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Moving email between accounts is never a straightforward process, not even when moving between Google accounts. Most of the tricky work is up front - there are a number of steps you need to take to configure both your Carleton and personal Gmail accounts for the transfer. This article provides step-by-step instructions on how to do this.

IMPORTANT: this process can take several days. Plan accordingly.

If you have any questions or would like assistance, please call the ITS Helpdesk at 507-222-5999 or email:


Step 0 - Consider storage in personal Google accounts

At Carleton you've had access to the unlimited Google storage Carleton's educational license provides.  A free personal Google account has a limit of 15GB across Gmail, Drive and Photos.  Attachments will migrate along with your messages from Gmail.  To prevent potential errors when completing the transfer you may want to consider either (A) reviewing your Carleton email to remove large attachments (ex: search gmail with the term "size:100000000" to find messages larger than 100MB) or (B) purchasing extra Google storage.

Step 1 - Enable App-Specific Passwords in Google

In order to configure your personal Gmail account to access your Carleton email account, you will eventually have to provide a password. However, due to the way in which the accounts talk to each other, Google can never see your Carleton password. You therefore have to generate what is called an "app-specific password" from your Carleton account. Basically, this is a one-time use password that will get the two accounts talking to each other. Unlike your Carleton password, you will not need to remember the app-specific password once you've successfully used it to connect your accounts, nor will you need to do anything if you change your Carleton password in the future. Once you've set it up, it works permanently, until your Carleton accounts is closed.

You will need a phone to complete the next set of steps, but it does not need to be a smart phone.  It just needs to be able to accept an incoming call or receive a text message.

You should receive emails from Google during this process. One will let you know that an app password has been created, and another will inform you of your "New sign-in from..." and will list the device type you signed in on.


Click on images to view a larger version

  1. Open a web browser and go to

  2. Log in with your Carleton email address, and then your Carleton username and password
  3. Click "Sign-in and Security" on the page that loads

  4. Scroll down and click on "2-Step Verification"
    2-step verification is Google's form of two-factor authentication, similar to Duo. You will need it to enable app-specific passwords, but you will not need to use it once you're done with this process - we know this is unusual, but it is the only way to support old versions of Mac OS.

  5. Click the "Get Started" button

  6. Enter your phone number, including your area code, in the box provided, and choose to receive af text message or a call from Google.  Then click the "Try It" link.
    If you have Google configured on your phone for gmail or the Google app, you may be able to choose to use prompts like Duo provides.  Follow the on-screen instructions.
    If you wish to receive a text message, this should be your cell phone. However, if you prefer to receive a call, any phone will do. 

  7. Google will text or call you with a six-digit code (you will need to write it down if you receive a call)
  8. Enter your confirmation code and click "Next"

  9. If all goes well, you'll see a screen that says 'It worked!', asking if you want to turn on 2-step verification. Click "Turn On" to proceed.

  10. On the page that loads click the white "back" arrow (NOT the browser's back button) in the blue bar that says "2-Step Verification" to return to the original account setting page.

  11. Scroll down and click on "App Passwords"

  12. Choose "Mail" from the "Select App" dropdown, and "Other" from the "Device" drop-down.  Name it something clear like Email Transfer, then click the "Generate" button.

  13. Copy your App Password (a 16-character code) to your clipboard, or write it down temporarily.  You will need it to configure your transfer, as described below.
    We recommend keeping this window open until you complete Step 3.


Step 2 - Configure Your Carleton Account

  1. Sign in to your Carleton Gmail account

  2. In the top right, click Settings icon Settingsand then select Settings

  3. Click the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab

  4. In the "POP Download" section, select Enable POP for all mail

  5. Next to "When messages are accessed with POP," select keep Carleton College Mail's copy in the Inbox

  6. At the bottom, click Save Changes


Step 3 - Configure Your Personal Account

  1. Sign in to your Personal Gmail account

  2. In the top right, click Settings icon Settingsand then select Settings

  3. Click the Accounts and Import tab

  4. In the "Check mail from other accounts" section, click Add a mail account

  5. Enter your full Carleton email address, then click on the Next button

  6. Select "Import emails from my other account (POP3)", then click on the Next button

  7. Complete the following fields as instructed
    Username:  enter your full Carleton email address
    Password:  enter the app-specific password generated in Step 1 above
    POP Server:
    Port:  995
    Deselect "Leave a copy of retrieved message on the server"
    Select "Always use a secure connection (SSL) when retrieving mail
    Select "Label incoming messages" with the default label
    Deselect "Archive incoming messages (Skip the Inbox)

  8. Click on the Add Account button.

  9. On the prompt that asks about "Send mail as" select No (your Carleton account will be going away!), then click on the Finish button.

  10. When the configuration window closes, refresh your personal gmail accounts page.  Next to the "Check mail from other accounts" heading, you should now see your Carleton email address and a message "Checking mail..."

REMINDER: Synchronizing your email will take a long time, and nothing may appear for a few minutes.  Check back in 10-15 minutes to see that the transfer has begun.