Migrating from Yahoo! Mail to Gmail

Lately I've been getting increasingly frustrated with Yahoo! It began when I started noticing random news snippets were inserted into half of my emails when I viewed them on my phone. Just recently I've noticed the search feature has been struggling to find messages when searching by Subject even though I could manually find them if I sorted by Subject.

Switching to Gmail

Because I have an Android device and use Google calendar it makes sense to move to a Gmail account. Luckily I had already created one before all the good names got taken. After looking into the migration steps I decided that safest method would be the following.

  • In Gmail browse to Settings then Accounts and Import and click Add a POP3 mail account you own.
  • I would strongly recommend labelling all of the emails as Yahoo Inbox for sorting purposes.
  • I would also strongly recommend making sure you don't leave a copy of your email on the Yahoo server so you can track the progress.
  • There are definitely a few quirks with Gmail's Mail Fetcher. Firstly it only grabs 200 mails at a time and second it actually takes quite some time to process each message. I think this is due to the the way Google indexes the messages. Finally there is no way to make it continuously check the Yahoo server. It seems to do everything at its own pace (remarkably slow...)


    Besides only checking 200 emails at a time, there were a few other issues. The first problem was that Yahoo's mail server starts complaining and sends back "In use" messages to Gmail. This means the transfer goes even slower.

    In my case it immediately grabbed 200 messages, got kicked out by Yahoo and then waited 4 minutes before grabbing the next 200. 20 minutes later it had only just processed the first 200 messages.

    The other issue was that a few messages absolutely would not transfer over. The issue seems to be that they had suspicious attachments (mostly zip files). Oh well... Nothing much that can be done about that.

    Moving folders other than Inbox

    By making use of the label imported messages features I was able to copy all of my other folders into the Inbox and then have them get imported into Gmail with the correct Label. The only catch was that sometimes legitimate messages would arrive while the import was going on and they would then get labelled incorrectly. By doing this step at night I limited this to just a few messages.

    After a couple of nights I had moved over 11000 messages. It was definitely tedious but very worth it. Good riddance Yahoo!

    Actual Progress Log

    5 July 2012 02:46 200 mails fetched. 2395 mails remaining.
    5 July 2012 02:45 Authentication error.
    Server returned error "[AUTH] Incorrect username or password. (error 999)"
    5 July 2012 01:52 198 mails fetched. 2596 mails remaining.
    5 July 2012 01:49 200 mails fetched. 2794 mails remaining.
    5 July 2012 01:26 199 mails fetched. 2995 mails remaining.
    5 July 2012 00:49 200 mails fetched. 3192 mails remaining.
    5 July 2012 00:45 Authentication error.
    Server returned error "[IN-USE] maildrop busy."
    5 July 2012 00:45 200 mails fetched. 3392 mails remaining.
    5 July 2012 00:42 Authentication error.
    Server returned error "[IN-USE] maildrop busy."
    5 July 2012 00:41 199 mails fetched. 3593 mails remaining.
    5 July 2012 00:38 Authentication error.
    Server returned error "[AUTH] Incorrect username or password. (error 999)"
    5 July 2012 00:35 200 mails fetched. 3792 mails remaining.
    5 July 2012 00:31 Authentication error.
    Server returned error "[IN-USE] maildrop busy."
    5 July 2012 00:30 200 mails fetched. 3992 mails remaining.
    5 July 2012 00:26 200 mails fetched. 4192 mails remaining.
    5 July 2012 00:14 200 mails fetched. 4392 mails remaining.
    5 July 2012 00:11 200 mails fetched. 4592 mails remaining.
    Wed, Jul 4, 2012 at 11:36 PM 200 mails fetched. 4790 mails remaining.
    Wed, Jul 4, 2012 at 11:32 PM Authentication error.
    Server returned error "[IN-USE] maildrop busy."
    Wed, Jul 4, 2012 at 11:32 PM 200 mails fetched. 4990 mails remaining.
    Wed, Jul 4, 2012 at 11:30 PM One mail fetched.
    Wed, Jul 4, 2012 at 11:28 PM One mail fetched.


Hi Kevin,
I am trying to follow your steps in migrating from Yahoo to Gmail. I cannot figure out how to move large Yahoo folders over without losing them. Can you lay out the steps for "Labeling imported messages" that you talk about above? Thanks so much.

In Gmail's Settings page go to the Accounts tab.

Beside Check email from other accounts (using POP3): there should be a list of POP accounts.

If you click on edit info it should pop up a dialogue box. From there you can configure the Label incoming messages option.

I tried this, but it says I have to have Yahoo Mail Plus - $19.95/year to do it. Did you experience this too? Half of my email folders have already been transferred without upgrading in Yahoo.

I definitely didn't have to do that. I hate Yahoo!

i was able to do this ~ 6 months ago but its no longer possible with gmail's mail fetcher... says you must upgrade to yahoo plus ($20/year).
i had my account hacked twice with difficult passwords. i viewed login activity... they were coming in via yahoo mobile. now, i can't send an email with links to my wife because i have 'suspicious activity'... however, i haven't been hacked (checked sent and deleted email) and i haven't sent out emails anytime recently. ready to switch to gmail :-/

Sorry to hear Yahoo has made this impossible.

This does still work. I just did it with two of my Yahoo accounts.
The only difference I found (when logged in to my Yahoo accounts) was with one account I was able to setup forwarding in order to get mails instantly forwarded and then delete that account from gmail fetching (once all of the Yahoo Mail was fetched of course); the other account, however does not provide me with a forwarding option, so I have to keep gmail fetching for that one.
I did experience similar errors as you and it took a while to have all my old mails fetched into gmail, but only on one account, not both.

this probably sounds like a ridiculous question but I have Yahoo Mail on my mobile and Gmail on both my mobile and laptop. is there a way I can move my Yahoo folders to Gmail without setting up a Yahoo account on my laptop? I can't even see all the emails in some of my folders (inbox, draft , starred etc.) or rather if I search by the folder name, I CAN see them but I can't do anything with them. I want to dump this account ASAP, and I don't want to put it on my laptop. But I can't even make Gmail folders on my phone. any idea what I should do?

Gmail is very popular website also yahoo is also a famous website to whom we can makes account on both of it. To know about more functions of Gmail and yahoo bеst еssay wrіtіng plays an important role in accordance of.

Super Fun Time