Archive for category GMail

How to add the “sent” label to GMail messages

…or, how to “move” GMail messages to the “sent” folder. (GMail uses labels, not folders, but if you use 1 label/message you can emulate folders.)

This is my last posting about GMail for a while (I hope!). 5 posts down, you can see that I completely revised my July 20 posting about migration to GMail – it’s finally done.

GMail’s web interface won’t let you move messages into the “sent” folder, but you can do it if you sync your account with Outlook, then do it in Outlook:

  1. Install Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook®.
  2. Install Outlook (I used Outlook 2003).
  3. Synchronize Outlook with the GMail account (this may take a long time – days – if you have a lot of mail)
  4. Move the messages in Outlook.
  5. Let it sync again.

That’s it. Now you can get rid of Outlook if you want.

How to remove un-labelled mail from GMail

I had over 80,000 un-labelled messages (6.8 GBytes) in GMail. I wanted to delete them.

Guess what – there’s no way to select messages without any labels. Google’s own help files say “There isn’t a search operator for unlabeled messages“.

It seems I’m not the only one with this problem. After a Google search on the problem, I discovered that the only known method is to search using the “-label: ” operator that finds messages that don’t have a given label. If you have 4 labels you can search on messages that don’t have any of the 4 like this:

-label:Label1 -label:Label2 -label:Label3 -label:Label4


-label:{Inbox Outbox label1 Label2 …} // only for single-word labels

Which is fine if you only have four labels. I had hundreds of labels.

Google support said there was no way to delete just the unlabeled ones, except by hand.

But there is.

  1. Install Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook®.
  2. Install Outlook (I used Outlook 2003).
  3. Synchronize Outlook with the GMail account (this may take a long time – days – if you have a lot of mail)
  4. Exit Outlook (important!)
  5. Go into GMail, select “All Mail”, click on “Select all messages that match this search”.
  6. Delete all the mail in the GMail account.
  7. Run Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Outlook® (this gets installed automatically when you install Apps Sync)
  8. Migrate your Outlook .PST file (the account you synced in step 3) to your GMail account.
  9. Restart Outlook. Let it sync with GMail (may take a long time – it’ll transfer the entire account).

You’re done. You can un-install Outlook now if you don’t want to use it (you don’t have to; it’ll stay synced with GMail).

I did this. It works. Now I have only the 792 messages that actually have labels.

How to select ALL your email in GMail

To select all mail in your entire GMail account, go into the “All Mail” label/folder and use this search:


Then click on “Select all messages that match this search”.

Email migration from Eudora (or Thunderbird) to GMail

Update November 17 2012: 

I started this post back on July 20 – four months ago – and have only finished the migration now. That’s because I found a lot of unexpected problems along the way.

The rest of this post is my new, improved, and corrected step-by-step guide on how to migrate email from Eudora (up to version 7) or Thunderbird to GMail, based on hard-won experience.


I’ve been using Eudora since 1995 (17 years). Before that I used Unix mail (Sun; early 1990s), CompuServe (back to 1981), and something called “The Source” (1979; I was ‘TCA818’). Disk space was expensive back then so I didn’t save a lot of email.

But since 1995 I’ve kept everything – disk drives got bigger faster than my mail archive. So I had about 14 GBytes of email in Eudora.

Eudora has been abandoned by Qualcomm since 2006 and is getting old; there’s a new open source version based on Thunderbird (“Eudora OSE”), which sucks.

As our company grows the job of administering Eudora users (plus myself) was getting too big for me, so I decided to outsource it to Google Apps for Business. Which means GMail, and migrating the old email.


In the following, I’ll use these abbreviations:

  • E7 – Eudora 7 (or any earlier version of Eudora)
  • OSE – Eudora Open Source Edition (used only for migration)
  • Tbird – Mozilla Thunderbird
  • Outlook – Microsoft Outlook 2003 or later
  • OE – Outlook Express

To save you time, here are some things that won’t work:

  1. Syncing E7 to GMail using IMAP
  2. Converting E7 to E-OSE, then sync E-OSE with GMail using IMAP
  3. Converting E7 to E-OSE, then sync Tbird with GMail using IMAP
  4. Converting E7 to Outlook Express, that to Outlook, then Outlook to GMail
  5. IMAPSize
  6. Importing E7 data with Outlook, then sycning to GMail
  7. Importing Tbird data with Outlook, then sycning to GMail
  8. Importing E7 data with Thunderbird
  9. Syncing Outlook with GMail via IMAP (use this instead; it works)

Trust me, don’t bother.

If you really care or don’t believe me, in the Appendix at the very end of this posting I’ve put some of my notes on why some of those don’t work.

(I haven’t the patience to describe all the problems…comments in the Python files give some more details.)


To do the migration, you’ll need the following:

These are only for the migration. Once it’s done you can throw away all of them.
Read the rest of this entry »