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Using an IMAP client like Thunderbird, you can set up multiple accounts and easily copy all or some of the messages in your Smith Mail account to any other Gmail account.

You must first enable IMAP access for both accounts and configure Thunderbird to access both accounts, then you can begin the transfer. Just follow the instructions below.

Note: Your Smith account (from which messages will be copied) is called the source account and your non-Smith Gmail account (that will receive the messages) is called the target account.

Part 1. Temporarily change security settings in your target account
Part 2. Setting up IMAP Access in Smith Mail
Part 3. Using Thunderbird to transfer messages

PART 1. Temporarily Change Security Settings in Your Target Account

Because of a recent Google security change, it is necessary to temporarily disable a security setting in your target (non-Smith Gmail) account before proceeding:

  1. Log in to your non-Smith Gmail account.

  2. Click on your email address in the upper left, then click Account.

  3. In the Account Settings window, scroll down to the Signing in section and cick Access for less secure apps.

  4. In the Less secure apps window, click Turn on.

  5. Close the Less secure apps window.

  6. Later, after you have completed Part 3 below and all your email has been transferred, repeat the steps above and change your Access for less secure apps setting back to Turn off.

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PART 2. Setting up IMAP Access in Smith Mail

You must enable IMAP access in both the source and target accounts before you can perform the transfer process:

  1. Go to Smith Mail ( and log in with your username and password.

  2. Click the Options button (gear icon) at the top right of the Smith Mail page and choose Mail Settings.

  3. Click the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.

  4. In the IMAP Access section, choose Enable IMAP.

  5. Click Save Changes.

  6. Source account only: Follow the instructions below if you wish to transfer only some of your mail to the target account.

  7. Repeat steps 1-5 for the other Gmail account involved in the transfer.

  8. Proceed to Part 2.

Source account only: Specifying which labels to transfer to the target account

After you enable IMAP for the source email account, if you don't want the entire account transferred, you can select which labels will be visible in Thunderbird (the intermediary IMAP client), as follows:

Note: You cannot choose to hide the Inbox label.

  1. Click the gear icon at the top right of the Smith Mail page and choose Mail Settings.

  2. Click on the Labels option.

  3. Locate the Show in IMAP checkbox at the far right of each label name.

  4. Place a check in the box beside each label you want to appear in the IMAP client, as shown below. Do not check the box for any label you do not want to appear in the IMAP client

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PART 3. Using Thunderbird to Transfer Email

  1. If you don't already have Thunderbird installed on your computer:

    1. Go to:

    2. Download the Thunderbird Setup program to your desktop.

    3. Double-click on the Thunderbird icon to launch the installer.

  2. Open Thunderbird. In the first pop-up window, choose Skip integration.

  3. In the next pop-up window, choose Skip this and use my existing account.

  4. In the Mail account Setup window, for the source account:

    1. Enter your name, Smith Mail address, and password.

    2. Thunderbird will automatically attempt to find mail server settings. When it’s done, the screen should look like this (with your username):

    3. If you do not want the account password to be saved, uncheck the Remember password box.

    4. Click Done. The account will appear in the left column.
  1. Under Create a New Account, choose Email.

  2. In the pop-up window, choose Skip this and use my existing account.

  3. Enter the information for your non-Smith Gmail account, then click Done.

  4. If you see an error saying that your username or password is incorrect:

    1. Log in to your non-Smith Gmail account.

    2. Look for a message from Google telling you that a login attempt was blocked.

    3. Inside the message, click the link provided under If this was you.

    4. Click on Enable access for less secure apps.

    5. Return to Thunderbird and enter the username and password for your non-Smith Gmail account (step 7 above) again. It should now be accepted.

    6. Later, after you have completed Part 3 below, follow the steps in Part 1 to change your security setting back to Disable.

  5. You should now see your source account and your target account listed in the left menu bar. Proceed to Part 3, below.

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PART 3. Transferring Mail from the Source Account to the Target Account

  1. Click the Get Mail button, select Get New Mail For, and select the source email account.

  2. Click on the small arrow to the immediate left of the source account name to expose the list of folders for that account, as shown below.

  3. Locate each folder you wish to transfer to the target account, click on it, and drag it onto the target account name.

  4. To verify the transfer, click the dropdown arrow to the left of the target account to expose the folder structure.

  5. You may also drag individual messages onto folders in the target account.

  6. When you are satisfied, you can remove the source account from Thunderbird if you wish:

    1. Right-click on the source account name in the left panel and choose Settings.

    2. On the Account Settings – page, click on Account Actions at the bottom and choose Remove Account.

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 |  Last updated May 7, 2015

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