The Gmail team is making it easier for new users to import all of their old contacts and email addresses.
Moving from one service to another, be it Yahoo! Mail to Hotmail or Hotmail to Gmail, is a huge pain in the butt. The Gmail team today announce via the service’s official blog that Gmail can now migrate email and contacts from other email providers, including Yahoo!, Hotmail, AOL, as well as a whole bunch of others, like Netscape, Comcast and Verizon. Not only will Gmail's new Import tool bring all your mail and contacts with you, it also gives you the option to have all mail addressed to your old account forwarded to your Gmail.
I sort of wish this option had been available when I made the switch to Gmail. My old Hotmail account is still active because I use it when I’m signing up for forum, sites etc., that I don’t want to receive junk mail from but it would have been nice to move all of the emails I wanted to keep over.
The Gmail team has said that while this option is immediately available for all new accounts, they will be rolling it out to current users so if you, like me, want to move old emails over to your current Gmail account, watch out for the ‘Accounts & Import’ tab under settings. The Gmail staff warns it will be more than a few hours or days before everyone sees it but hey, if you’ve been managing without all your old contacts up until now, what’s a few more weeks?