How do I migrate email to Google Workspace?

  • Applies to: Google Workspace
    • Difficulty: Medium
    • Time Needed: 15-120 minutes
    • Tools Required: Google Workspace Admin Console


This article will explain the different steps you may take to migrate your email to Google Workspace. These include the basics of using Google's migration tool to migrate your email from a mail server using IMAP and manually migrating using an email client to transfer email from an IMAP server to Google Workspace. While it shouldn't take that long to click through the steps detailed below, please be aware that the time needed to complete the actual data migration can vary. This will be dependent on the amount of data in the mailbox that is being migrated.

The steps for migrating email to Google Workspace contained in this article are provided as a courtesy. Please take a moment to review the Statement of Support before beginning.

  • For help migrating from a MS Exchange or 365 account, you will want to refer to Google's article here.

Using the Google Workspace Migration Tool

You may use the steps provided below to migrate email using Google's migration tool. If your domain does not have an SSL certificate, you will not be able to use this migration method and will need to use the manual migration method. The only exception to this is for our Grid customers. If you are migrating mail from our Grid service and wish to use the migration tool, you may use your email access domain to migrate your email. Please review all requirements listed below before you begin using Google's migration tool. 


  • The incoming mail server name for your old server
  • An SSL certificate on your server for secure migration
  • The credentials for the email account you wish to migrate from
  • Admin access to Google Workspace
  • Your domain must have been verified by Google


  1. If you haven't already, create an account in Google Workspace for the user you want to migrate email to.
  2. Once the account exists, return to the Google Workspace dashboard while logged in as a Super Admin.
  3. From the dashboard, select Migrations
  4. To begin your migration, you will need to choose the type of server you are migrating from. Because (mt) Media Temple email uses IMAP, we will be choosing Other IMAP server and the IMAP protocol.
  5. Next, you will need to input the name of the mail server you are migrating from. If you host your email with (mt) Media Temple and are unsure of this information, you can find your email server information in your Server Guide inside the Account Center. To help avoid issues, it is recommended that you use your access domain. 
  6. Once you have input the server name, you will need to enter the credentials for the mail. This is typically the email address and password for the account you are migrating from.
  7. Now that all of these fields are complete, click on Connect.
  8. Next, we will choose what content we wish to migrate. When you have selected your preferences, click Select users to proceed and select the user(s) you wish to migrate this email content to.
  9. Lastly, tick the checkbox to the left of the user you wish to migrate to and click on the start arrow at above the users. If you do not see the credentials for your old email user, you may need to add them here as well.
  10. The migration process is now begun. You will be able to return to the Migration panel of Google Workspace to see the progress of your migration. Please keep in mind that the time it takes to complete the migration will vary.
  11. Once your email migration has reached 100%, it is finished and you will now be able to log into the Gmail account for this user and access your migrated mail.
  12. After your mail is migrated your email, you can point the DNS MX records for your domain toward your new Google Workspace service.

Manual IMAP Migration

The steps below will help you migrate your mail manually. Please review all requirements listed below before you begin your manual migration.


  • The server you are migrating from must support the IMAP email protocol. All (mt) Media Temple hosting packages can connect using IMAP.
  • The password for the email account you are trying to migrate.
  • An IMAP-capable local email client. Most email clients like Outlook, Apple Mail, and Thunderbird support IMAP mail accounts.


  1. Create the same email account on your new Google Workspace account that you had on your old server. Use the same spelling and capitalization.
  2. Give the new email account the same password that you used on your old server. You can change the password after the migration process is done, if desired.
  3. In your local email client, create two new email accounts.
    • These will both be for the same email address.
    • They will both use the same password.
    • They must both be configured to connect using IMAP.
    • The incoming server (or IMAP server) will be different for each account. You should use as the incomoming mail server for your new Google Workspaceaccount, and your access domain or IP address for your old server.
  4. With both accounts online, open up the inbox for the account that connects to your old server. Drag and drop messages from this inbox to the inbox for your new Google Workspace account.
  5. If you have a lot of emails, give the accounts a few minutes to finish syncing up. Once they're done, your old emails will be in your new Google Workspace email account. 
  6. After your mail is migrated your email, you can point the DNS MX records for your domain toward your new Google Workspace service.

Point DNS by Modifying your MX Records

To ensure a seamless transition in email service, we strongly recommend lowering the Time-to-Live (TTL) on your domain approximately 12 hours prior to making any DNS changes.

Once you are ready to begin using Google Workspace, you'll want to point your domain's email services to Google's servers by modifying the MX Record for your domain.

If you are using Media Temple's nameservers, you can also use our automated Point Mail to Google tool in the Account Center.

For reference, you'll want your MX records to look something like this when the process is complete. (Please note that the TTL, domain, and subdomain values will vary between DNS hosts.)

Subdomain Domain TTL Record Type Priority Destination
Blank or @ 43200 MX 1 ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM
Blank or @ 43200 MX 5 ALT1.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM
Blank or @ 43200 MX 5 ALT2.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM
Blank or @ 43200 MX 10 ALT3.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM
Blank or @ 43200 MX 10 ALT4.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM

Additional Resources

Was this article helpful?
1 out of 1 found this helpful