If you’re here, your business may be in a position to continue using Microsoft products like Outlook, but you may want to use Gmail and other G Suite products at the same time. If this is the case, there’s actually a super convenient way you can sync your Gmail account with Outlook.
If you’re migrating from Outlook and Microsoft products to G Suite, there’s also an easy way to port over all your previous messages and information.
Read on to learn how to sync Outlook with Gmail.
Setting Up Outlook to Sync With Gmail
First, let’s cover how to set up Outlook to work with Gmail. This is handy if you want to rely on Gmail for most of your email purposes, but you want to make use of the organizational functions or UI layout of Outlook.
Before you can start the syncing process, you’ll need to adjust a few settings in Gmail to make sure it works smoothly with Outlook. Your first step is to enable the IMAP protocol for your Gmail account, which is a fancy name for a standard email protocol that allows you to access and manipulate messages.
This is how you do it:
- Log into your Gmail account.
- Click the Gear icon, and head to Settings.
- Click on the “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” tab.
- Scroll to IMAP access and make sure “Enable IMAP” is checked. If it’s already checked, you don’t have to do anything.
- Click Save Changes. This is at the bottom of the screen.
When you’re done with that step, you can add your Gmail account to your Outlook platform. Follow these steps to accomplish this:
- Open Outlook.
- Head to File, then Account Settings.
- When you have the Account Settings box open, click New.
- Choose Email Account, and click Next.
- Choose “Manual Setup or Additional Server Types.” Click Next when you have.
- Choose “POP or IMAP.” Click Next when done.
- In the Add Account section, provide the necessary information. Here, you’ll need to provide several pieces of information. In the Your Name field, type your full name (or the display name you want to use). In the Email Address field, provide your full Gmail address, including @gmail.com. In the Account type field, select IMAP from the dropdown menu. In the Incoming mail server field, type “imap.gmail.com” and in the outgoing mail server (SMTP) field, type “smtp.gmail.com.” In the user name field, type your full Gmail address again, and in the password field, type your Gmail password. If you want Outlook to remember this password, check “Remember password.”
- Click More Settings.
- Enter the Outgoing Server tab.
- Check “My Outgoing Server (SMTP) requires authentication.”
- Select “Use same settings as my incoming mail server.” This will ensure the user name and password you previously entered will be used to log you in.
- Select the Advanced tab. There, you’re going to need to enter and validate some extra information. For the Incoming Server (IMAP) field, enter the value “993.” For the Outgoing server (SMTP), use the value “465.” For both “Use the following type of encrypted connection” fields, choose “SSL.” Click OK when done.
- Click Next. At this point, Outlook is going to test your connection to make sure the sync can begin.
- Finish the test. If the test is successful, you can close the box and click Finish. If the test is not successful, it’s likely because one or more of your fields has been entered incorrectly. Carefully double check every step of this process to ensure your information is accurate and complete, and make sure your internet connection is fully working.
At this point, you should be ready to use Outlook with your Gmail account!
How to Migrate Messages and/or Contacts From Outlook to Gmail
Now let’s turn our attention to the other direction; what if you want to migrate your messages and/or contacts from Outlook to Gmail?
First, it’s a good idea to check your Junk and Deleted folders for any messages you really want to keep; move these to your Inbox to ensure they aren’t lost in transition. Migrating contacts and migrating messages both follow the same general process, so you can refer to these steps no matter what you’re after.
- Log into your Gmail account.
- Click the Gear icon, then Settings.
- Within Settings, click the Accounts and Import tab.
- Scroll down to “Import mail and contacts.” If you’ve imported to this account before, you may instead see the option “Import from another address.” Click this option either way.
- Begin to follow the prompts. A pop-up box will ask you, “what account do you want to import from?” Type in your full Outlook email address, and click continue. You may be prompted to log into your other email account at this point.
- Click continue. This next box just contains some basic information.
- Review permissions and click Yes when finished. Next, you’ll need to verify some permissions, granting Google access to your Outlook account. Review these if you’re interested in learning more or if you’re concerned about your privacy.
- Select your options. Here is where you’ll decide what, exactly, you want to import. You’ll be able to import contacts, import mail, or import new mail for the next 30 days. Choose whichever options are most appropriate for your needs.
- Select “Start import,” then click OK. At this point, the migration process is going to begin. You shouldn’t need to provide any further information, or take any further action.
Note that the migration process may take a while, depending on the size of your account and the number of entries you’re importing. And by a while, I mean a while—larger accounts could literally take days. You’ll notice the messages trickle in gradually, so don’t panic if you see some but not others. Give it time, and try to start the migration process on a late Friday afternoon so you don’t have to deal with the waiting or confusion that can occur.
How to Sync Outlook Contacts to Gmail
The process in the previous section works really well. It’s reliable. It’s easy. It’s accessible to everyone. But there’s one problem with it: it’s a one-time move. If you’re a salesperson who relies on email and utilizes multiple different accounts, you may require something more. Instead of simply transferring your contacts from Outlook to Gmail, you’ll want to “sync” your contacts between Outlook and Gmail; in other words, whenever you add a new contact to your Outlook account, it will automatically populate in Gmail, and vice versa.
Unfortunately, there’s no built-in option in either Outlook or Gmail to make this happen. If you want to automatically keep your contact lists synced with each other, you’ll need the help of a third-party add-on or app.
There’s an open source add-on you can use called GO Contact Sync Mod, built especially for this purpose. With it, you can almost automatically transfer contact changes from one account to the other. Because it’s open source, it’s free and doesn’t come with any additional strings attached.
Before you can use it, you’ll need to install Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, then install the mod itself. When you start it up for the first time, you’ll need to enter your account credentials. This is fairly straightforward. When complete, you can toggle several options, including:
- Sync Deletion, which will sync your deleted contacts, so if you delete a contact from Outlook, it will be deleted in Gmail, and vice versa.
- Prompt Deletion, which will prompt you for a manual decision whenever attempting to sync a deleted contact between accounts (so you can decide individually.
- Sync Contacts, which will allow you to sync new contacts between accounts.
- Sync Notes, which will allow you to sync individual notes between accounts.
- Sync Appointments, which will allow you to sync calendar information between accounts.
Below that, you’ll need to choose some configuration settings. The default settings will work for most users, but you may want to choose whether or not the program runs at startup, whether it automatically syncs, and how often it syncs.
Making the Most of Gmail
Now that you know how to sync Outlook to Gmail, it’s time to maximize your productivity as an emailer. If you’re a new G Suite user and you’re getting used to Gmail for the first time, or if you’ve been using Gmail for ages and you’re curious about tapping its full potential, we’ve built a tool designed to help you maximize your efficiency and productivity: EmailAnalytics.
With EmailAnalytics, you can automatically monitor your Gmail accounts (or the accounts of your employees), and pull in dozens of metrics that can help you better understand your email habits, from how often you send messages throughout the day and throughout the week, to your average email response time to incoming messages. Sign up for a free trial today, and start digging into the in-depth data visuals that can make you a better emailer.
Jayson is a long-time columnist for Forbes, Entrepreneur, BusinessInsider, Inc, and various other major media publications, where he has authored over 1,000 articles since 2012, covering technology, marketing, and entrepreneurship. In 2010, he founded a marketing agency that appeared on the Inc. 5000 before exiting it in January of 2019, and he is now the CEO of EmailAnalytics.