Use the Advantages of Gmail without Using a Gmail Address

GmailifyGoogle’s Gmail service is one of the best email services available today. It has probably the best spam filters of any email service. It also offers excellent inbox organization. Not bad for a free service!

Would you like to use Gmail but are “stuck” with a different email address from some other organization? Would changing your email address be too much of a problem involving notifying all of your friends, relatives, and business acquaintances? Are you presently subscribed to numerous email lists that send messages to your present address? Changing all those subscriptions to point to a new email address could be a problem!

Most computer users think you need a Gmail address in order to enjoy Gmail’s advantages. Actually, that has not been true for years.

I have been using Gmail as my spam filter and inbox organizing tool for more than five years even though I use a non-gmail address. While it has long been possible to “marry” Gmail’s advantages to other email addresses, the process has always been a bit complicated and required quite a bit of knowledge of how email systems work.

If you use Yahoo! Mail or Hotmail/Outlook.com, Google now has an easy solution for you. You can enjoy the benefits of Gmail without going through the hassle of changing your email address. Best of all, the service is free.

Gmailify links your existing account to Gmail so that you get all the bells and whistles, including spam protection, inbox organization, and even Google Now cards based on your mail, without having to leave your current email address behind. All you need to do is create a free Gmail account at mail.google.com. You will be required to create a new email address ending in “@gmail.com” but don’t worry about that. Nobody else will ever see that address unless you tell them. It can be your secret.

Once created, sign in to your new Gmail account and enable Gmailify. You will have to specify the email address, user names, and password of your old account so that Gmail can retrieve messages from that account. Your email correspondents will still reach you at your normal Yahoo.com, Hotmail.com, or Outlook.com email address. The email messages you send will also appear to come from that same address, not from Gmail.com. And of course, you’re always in control—so if you ever change your mind, you can unlink your account(s) at any time, and continue to access them through the Gmail app without using Gmailify. Not bad for a free service!

Gmailify is available now at no charge but only to Yahoo and Hotmail/Outlook users.

Instructions are available in the Gmail Support Blog at http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2016/02/gmailify-best-of-gmail-without-gmail.html. You also might want to view the video below.

Of course, if you already use Gmail, you don’t have any need for Gmailify. You are already enjoying the benefits.

10 Comments

Hi Dick,
I was interested in your comment that Gmail “also offers excellent inbox organization.” What I perceive as the lack of such a feature is why I would never use Gmail as my main account. I still happily use Eudora with its powerful folder and filtering capabilities which Gmail lacks. Yes, you can set up Categories but that is not the same as folders and filters. Am I missing something or do we just have different ideas about what constitutes ‘excellent inbox organisation’?

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    —-> Yes, you can set up Categories but that is not the same as folders and filters. Am I missing something or do we just have different ideas about what constitutes ‘excellent inbox organisation’?

    Gmail has excellent folders and filters and I use them extensively. Years ago, I used Eudora as my email program. Gmail is one of the few cloud-based email services I have found that uses filters and folders in almost the exact same method that Eudora does.

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This service must be just for phones. I could not find it using my desktop computer. I set up a gmail account but then could not find “gmailify” or any thing like it.

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    —> This service must be just for phones. I could not find it using my desktop computer.

    No. Go to http://gmail.com and it works perfectly on your desktop system.

    It works well for Windows, Macintosh, Linux and probably other operating systems as well. In addition, there are a number of third-party programs designed to work with Gmail. I use Mailplane on a Macintosh. I also know that Mailbird for Windows has a good reputation although I haven’t used that myself. In addition, I have heard of GMDesk, eM Client, and Gmail by Pokki. I don’t have any experience with them but a Google search should turn up user reviews.

    Thunderbird is an email program that has been around for years and is very popular. It works with all sorts of mail servers and was updated a while ago to use some of the unique features in Gmail.

    Finally, Gmail all by itself works as an offline email reader. It lets you read and manage messages when you don’t have an Internet connection. You can even compose messages that will be sent when you’re back online. Details may be found at https://support.google.com/mail/answer/1306847?hl=en

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Can it work with AOL as my email?

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I use my Hotmail and Yahoo accounts as my “other” accounts for various junk newsletters (NOT this one!) and various sales/promotions so I don’t have to have them pile up in my gmail account, using up space & further time sucking on my account. I particularly like Hotmail’s ability to do mass deletions/unsubscribing and keeping only the current email from subscriptions. I wish gmail did this. Do you know if that would work if I “gmailified” that account?

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    —> Do you know if that would work if I “gmailified” that account?

    Yes, although the exact step-by-step instructions will obviously be a bit different.

    For instance, let’s say that I had saved a few hundred email messages from “obnoxiousnewsletter.com” (an obvious fictitious name) and I now decide to delete all of them, even though I may have hundreds of them stored. In Gmail, including Gmailified, I can click on ALL MAIL (that includes previously-read and unread email) and search for all occurrences of “obnoxiousnewsletter.com.” All those messages will appear within a second or two. I can then click on SELECT ALL (a small box above and to the left of the messages) and then click on the trashcan icon to delete them.

    Actually, that will only delete the latest 50 or so messages but another option is to look directly above the messages and see a sentence similar to this: “If you’re confident you won’t need these messages in the future, click the Trash icon.” Clicking on that deletes ALL the messages from obnoxiousnewsletter.com.

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One doesn’t need an extra piece of software to accomplish this. It’s very simple. At the email server for the address you want to show, set your email to forward to your Gmail address. At the Gmail server, in the Accounts & Import section in Settings, go to the part labeled Send Mail As and enter your address that you want people to see.

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    I think my experience has been that with the procedure Bob White mentions, the Reply-To address will still be set to the gmail address, even though the From: header may be from another address.

    Like

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