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Can I Import Emails To

Paul O'Brien
Paul O'Brien
3 min read
Can I Import Emails To

Yesterday I was lucky enough to finally receive my invite code from and am delighted that my preferred alias name was still available – [email protected] – so I’m a happy bunny.

Given that the new service is exactly what I have been waiting for (since Gmail become boring) I have decided to change my main email address to the new one. I missed out on [email protected] and have always been slightly bitter having not registered it in time.

So I decided to dump my Gmail account and move to doesn’t currently offer custom domain names so changing my main email address was the only real way forward. I understand that changing my email address is a bit of a bold move but one I have thought hard about – I’ve decided a fresh start is the best thing for me.

My only concern was the ~40,000 archived emails I had in Gmail.

Can I import all my emails to Hey?

Unfortunately not, and these are the reasons why – and it’s not because of an oversight from Basecamp (the developers behind the platform)

  • You can’t import your existing emails into – You can only setup a forwarder from your old email provider to your new address.
  • Hey do not offer, IMAP or POP3 – This also prevents another method of importing emails.
  • There are no plans for Hey to release an import tool (their ethos is to start afresh)
  • You can not download emails from another provider into the Hey platform.

And there doesn’t seem like there will be a solution in the future either – The HEY way manifesto says under the fresh start section:

People’s first instinct is to bring their entire email history with them wherever they switch to a new email service. But that’s a major liability, and 99% of it is dead weight. HEY doesn’t import email from other services because we believe a fresh start is a blessing, not a curse. A moment to cut ties with the past and start again. A new house with new furniture, not one packed with all your old crappy stuff from college.

The Hey way manifesto

The HEY email platform was never designed nor meant to have emails migrated to it – it was designed with the fresh start way in mind. Some of you might agree with this theory but I am sure many more will disagree. Myself, at first was concerned, but now I kind of like the idea and feel less cluttered.

So what am I going to do with all these old emails?

I had a few options:

Keep my existing G Suite account live so I still have access to all my old emails – The downside to that is that its a paid account and an extra expense I don’t want.

  • Delete them all and make a total clean break – But this is dangerous and also stupid.
  • Spend the next few months and be responsible for a few hectares of lost rain forest by printing them off and filing them away – Not an option.
  • Forward them one by one to my new account – Would take forever and isn’t practical.
  • Export the emails and store them offline or migrate them to another email provider who offers a free service.


I decided to move the 40k of emails to my Apple iCloud account and it was a fairly easy task to undertake.

I used the Google Takeout service to export all my important emails – there is an excellent how to guide here – How to Export Your Emails From Gmail as Mbox Files – Once exported I simply imported the Mbox files into my Apple Mail App – You can do the same with other email programs like Outlook, just run a quick Google search.

I now have all my emails safely stored, backed-up and searchable, and at no extra cost.

Would be interested to know what others did with their accounts?

hey.comhow to

Paul O'Brien

I like to write about Ghost CMS, all things Apple, Google Workspace, Notion and Roam Research. I Dislike Microsoft, slow internet and Facebook. New to the world of Crypto