How to Forward AOL Mail to Gmail

By Aaron Parson

Gmail has two methods for forwarding messages from AOL, which you can use either to consolidate your email or to move away from AOL entirely. Importing your mail works best when closing an AOL account, as it imports your entire mailbox and contacts, and forwards new messages for a month. Adding your AOL account to Gmail, on the other hand, sends all new AOL emails to your Gmail inbox.

Import AOL Mail

Importing your mail copies your old AOL mailbox to Gmail so you can close your AOL account without losing any emails. This method forwards new incoming messages only for the following 30 days, however, making it a poor choice if you plan to keep using AOL. To start an import, click the gear icon on Gmail, click "Settings," "Accounts and Import" and then "Import Mail and Contacts." Enter your AOL email address and password, select which items to import -- Gmail has three separate check boxes to import contacts, existing messages and new mail for 30 days -- and click "Start Import."

Check AOL Mail

To read new AOL emails on Gmail, click "Add a POP3 Mail Account You Own" in Gmail's "Accounts and Import" settings. Unlike importing mail, this method forwards your messages indefinitely. Enter your AOL email address, click "Next Step" and fill in your AOL username and password -- use your email address, including "@aol.com," for the username. Check "Label Incoming Messages" to tag emails sent to your AOL address and help separate them from Gmail messages. Before pressing "Add Account," check "Leave a Copy..." if you want your AOL emails to appear both on Gmail and on the AOL website or AOL Desktop.