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Has anyone had a successful, pain free migration to Google Mail?


Most people discussing the migration of Telus email to Google Mail are coming with questions and/or complaints.  This is unnerving as I contemplate initiating the migration.  It would be helpful to know how often the migration works seamlessly.  If ever. 😉


Has anyone had a successful, problem free migration to Google Mail?



If we restrict the scope to mail only, then yes, I had a seamless pain free migration from Telus mail to Gmail. I was using Thunderbird and POP3. Incoming mail was downloaded from the Telus server each time I logged in. I very rarely used the Telus Webmail, only when traveling. And if we put aside the risk of having your mail stored on a Google floating barge in a third world country, I am more happy with the Gmail system than the Telus system. I can now access my mail on my phone. I still use Thunderbird and am quite happy with that arrangement. I now use IMAP instead of POP3. That means the mail stays on the Google server (so I can access it from my phone or anywhere I have internet), but Thunderbird mirrors it and downloads a copy of the mail to my home PC where it is saved on my hard drive. Changes made in Thunderbird are immediately also made on the Google server, and vice versa. The only issue I am having is that I occasionally have to resign into Google and enter my password. Not sure what is causing that...


The Calendar is another matter. I was using Thunderbird Lightning. There is an add on for Thunderbird that is supposed to sync a Google Calendar to the Lightning calendar. That did not work and it seemed to be caused by the flavour of the gmail account that Telus created. The add on worked for direct gmail accounts, but not the Telus created account. I finally found a work around with another add on, that simply displays the Google Calendar as a tab in Thunderbird, and does not use Lightning. That seems to work fine. 


I don't know what you are using for an e-mail on your computer, but one piece of advice I would give you is to go into the Telus Webmail and download all the mail on their server. If you have an email system that saves your email on your hard drive, then you will have all your old email regardless of what Telus does. 


Hope that helps some,

View solution in original post


Thanks! I will download it and see what happens. As long as I don't lose my mailboxes in transition, I have nothing to lose. I am also looking at Outlook for my Dell laptop, which has Microsoft although I only use mail on it when I travel....which is not too often these days.

@Oldislander said " I am also looking at Outlook for my Dell laptop, which has Microsoft although I only use mail on it when I travel."


If you are thinking about accessing your GSuite Gmail with Thunderbird on one PC and with Outlook on another, I am not sure that will work. It may, but I have not tried anything like that. I am also not sure if you could access the same Gmail account with two different PC's with Thunderbird installed. My plan is to use the Gmail app on my phone or Gmail via a browser when I travel. 



@RonAKA  Thank you for more info about  email platforms. Possible conflicts with devices in the house.  I don't want any more problems Tks  again Polecat

Downloaded Mac mail and now can access Telus mailboxes and receive and send mail. Not sure why or how, but will enjoy it while it lasts.

@polecat, I am not sure I follow what your concerns are with gmail or Gsuite. I don't know that much about Gmail as it is all new to me. So far what I have done is create a few folders in Thunderbird as was my practice with the former Telus server mail. These show up as folders in Thunderbird and Labels in Gmail. My email handling method is to leave everything in the Inbox until I deal with it by either deleting it or moving it to one of my folders. And I really only do that in Thunderbird. I just use Gmail on my iPhone for convenience when away from my computer and really don't do much in it, other than read an email, or delete it, and occasionally reply. With Thunderbird and IMAP a copy of each email is kept on both the Gmail server, and on my hard drive. More than one Label can be applied to one email in Gmail. In Thunderbird you can only put your email in one folder. Not sure what Thunderbird would do if you applied more than one label to a single email. Have not tried it. In short, Gmail is more powerful, and more complicated in this respect. Thunderbird is simpler, and what I like...


As for the old Telus Webmail, I really don't remember much about it. I only used it a few times a year when traveling. 


To be clear, Thunderbird is just an email client software and there is no Thunderbird server that stores your email. You still need an email serveer account like the GSuite one from Telus, or plain old Gmail. 




Thanks for the summary.  I will use it as the basis for advising some friends on how to prepare for the migration.



As RonAKA says, 

"To be clear, Thunderbird is just an email client software and there is no Thunderbird server that stores your email. You still need an email server account like the GSuite one from Telus, or plain old Gmail." 


You will NOT have an email address (for example) .  Mozilla (the company that makes Thunderbird) is not an email service provider.  Your email address will still be but behind the scenes your mail will be collected on Google servers waiting for you to view and/or download it.  


If you install Thunderbird you will be able to download email without looking at the Google Mail site at all.  Your password lets Thunderbird speak to Google without actually opening the Google Mail interface in your browser.  But the mail is still there in Google and you could still log in to your Google account (the one the migration is forcing you to create) in your browser and see it there.  This is no different from the way Telus webmail operated, but it wouldn't have been obvious to you if you never used a 3rd party email client.


