Saturday, November 20, 2010

Migrate your entire Google Account to a Google Apps account

So many of the Google services are now available to Google Apps users too. If your company uses Google Apps, or you have your own domain, you may want to migrate all your Google Account stuff to your Google Apps account.

Get started, then!

Gmail is pretty hard to migrate. The normal Gmail supports importing email from another email address in the Accounts and Import tab of the settings. Google Apps, on the other hand can only recieve the emails that arrive from now on in your old address.

However, this way seemed hard and problematic. So since you're using a Gmail account anyway, you can enable forwarding to your new Google Apps account.
Go to the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab of your old Gmail account and add the Google Apps account you wish to forward to. 

As you can see from the photo above, I have instructed Gmail to keep a copy of the email in the old inbox. You may want to do that to save a backup. Just in case.

Now when someone sends an email to your old account, it will be forwarded to your Google Apps mail. Here's what I am doing: i am setting up the forwarding and still using my old account for a few days, while I change my email on all the online services I use, and I will start giving people my new address. During this time, the new email will be pretty populated with the forwarded mail, and when you switch, you won't start switching back and looking for important recent emails.

Migrating contacts is very simple, luckily. Just go to your contacts in Gmail, select all and Export them:

When prompted, select Google CSV Format because you are migrating to a Google Apps account. This will retain every single formatting and will result in the exact same contacts in the new account.

Download the file and then go to the new account. Go to Contacts and Import the downloaded file. All your contacts have been transferred in (probably) less than two minutes.

Blogger is both easy and hard to migrate. The only catch is that you cannot transfer your entire Blogger profile to your new account. You have to enter the settings all over again, which includes the info about you, favorite movies and music, your profile photo and other details. The good thing is that your can transfer the full blog to your new account, grant admin privileges, use your real name too, and still manage all your blogs as you did before.

First, log into Blogger and go to the Settings of your blog. If you have multiple blogs, you'll need to do this for every blog. Whoops! Go to the Permissions tab. Here, enter your new Google Apps email address as a person to invite.

 Check your mail, and click the link to accept. You'll be prompted to create a new Blogger account. But just sign in using your Google Apps account. You'll see your Dashboard, with the profile photo missing and limited settings for your blog and old posts. You have a brand new account associated with your new Google Apps account. You are seeing what a 'guest blogger' would.

Now, go back to your old account and navigate all the way to the Permissions settings. You'll see that the person you invited has accepted the invite. Go ahead and give this new person admin privileges.

Now go back to your new account. You will have the ability to change everything, normally. Now fill in your details and add a photo to yourself. You may also want to remove your old account from the authors. You can do that from either account, as both are administrators.

This is tricky, and not always possible. You can unlink your YouTube account from your Google Account only if you have created your account before May 2009. You may remember the notifications saying that you will be able to use your Google Account to log into YouTube very soon.

If yes, then hurry off to YouTube, sign in with your old account. Click your name in the top right, then click Account. In your settings, go to Manage Account (last one in the left sidebar). Here, expand the last section, that says Unlink YouTube and Google Accounts.

Click the link, and everything, incuding your comments, stats, uploaded videos and all will be unlinked from your original Google Account. But as soon as you unlink, you'll be asked to link it to another account, or create a new Google Account. I'm not sure, however, if you can unlink the account for a second time.

Also, if you don't link it to another account immediately, you will be asked to do so the next time you sign into YouTube.

Google Apps have always had Google Calendar for their corporate account. I did not start using it after I got my account only because Google Apps did not have the new services that have come now. But now, I'm migrating, finally.

Migrating calendars, very fortunately, is extremely simple too. You can, if you like, share the calendars with your other account and then unsubscribe from it  using your old account. But here's what I did:

I logged into my old Google Account Calendar and went to Settings, Calendar settings. Now, I went to the Calendars tab and clicked Export calendars. All the calendars downloaded in the iCal format, zipped. I unzipped them. Then, I logged into my new Google Apps account, and went to my calendar. The URL depends on what you got from your administrator, or what you set (if you are the admin) on the Google Apps Dashboard. Then I went to Calendar settings again, and imported the downloaded calendars. I uploaded my Events calendar to the default calendar.

Everything works normally. Note that (at least at the time of writing this) Tasks cannot be exported. You'll have to start them all over again.

Transferring Docs is easy too. Here's the simplest way:

You go to Docs, sign in with your old account, Export all the documents, presentations, spreadsheets etc. and download them. Sign in with your new account and reupload everything by Importing.

If you have a lot of stuff in there, you can go through the process of sharing everything with your new account and saving it there.

You can transfer all the Google Reader subscriptions to your new account, but you will not be able to transfer your stats. You will have to star everything all over again, and follow the people you are following from scratch in your new Google Apps account.

Here too, you need to Export the subscriptions from Settings, Import/Export and Import it to your new account.

That's all. What did I miss? Put it into the comments. You'll also like to subscribe to Right Now In Tech via RSS or social networks (you won't regret). Enjoy using Google Apps!