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Switch from Microsoft Outlook to Gmail

Collaborate with colleagues

This guide helps you switch from Outlook to Gmail on computer. If you're switching to Gmail on mobile, or need detailed instructions for troubleshooting, visit these Gmail topics instead.

In Gmail, you can reply directly to comments in Google Docs—and even update sharing permissions—right from your inbox. You can also start video meetings, chat with colleagues, work with your team in Spaces, and more.

On this page

Note: The instructions in this guide are primarily web only. Get switching information for mobile devices


Collaborate on documents & reply to comments


  • In Outlook: Send copies to colleagues as email attachments.
  • In Gmail: Share Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, update sharing permissions, and reply to comments without leaving Gmail.

Learn how

Share files and update permissions in Gmail

  1. Open Gmail .
  2.  At the top left, click  Compose.
  3. In the "To" field, add recipients.
  4. Add a subject.
  5. Add a link to the Docs, Sheets, or Slides file you want to send.
  6. If prompted, share the file with recipients.
  7. At the bottom of the page, click Send.

 

Reply to comments from Gmail

  1. Open Gmail .
  2. Open the message notifying you of new activity in the document.
  3. In the Comments section, do any of the following:
    • In the Reply field, type your reply, then click Reply.
    • Click Mark as done to close the comment in the document.
    • Click Open to open the document.

Learn more in the Docs editors help center


Start or join video meetings


  • In Outlook: Start or join Skype or Teams meetings from the Calendar tab. Requires Outlook.com or Skype account.
  • In Gmail: Start or join video meetings with Google Meet in the Gmail sidebar.

Learn how

Start a video meeting

  1. Open Gmail and in the sidebar, click Meetand thenNew meeting.
    Note: If you don't see Meet in Gmail, check your Gmail settings.
  2. In the Share your new meeting window, click Join now.
  3. If you want to join using your computer’s camera for video and microphone for audio, click Join now.
  4. If you want to dial in by phone, click Join and use a phone for audio and follow the on-screen prompts.

    You can use this feature only if your organization supports it. For help, contact your administrator. 

    If you join by phone, you can still use your computer for video. For details, see Use a phone for audio in a video meeting.

Join a video meeting

  1. Open Gmail and in the sidebar, click Meet.
  2. Choose an option:
    • Click Join a meeting and enter a meeting nickname or codeJoin.
    • To join a scheduled meeting, point to a meeting under My meetingsJoin now.

Learn more at the Gmail Help Center


Chat with colleagues


If you have a quick or urgent question, you can send a direct message to someone instead of an email. In Gmail, you can start a Chat conversation right from your inbox.

  • In Outlook: Not available on the computer version of Outlook.
  • In Gmail: Hold conversations in Chat in the Gmail sidebar.

Learn how

Turn Chat on or off in Gmail

  1. On your computer, open Gmail.
  2. At the top right, click Settings  and then See all settings.
  3. At the top, click Chat and Meet.
  4. Next to “Chat,” to turn Chat on or off in Gmail, select Google Chat or Off.
  5. Click Save Changes.

Send a direct message to someone

  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. If the name isn’t already under "Chat," click Start a chat .
  3. Enter a name or email address. Suggestions appear as you enter text.
    • To send a 1:1 message to someone outside of your organization, enter their email address.
  4. Click the person you want to message.
  5. Enter a message, then click Send .

Start a group conversation

  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. Under "Chat," click on an existing group conversation, enter a message and then click Send .
  3. If the group conversation isn’t under "Chat,” click Start a chat and then Start group conversation.
  4. Enter a name or email address. Suggestions appear as you enter text.
  5. Click Done .
  6. Enter a message, then click Send .
Note: If you turn off Chat in Gmail, your conversation list and pop-up notifications won't appear in Gmail. However, you can still use Chat on the web (chat.google.com).

Send surveys by email


  • In Outlook: Take a poll through email.
  • In Gmail: Take a poll using Google Forms.

Learn how

Send a poll in email

  1. Open a form in Google Forms.
  2. In the top right, click Send.
  3. Add the email addresses you want to send the form to, along with the email subject and message.
  4. Click Send.

Tip: If your form includes a file upload question, you can't check the box next to "Include form in email" when you send the form.

Learn more at the Docs editors help center


Let someone else access your mailbox


  • In Outlook: Add delegates in account settings.
  • In Gmail: Add delegates in settings.

Learn how

Delegate email

  1. At the top right, click Settings and thenSee all settings.
  2. Click Accounts and Import.
  3. In the Grant access to your account section, click Add another account.
    Note: Your organization may restrict email delegation. If you don’t see this setting, contact your administrator.
  4. Enter the email address of the person you want to add and click Next Step.
  5. Click Send email to grant access.

Learn more at the Gmail Help Center


Share a mailbox with a team


  • In Outlook: Set up a shared mailbox in account settings.
  • In Google Groups: Set up a group as a collaborative inbox.

Learn how

If your team needs a shared mailbox, such as for technical support or customer service, you can use a Google group as a collaborative inbox.

For example, you can create a group with the address support@your-domain.com, add your support staff as members, and allow people outside your organization to send messages to the group. Your support staff will receive your customers' messages, and they can do any of the following from the group's Topics view:

  • Assign responsibility for a topic to a member of the group
  • Mark a topic as resolved
  • Edit the tags associated with a topic
  • Filter topics according to tag, resolution status, or assignee

Learn how to set up a group as a collaborative inbox


               

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