Moving Stony Brook Google Mail Messages to a Personal Gmail Account Using Thunderbird

Audience: Faculty, Staff and Students

This KB Article References: Google Mail
This Information is Intended for: Faculty, Staff, Students
Last Updated: September 11, 2018

If you would like to move your email messages from your Stony Brook University Gmail inbox to your personal Gmail inbox, you will need to use an email client like Thunderbird or Apple Mail (for Mac users). By using an email client you can drag and drop emails from one account into another! To move your emails from your Stony Brook University Gmail inbox to your personal Gmail inbox using Thunderbird.

Note:  If you have 2-step authentication set up on your Gmail account, you won't be able to setup Thunderbird with your mail.  Either turn it off or create a Gmail Application specific password for applications that connect via POP/IMAP.

Step 1. Enable IMAP

Make sure you must enable IMAP access for your Stony Brook University Google Mail account AND for your personal Gmail account (if you don't already have one, create one at To enable IMAP access, follow these directions:

  1. Log into your Stony Brook University Google account ( with your NetID and NetID password or personal Google account with your username and password
  2. Click on the gear This is an image of Google's gear button in the upper right-hand corner of your window and choose Settings from the drop-down menu
  3. Next, click Forwarding and POP/IMAP
  4. Under "IMAP Access" check off Enable IMAP and click Save Changes

Step 2. Download Thunderbird 

  1. Click the download button and run the .EXE file.  Your OS may prompt you with security warnings. If so, click Run
  2. On the Setup screen, click Next and then choose the Standard setup > Next > Install > Finish

Step 3. Set up Thunderbird with your Stony Brook Google Mail account and a Personal Gmail account

Thunderbird may prompt you to create a new email or create a new account. Close out of these prompts so we can create a new account through the options menu  . The options menu looks like 3 lines at the top right of your screen.

You will need to set this up twice; once for your Stony Brook account and then again for your personal gmail account.

When setting up your account, when prompted, sign in with your NetID and NetID password and follow the prompts to allow Thunderbird access.

  1. Go to the Thunderbird MenuOptions (or Preferences) > Account Settings
  2. At the bottom of the screen, click Account Actions > Add Mail Account
  3. Enter your name, email address, and password, then click Continue
  4. If Thunderbird is unable to find your email settings, don't worry...
    1. Enter the server information as listed below

      Incoming:  | Port:  993  |  SSL:  SSL/TLS | Normal password

      Outgoing:  | Port:  587  | SSL:  SSL/TLS | Normal password


      Note: If outgoing port 587 doesn't work, try 465

    2. Making sure to put your Stony Brook University EPO address ( as the username for your Stony Brook account then click the Advanced config button; it will be grayed out until you enter your username.
      This is an image of Thunderbird's Mail Account Setup window
  5. Google's new security measure requires that authentication be more secure. This is not an option in the Mail Account Setup window, so it must be done in the Advanced config menu.
    1. Click on Server Settings. Change the Authentication method to OAuth2
    2. Then click Outgoing Server (SMTP) > click to select the email address > click Edit
    3. Change the Authentication method here to OAuth2 then click OK
  6. Once your Stony Brook account has been added, click Inbox under your account in the list on the left
    If you don't see Inbox , double-click your email address, and the word Inbox will display below it.
    If you get an error that the mailbox can't connect, double click on your email address to open NetID sign in.
    inbox under in account list on left in Thunderbird
    1. If prompted to sign in with NetID and NetID password, sign in, and then and grant Thunderbird access by clicking Allow (click i to learn about what this means)
    2. If you have trouble authenticating your account, update Thunderbird
  7. After adding your account, you need to add your personal Gmail account by following the same instructions again in Step 3. 
  8. Enter your name and personal Google account information as shown below. Thunderbird should find the correct Incoming and Outgoing Server Host names for email addresses ending in "" If it doesn't, manually input the information above in 4a using your personal gmail account username and password. Click Done
    This is an image of Thunderbird's Mail Account Setup window
  9. Once you have added both accounts to Thunderbird, you can drag and drop emails from one inbox to the other!

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