to change well and continued using her aol email.

However, now she is pretty fed up with aol and wants to start using her gmail address.

Unfortunately, gmail stopped updating from her aol account after 30 days. I tried a second import, which will hopefully work to collect the emails she received since then. However, I was wondering if there was a way to have gmail continue to grab new mail from the aol account after the 30 days, just as if aol had a standard mail forwarding option?

I know this sounds unusual, however my mom is not good with email and is worried that she will miss an important email sent by someone who is not aware that she switched to gmail. THANKS!

Anonymous said...

This was fantastic! all I had to do is double check the aol pop server and make a quick change and it worked! Thank you!

Meg said...

So, will gmail forward my aol mail for only 30 days?? I have used aol as my business account, so I'd like to keep forwarding my aol mail for a long time - several more months, if not a year, to give all my clients a chance to find me. Please tell me I can forward aol to gmail for as long as I like.

Anonymous said...

This was hugely helpful, even years after the original posting. I *never* had an AOL account, but I have a Netscape address that I've had for 15 years. AOL bought Netscape many years ago, and I was stuck using AOL -- until now. The details of page format at Gmail have changed a bit from the instructions listed above, but it still works. Thank you for bringing an end to my AOL hell.

ZAPKVR said...

Top work fellows. I must say, I really appreciate your help in sorting this out for a colleague of mine.

ZAPKVR said...

Top work fellows. I must say I am seriously grateful to have sorted this. It's a huge releif to not have to check aol email every day.

Coop said...

Is there any way of doing this but retaining the original email in new mail on aol without it being moved to old mail?

The Geek said...

Thanks everyone for all the "thank you's". I'm happy it worked out. I know the format changed a little. Now you would need to click the gear icon on the top right and click mail settings. I don't know if there is a way to get it not to move mail to OLD MAIL. I assume you can use this trick for as long as you'd like. Not sure why gmail stopped checking after 30 days, sounds weird. And yes, gmail only checks as often as you get mail. So if you get AOL mail once a day, gmail will check once a day. I think the lowest frequency is either every ten minutes or every hour if your AOL address constantly has new email. All I can say is that I've been using this method since I wrote this post and it's been working pretty well.

Anonymous said...

You must leave your aol account open though, right?

The Geek said...

But of course...

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I am a self-employed professional musician and my business relies completely on communication with clients and employees through email. Somehow, and quite suddenly, I was recently "blacklisted" by several domains (verizon, yahoo, comcast, etc) and this nearly shut down my business. I received no helpful information from the various domains to fix the situation, and have resorted to starting a new email account through gmail. Your helpful explanation allowed me to pull all of my previous and incoming correspondences from the wrongfully compromised AOL account and get my business up and running again, with all responses now coming from the "clean" new gmail account. Again, THANK YOU!