One of the advantages of G Suite is how easy it is to migrate over your or your employees’ existing Gmail accounts. For a company with a flexible or rapidly growing workforce this is really useful, as for example you can add staff that were previously contractors as full time employees. New employees will then be able to use all the features and applications of G Suite, including its powerful capabilities for collaboration and work sharing.

Moving from Gmail to G Suite (known as ‘migration’) is a straight forward process, however it requires a degree of preparation before the move, and co-ordination with the owner of the Gmail account being migrated to G Suite.

Data migration is supported by the following G Suite editions: Suite Enterprise, Business, Basic, and Education so before you begin check that your version of G Suite is compatible and able to perform the migration.

  1. Set up your legacy environment

In order to successfully migrate over to G Suite you will first need to set up your legacy environment. This will ensure that the migration will be successful and transfers all the data you require.

First sign into your existing Gmail account and select ‘Settings’. Now select ‘Forwarding’ and ‘POP/IMAP’. Next select ‘Folder size limits’, then ‘Do not limit the number of messages in an IMAP folder’ and select ‘Save Changes’. Now select ‘Labels’ and ensure that any label you require to be migrated has the ‘Show in IMAP’ box ticked. During the migration process you will be asked to allow the data migration service to access your Gmail account.

  1. Migrating Gmail

Using your administrator account sign into your Google Admin console then select ‘Data Migration’, then select ‘Email’ and ‘Continue’. From the Migration source list select ‘Gmail’ then ‘Connect’.

You will then be presented with the following options – to accept the default migration option or to also migrate deleted and junk email and whether or not to exclude selected folders from the migration. You can speed up the migration process by choosing not to migrate every folder – for example not migrating deleted or junk email. Remember though, if you choose not to migrate then those emails are gone for good.

The Gmail account you are transferring over might contain emails you don’t want to transfer, but equally don’t want to delete – for example any personal emails not relevant to business purposes. The best way to do this is to move the emails you don’t want to transfer into a top-level folder (a folder at the same level as your main inbox) then give it an easily recognisable name (i.e. DontMigrate). Then before the migration begin, choose the ‘Migration Options’ menu and check the ‘Exclude the following top level folders from migration’ box and enter the name of the folders you do not want to migrate in a comma-separated list.

Once you’ve decided, click on ‘Select Users’, then in the ‘Migrate From’ field enter the old Gmail address, then in the ‘Migrate To’ field enter the new G Suite email address (that the data will migrate over to) and choose from the list of suggested users (if you have several users/employees that you are migrating over.) Now click ‘Authorize’. The Gmail account owner (that you are migrating over) will have to be signed into Gmail in order to give the migration tool permission to migrate over their account. When the account owner gives permission it will generate an authorisation code which will be sent to the administrator.

The administrator will have 10 minutes to copy the code into the Authorisation Code field in the Admin console, so it’s wise to co-ordinate the transfer, especially if migrating on behalf of a new employee (i.e. the Gmail account owner).

Once you’ve entered the code, click ‘Start’ and the migration will begin. You can then repeat the process for any other Gmail users you need to migrate.

  1. Monitoring a migration

You can check on the progress of an individual user’s migration by selecting ‘Data Migration’ from the Admin console home page. You can then place the cursor over the individual service user’s status to see progress. If you want to see the migration status of multiple users go into ‘Settings’ then select ‘Migration Reports’. You’ll then see a ‘Deliver to’ section, which will send a domain migration report to the super administrator and any other recipients you specify. The domain migration report will also contain an item error report detailing any items that haven’t been able to migrate.

Author Bio

CloudM provide industry leading cloud migration and cloud management software for companies needing to manage data in Google G Suite or Microsoft Office 365.