How to import your old emails from Gmail into iCloud

How to import your old emails from Gmail into iCloud

Gmail is one of the most used email services, and the one that has one of the best websites for both basic and professional users. Now, we are talking about Google and therefore the debate on privacy is present quite strongly. There are those who precisely decide to avoid Gmail and look for more private email solutions.

One of these emails is Apple’s own, hosted in iCloud and which has recently released very useful functions such as being able to hide our address or our traffic with Private Relay. So if you propose take all your emails from Gmail to iCloud, I’m going to explain how you can do it.

From Gmail to Mail in a few steps

First of all, make sure know your Gmail access password and your Apple ID password. Remember that both services work with two-factor authentication, so you will also need to have your iPhone with the Gmail application installed if you have that extra security activated (spoiler: you should).

That said, we are going to go to a Google website called Takeout, from which you can download your Gmail emails. To do this, you must look for a section called ‘Mail’, where you can choose to download all messages or only those from certain mailboxes / labels of the service:

If you press the button ‘All Mail data has been included’ you can choose to download all emails or only those from certain mailboxes. Once you have done this, go back to the top of the page and click on ‘Unmark all’, otherwise you will download the data and preferences of all Google services. Now go back to ‘Mail’, select the section so that only this one is downloaded and click on the ‘Next step’ button:

google takeout download gmail

Here you must select ‘Export once’ and the .ZIP file format so that you can correctly manipulate the file on your Mac. If there are many emails, you can also choose the maximum amount of compressed file that you can download.

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Finally click on ‘Create export’ and Google will start to generate your compressed file with the Gmail emails that you have chosen to download. Depending on the number of emails this can take minutes, hours or even days. Be patient. You can return to the same Google Takeout website to locate the downloadable file, although you will also receive a notice in Gmail advising of this:

google takeout download mail

When you have the download available, click on ‘Download’ and your Mac will download the mail file in ZIP compressed .MBOX format (it may ask you again for your Google account password for security reasons). Now all you have to do is import that .MBOX file into Apple’s Mail application.

To do this, open Mail and go to the ‘File’> ‘Import mailboxes’ menu:

Mail apple import mailboxes

In the dialog box that will appear, select ‘Files in MBOX format‘and click on’ Continue ‘:

mail apple import mbox

Mail will ask you to select the .MBOX file that you have downloaded from Google Takeout and then press ‘Select’. After a while (it may be more or less depending on the amount of emails to be imported), Mail will tell you that you have left the imported emails in the ‘Imported’ folder and you will be able to close the dialog window:

mail apple import mails mbox

You can find the emails in the ‘Imported’ folder, inside the ‘On My Mac’ section:

gmail mail apple imported

Ready, you already have the emails from Gmail conveniently imported into Mail. You can do this to organize those emails in the folders of that program, or for archiving purposes to empty Gmail and leave space in your cloud. The process has quite a few steps, but it is not too complicated.