Friday, November 25, 2011

Moving email from one Google Apps account to another

As part of my digital clean up, I needed to move email from an account on one domain, to an account on another domain.

Google Apps used to have a good tool for this, it ran from the cpanel over IMAP, and was in essence a server-server tool, but this got deprecated. Now, you need to download the email locally from the source account / domain, and then upload to the destination account / domain.

On a Mac there are two ways how to do this: use MailFetcher and the Google Email Uploader.

The Email Uploader is very nice. It links to your Apple Mail or Thunderbird on your local machine, shows folders, and you can selective which folder to upload. You can also give the transferred folder a name so you can see it.


To get the email onto your local machine you need to use these instructions. You would need the domain admin to turn on IMAP first of course.


You may find that nor all messages can be moved across. The uploader won't move corrupt messages, messages that are not RFC 822 compliant, or messages with disallowed attachments eg .exe.

If the message is not RFC 822 compliant then you'll see "Invalid RFC 822 Message" in the window.

    Message did not upload
       The operation couldn’t be completed. (Invalid RFC 822 Message: Date header "Sun, Dec 23 2001 13:26:12 +0000" is invalid.)
       /Users/user/Library/Mail/IMAP-user@domain.co.uk@imap.gmail.com/Email Saved.imapmbox/Messages/143660.emlx
      

I found that Mail did not see these messages either, so I couldn't use drag and drop, but since they are plain text you can view them using QuickLook in the finder, and decide if you really need them.



Also, if a folder / label has over 500 messages in it, you'll find progress quite slow after the 500. It gets to 500 really fast, maybe only a few minutes, depending on attachments. Thereafter you are limited to one message per second, so a folder with, say, 4000 message will take about an hour to upload. You might consider splitting a large folder up. You also likely parallelise things up, by running the uploader more than once, but I didn't try that. I know you can multiple GAMME uploads concurrently, to get around the ingestion limit.

2 comments:

Scott McKenzie said...

If you don't mind shelling out (its cheap though) http://www.yippiemove.com/index.html is a fantasic resource for migrating from an IMAP server to, for example, gmail. Or migrate email from a gmail account to Google Apps etc. We're not affiliated or anything but use it regularly where its makes sense rather than using Google's own Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange tool which, despite the name, is also intended for doing IMAP migrations. That tool works great too but as you say involves the email passing through your computer and bandwidth rather than running externally like Yippee. A tip from the Cloud Logic team! www.cloudlogic.co.uk

Steve Mansfield said...

Interesting service. If your organisation cares about SAS70 and other certifications would need to check on its status. I didn't see anything on its web site about data privacy, access controls etc.