Installing Thunderbird lets you hold and control email on your own computer.  Note that if you store email on your own computer, you are then responsible for backing it up to someplace safe (an external drive or a paid backup service in the cloud).  So, if you try the experiment I proposed and download your existing messages into a POP account it will then be up to you to back them up.  They will no longer be on Telus or Google's servers.  However, the experiment was only hoping to capture the emails that have not transferred, not any mail going forward.   They would be an archive of your old messages, which you said above were important.  


When you create the new account in Thunderbird to handle your mail going forward, you will be able to both receive and compose/send messages.  I think I am right in saying that if you create this account as a POP account your sent messages will not appear in the browser Google view of you account because your actions are not mirrored in a POP account.  If you make it an IMAP account, your sent messages will be mirrored in the Google Mail view in your browser.  


NOTE:  I know nothing of Apple or Macs, so don't rely on what I've said here if you proceed in that direction.  Do your own research.  


Just Moved In

This “migration” is a class one Cluster F..k.


I use the Mail app on my Mac. Thursday 3 Sep, it took me over an hour on telephone with a techie in Asia to get my mail up and running.  In the process, I had to delete my Telus account and reinstall with the Google server. That resulted in the loss of virtually all my email: received, sent and drafts.


Today, 4 Sep, I found that all my Calendar entries of several years have disappeared.


I am tempted to switch to Shaw or Rogers.




We are in an area that only has Shaw or Telus and they both have crappy customer service.  Telus was supposed to move my mailboxes over a week ago and they have not nor have they had the decency of a follow up call or email.  My wife still has the old email and she won't be switching to fckg Google unless they force her.

@Oldislander  You will be changed to gmail sometime end oct  like it or not.  Thats the email i got telling me my change date. Polecat

I already changed, which has created problems that I did not have before. Have you read my original comment? Telus and Google are not compatible and they have not ironed out the problems and their technicians do not appear capable of dealing with it.

@Oldislander I have the gmail (gsuite) working but not to my liking. looking to move on to another email platform lots involved. lost my saved mails. Polecat

I think the message in this is that it is much safer to make the Telus forced conversion to Gmail if you are using an email system that keeps all the email on your hard drive and it is backed up. That is basically the system I had with Thunderbird. The day before the conversion I went into Outlook at let it download my email from Telus as it does each time you open it up, and I thought there would be nothing for Telus to convert over to Gmail (or lose!). Well I had forgotten that when I very infrequently use Telus Webmail and respond to an email using it, the Webmail was saving my response as Sent Mail. My Thunderbird was not set up to download the Sent mail. However, when I went into Gmail for the first time, I was surprised that these quite old Sent Mail emails were there. I was not as ready and protected as I thought I was, but all went well anyway.


The bottom line is that I think one is best to take all the email from Telus by using an email application that saves everything on the local hard drive like Thunderbird BEFORE you let Telus make the Gmail conversion. And as an extra precaution one should back up the local saved email file before they make the conversion. 

Oops, I had a bit of a brain fart there. I have not used Outlook for many years, although I still have my old PST files. I meant to say "The day before the conversion I went into Thunderbird..."

I have no idea what Thunderbird or some of the other things that people are talking about....I am not a technician.

@Oldislander  Speaking from a PC and Windows perspective, Thunderbird and Outlook and Windows Mail are applications (called "email clients") that allow you to download email from Telus or Google's servers to your own computer's hard drive to view, read, reply, organize, and store.  You download directly and view in your application rather than viewing through a web browser.  They are called 3rd party apps because they are built and updated by Mozilla and Microsoft, not by Telus or Google.  (Telus and Google are the first parties, you are the second party (I think), Mozilla and Microsoft are the 3rd parties.)


Here is Thunderbird's website, but it does assume you understand how an email client works, as distinct from webmail.


Here is a page that is a reasonably general explanation of the difference.  Most of the explanations I found were quite technical.  (The video is not great.)


If I download Outlook, can I transfer my saved Telus mailboxes to it?

Personally, I would stay away from Outlook. Where are you now with your migration? Is all your mail now in Gmail? Or?

The migration did not work very well. We are missing our Mailboxes and Telus does not appear to have the ability to help. Hence, my posts here. I am not a big fan of Gmail. I have an account on my laptop and I rarely use it.

Thunderbird has the ability to download mail from the Telus Webmail or from the new Google Mail. But, if you don't know where the mail has gone then there is no starting point. 

Everything, I believe, except the Mailboxes with years of saved mail and Drafts, is on Gmail. The Mailboxes and Drafts (Saved Mail) are still on Telus, which I still have on my computer.

When you say you have the mailboxes and drafts (saved mail) is still on Telus and on your computer, what format is the mail in? Is it in Outlook? or what application. The only Telus mail I knew about was WebMail.