Migrate data from your SOAS account to your Alumnus account


If you'd like to transfer data from your old SOAS account to your new SOAS Alumnus account there are three possibilities.

  1. Using Google Mail Fetcher
  2. Using an IMAP Mailer like Thunderbird
  3. Using Google Takeout

Note: Please remember that these methods will transfer your old mail between accounts but they will not activate your Alumni account to receive new mail
To activate the Alumni account for incoming new mail and so complete the switchover, you must return to


and click the third button.

Before you start

You need to set your old SOAS account to allow for external access so that logins for the transfer will work.

  • Login to your soas.ac.uk account, click the cog wheel at the top right and choose Settings
  • Click on the Accounts heading.
  • In the top section, next to Change account settings, click on Google Account settings
  • Click on the Sign in & Security section
  • Scroll right to the bottom and make sure Allow less secure apps is set to ON

    Click here to see a screenshot

    1. Using Google Mail Fetcher

    This is the simplest way of transferring your mail from the old account to the new one.
    Quick to setup, the Fetcher simply pulls all your old messages across to the new alumni.soas.ac.uk INBOX.

  • SOAS Mail Fetcher screenshots
    Click the link above to see a graphic step-by-step guide to setting up Mail Fetcher

  • Read Google article on Mail Fetcher
    Click the link above to see the full Google article on using Mail Fetcher and its benefits

    2. Using an IMAP Mailer like Thunderbird

    An installed mail programme like Thunderbird can give you more control. For example, you can preserve any existing labels/folders.
    With this method you configure the mailer to point to both accounts - old and new.
    Once configured, you can simply drag your folders and messages across from the soas.ac.uk account to the alumni.soas.ac.uk one.

    SOAS Guides to setting up IMAP mailers for Google
    Click the link to see a page of step by step guides for various IMAP mailers, including Thunderbird, Outlook and Apple Mail

    Note: whenever the instructions say username@your_domain.com you should obviously use

  • username@soas.ac.uk for setting up the old account
  • username@alumni.soas.ac.uk for setting up the new one.

    3. Using Google Takeout

    This is the most comprehensive approach, requiring slightly more work.
    It is recommended if you have used your SOAS Google account, not just for mail, but for other data services like Google Drive, Calendar, Contacts, YouTube etc.

    It involves:

  • Logging into your soas.ac.uk account and creating a special archive file of your data
  • Configuring an IMAP Mailer, as described above, for accessing your new alumni.soas.ac.uk account
  • Importing the data from the file into your IMAP mailer and so copying it up to your new account.

    Simple Screenshot Guide
    Click the link to see screenshots of the process.
    This shows you how to preserve your folders/labels while creating the archive

    Read Google FAQ and Help on Takeout
    Click the link to see Google's description of Takeout and its benefits.
    We recommend reading this to provide general background

    Create a Takeout archive file
    Click the link above to begin the process of creating your Takeout archive file.
    Note: you must login to your old soas.ac.uk account to do this.

  • This page provides instructions for transferring your mail from your old account to your Alumni account.

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