How To Forward AOL E-mail to Gmail

Having multiple email addresses can be a hassle, but it doesn’t mean you have to check multiple accounts every day to keep up with your email. You can automatically forward copies of emails from one address to another and reply using a different account and making it seem like it was sent from the original account. This tutorial will show you how to forward email from AOL to Gmail, import your AOL contacts and more.

AOL has been around for decades and is still offering email services if not a lot else. If you’re gradually making the move towards Gmail from AOL, doing things slowly so you capture everyone who usually emails you at AOL is the way to do it. Part of that migration is email forwarding.

Email forwarding is where you configure one email account to make a digital copy of an email and automatically forward that copy to another email account. The original email remains in your inbox and the copy is sent wherever you want it to go. It’s a fast, free and simple way to migrate email accounts or check multiple emails from one place.

Forward AOL mail to Gmail

This tutorial will describe forwarding AOL mail to Gmail but you can do the same thing with most other email accounts. Forwarding any email into Gmail uses the same steps, you just need to enter different source email account details. The rest should be exactly the same.

  1. Log into Gmail.
  2. Select the cog icon on the right and then Accounts and Import.
  3. Select Check Email from Other Accounts and Add an Email Account.
  4. Enter your AOL email address in the popup box and hit Next.
  5. Check the email server details and enter your AOL password where prompted.
  6. Select ‘Leave a copy of retrieved messages on the server’ to keep copies with AOL.
  7. Select Add Account.

This is enough to forward all emails from AOL to Gmail. You should begin seeing emails appear immediately as long as Gmail can access the AOL mail servers.

Optionally, you might want to use the ‘Label Incoming Messages’ option at Step 6. Below ‘Leave a copy of retrieved messages on the server’ you should see the option to ‘Label Incoming Messages’. If you have a busy inbox, adding a label will make forwarded emails easier to see within Gmail. It is purely optional but useful if you receive lots of mail.

Import contacts and messages from AOL to Gmail

Now forwarding is set up and working, you can also import your contacts and existing inbox messages from AOL into Gmail.

  1. Log into Gmail.
  2. Select the cog icon on the right and then Accounts and Import.
  3. Select Import Mail and Contacts from the center.
  4. Add your AOL email address into the popup box and hit Next.
  5. Enter your AOL password into the box to allow Gmail to access your contacts.
  6. Select Continue.
  7. Check either or both, Import Contacts and Import Email.
  8. Select Start Import and then OK.

The import process make take a little while depending on how busy the email servers are and how many contacts and emails you have. Once done, you should have an exact copy of your AOL contacts and inbox now in Gmail.

Send emails from Gmail with your AOL address

During your migration, you may find it easier to send emails from your AOL address from within Gmail. This is a useful feature that means you only ever have to log into a single email account to send emails from multiple accounts.

Set it up like this:

  1. Log into Gmail.
  2. Select the cog icon on the right and then Accounts and Import.
  3. Select Add Another Email Address from the Send Mail As row.
  4. Enter your AOL email address from the popup box.
  5. Select Next Step and Send Verification.
  6. Log into your AOL address and verify the email from Gmail.
  7. In Gmail, open a new mail and select your AOL address in the From section.

When you send an email, you can now select for either your Gmail or AOL address to appear in the From part. Recipients will then be able to reply to whatever is in there. Replying to AOL means that reply will be automatically forwarded to Gmail as above.

You can set this to be permanent if you want by going back to Accounts and Import and selecting the Send Mail As and selecting AOL as the default. That would just confuse everyone though so I don’t suggest doing it!

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