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Switch from Microsoft Outlook to Gmail

View & find email

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.

With Gmail, you can choose whether messages are grouped in conversations, or if each email shows up in your inbox separately. Plus, you get powerful AI and search capabilities to help you find messages quickly.

On this page

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


View individual messages or conversation threads


  • In Outlook: Arrange by conversation or sender. Scroll to view all messages or conversations (desktop view). In Outlook conversation threads, the newest message is at the top.
  • In Gmail: Use quick settings to change conversation view. View up to 100 messages or conversations per screen (web view). In Gmail conversation threads, the newest message is at the bottom.

Learn how
  1. Open Gmail.
  2. At the top right, click Settings and then See all settings.
  3. Scroll to Conversation view.
  4. Select Conversation view on or Conversation view off.

Tip: The settings are also available in the Quick settings sidebar. Click Settings , then scroll to the Email Threading section at the bottom of the Quick settings sidebar.

 

Change the order of messages


  • In Outlook: Use the Filter or Sort menu in your inbox.
  • In Gmail: Set up your inbox to show messages or conversation threads in the order they arrive (Default). Or view starred, unread, or important messages first. You can also change the order from newest to oldest.

Learn how

Choose your inbox type

  1. On your computer, go to Gmail.
  2. Click Settings Settings.
  3. Under "Inbox type," select:
    • Default
    • Important first
    • Unread first
    • Starred first
    • Priority Inbox
    • Multiple Inboxes

Tip: The settings are also available in the Quick settings sidebar. Click Settings , then scroll to the Inbox type section of the Quick settings sidebar.

Learn more at the Gmail Help Center

Change the order from newest to oldest

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. In the message window, point to the numbers above your inbox. These numbers tell you how many messages are on the page and in your inbox. For example, 1-42 of 42 means you're viewing messages 1-42 on the page, and you have 42 messages in your inbox.
  3. To see the oldest messages first, click Oldest.
  4. To see the most recent messages first, click Newest.
  5. If you have more than 100 messages, clickand thento go to the next page of messages.

Find messages by searching


  • In Outlook: Use the search bar or the filter menu in your inbox.
  • In Gmail: Search using advanced search criteria, chips, and apps search overlay.

Learn how
  1. Open Gmail.
  2. At the top, in the search box, enter your search criteria.
  3. Press Enter.
  4. (Chat in Gmail enabled only) Choose where to search by clicking Mail, Conversations, or Spaces:
    • Mail searches your email.
    • Conversations searches existing messages in chats and spaces.
    • Spaces searches the names of spaces that you have joined and spaces that you can join. 

Narrow your email search

At the top of your inbox, search for one or more keywords that appear anywhere in the email—in the subject, body, or sender name. 

If you’re looking for something specific, click Show search options to use advanced search.

Example: Search for:

  • Senders—Example: From:(sam@your-company.com)
  • Date ranges—Example: after:2019/3/29 before:2019/4/5
  • Keywords—Example: Company confidential
  • Message attributes, such as attachments—Example: has:attachment

Learn more at the Gmail Help Center


Get notified of new email


  • In Outlook: Set up desktop alerts.
  • In Gmail: Set up browser alerts.
Learn how
  1. Open Gmail.
  2. At the top right, click Settings and thenSee all settings.
  3. Scroll down to Desktop notifications and select New mail notifications on or Important mail notifications on (if you use Priority Inbox).
  4. Click Save Changes.

Learn more at the Gmail Help Center


View archived email


  • In Outlook: Search the Archive folder. Or, if you're using AutoArchive, open a .pst file.
  • In Gmail: Search All Mail.
Learn how

Important: When you search in Gmail, your results include archived messages. Learn more about search in Gmail.

  1. On your computer, open Gmail.
  2. On the left, click More.
  3. Click All Mail.

Learn more at the Gmail Help Center


View deleted email


  • In Outlook: Go to the Deleted Items folder. Whether you can move or recover deleted items depends on your settings.
  • In Gmail: Search Trash. If you deleted your messages in the last 30 days, you can move them out of your trash.
Learn how
  1. On your computer, go to Gmail.
  2. On the left, click More and then Trash.
  3. On the left of each message you want to recover, check the box.
  4. At the top, click Move to .
  5. In the “Move to” menu, choose where you want to move the messages.

Learn more at the Gmail Help Center


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