Monday, November 26, 2007

GMail PST import solution -- sort of.

D'oh! My get-rich-quick scheme has been foiled!


On the (very) bright side, Stephen Foskett, a fellow pack rat, has figured out a way to upload your email archives into GMail that is going to save everyone a lot of time. No installing POP servers, converting to CSV files, or losing your email timestamps-.


You basically just turn on IMAP in Outlook and in GMail, and then copy emails into GMail by dragging and dropping onto the appropriate GMail folder. Uh, pretty simple and elegant. Way to make us look dumb, Stephen!!


Why I never thought of this, or Louis never thought of it, I have no idea. I guess we were fixated on PST files and forgot about IMAP, since it is so new within GMail.



Update: Actually, when you copy email this way, GMail stupidly timestamps it with the time you copied it, instead of with the actual times in the email header, just as with SMTP delivery methods. So copying emails from 2002, they show up as new, sort as new, summary timestamp in list views is new. Only once you click through to the message can you see the actual date and time.


Hopefully GMail will fix this. Until then, POP3 seems to be the only way to get something into your GMail account and have it sort and summarize the timestamp property.


Update2: Based on the second comment from Stephen Foskett in this thread and some workarounds/fixes I read about in the GMail Google Group, I am hopeful I can get this working in the next few days. Jamming at work right now, though.



9 comments:

Stephen Foskett said...

I didn't think of it either until GML failed to work for me... But yeah, time stamps and everything else is imported perfectly - just Exchange emails get messed up somewhat...

Stephen

Ryan said...

Hey Stephen, did your timestamps really import OK? When I view messages in detail view they look fine, but in the all-important list view (which GMail uses to sort mailboxes) they reflect the time at which the message was copied, which obviously sucks for years-old messages.

Ryan said...

PS I'm refering to the views within GMail, btw. Maybe in Outlook or Entourage the sort is fine but obviously it's the sort/timestamp inside GMail that counts the most.

Stephen Foskett said...

Yes, my messages copied in with correct timestamps and show up in the correct order in Gmail's main list view. So my Gmail account's "Oldest" list now includes messages from January 2001. This is true for both SMTP and Exchange messages, though the latter are lacking correct sender and subject lines...

Note that I THINK it took a day for Google to "catch up" to my import and add the messages to the Inbox view - at first I thought they wouldn't ever appear there but now there they are!

Also note that my iPhone acted just the way you suggest when accessing my Gmail account over IMAP, and it remains screwed up with 2006 messages appearing in the first set of 25 in its inbox...

Alex said...

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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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Alex said...

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Alexis said...

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