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Tech how-to: Manage all your email addresses in one spot

Email has seriously sped up communications in work settings and in our personal lives. It’s really convenient — unless you have multiple email addresses.

Between needing different addresses for work and your personal life, you can have a lot of messages to check, ranging in degrees from crucial to spam. Tap or click here to keep your inbox clear of spam. It can be hard to stay on top of it all.

Fortunately, there’s a simple way to check all of your emails in one place. You just have to pick your favorite email service, and everything can be sent there — even from accounts on different platforms.

Pick your preferred platform

The first step to checking your emails all in one place is deciding which platform you want to use as the central hub. This can be an application or a web-browser platform.

Examples of email applications are Mail, Microsoft Outlook or Thunderbird. If you primarily check your email on computers, whether from work, home PC or laptop, you might prefer to use an email application to manage all of your accounts.

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Many computer email programs also have mobile app versions, so you can use one of these platforms to check all of your messages on the go.

Whichever you choose is up to you, but if you’ve got a favorite, such as Gmail, Yahoo! Mail or Outlook, it’s time to connect your other email addresses.

How to merge or view multiple email accounts

To combine email accounts and use one platform to check all of your messages, you just need to set up mail forwarding.

The steps to set up one email account to forward to another are pretty universal. Sure, the exact wording and menu layout may be a little different on each platform, but the premise remains the same.

To forward email from one account to another:

  1. Log in to the account you want to have forward to your new primary email platform.
  2. Click on “Settings,” which often includes or is denoted by a gear icon.
  3. Within Settings, find the section or tab with the term “Forward” or “Message Forwarding” in it.
  4. Under Forwarding, you will find a text box labeled “Forward emails to” or something similar. Input the email address you chose to be your primary.
  5. Click the “Save” button.
  6. Email services like Yahoo and Gmail send verification emails to make sure you meant to start forwarding (this is a way to keep hackers at bay — tap or click here to learn more about common email hacks). To verify your email forwarding:
    • Log in to your primary email platform, and open the verification email found there.
    • Click the link provided in the email.
    • Follow the instructions provided to complete the process.
  7. Your email will now be forwarded to the address on your primary platform.

Having multiple accounts on one platform allows you to access older emails, and reply to messages from different addresses.

Here’s more specific help with importing your messages to the top platforms:

To import other accounts into Gmail:

  1. Make sure the email account you’re sending to Gmail has POP access enabled. That will be under Settings in different email platforms. To change POP access in a secondary Gmail account:
    1. Sign in to your Gmail and click on Settings (the gear icon in the top right).
    1. Click on the “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” tab, and select “Enable POP for all mail” in the “POP Download” section.
      • To make sure you don’t lose emails, select “Keep Gmail’s copy in the inbox” next to “When messages are accessed with POP.”
    1. Click “Save Changes” at the bottom.
  2. In Gmail Settings, click on the “Accounts” tab.
  3. Click on “Add a mail account” in the “Check mail from other accounts” section.
  4. Type in the email address you want to forward to Gmail, and click “Next”.
  5. Type in the password for that email address and click “Next”.
  6. Check the “Always use a secure connection (SSL) when retrieving mail” and “Label incoming messages” boxes.
  7. Click “Add Account.”
  8. To reply from the address an email was sent to, in the “Accounts” tab, select “Reply from the same address the message was sent to” in the “Send mail as” section.
    • This is important to set up to keep contacts from getting confused, to keep accounts like your work email active and to keep your central email private.

To import other accounts into Mail, Outlook, and Thunderbird:

  1. While logged into the application, click on the “File” (or in Mail, “Mail”) tab, then click “Add Account.”
  2. If prompted, select the type of account you will be using–Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Other, etc.
  3. Enter the account information for the account you wish to add: the email address, the password, and if prompted, the name used on the email.
  4. Click “Next,” “Continue,” “Connect” or “OK.” Follow prompts to finish the configuration.
  5. The account will now be added to the email application. It will be visible as an inbox below the one you first set up, or the one you put in when you started the application for the first time.
    • Clicking “Reply” to an email in this second inbox should have the reply come from this second email address. Outlook can let you change the “From” line to different inboxes, though.

Having a central location for all of your email is incredibly useful, and easy to set up. You just need to decide if you want to merge emails all to one address, or if you want to have an application that lets you have distinct accounts in one place.

The set up you go with will depend on your preferences. But checking your emails all in one place? That’s perfect for everyone! Tap or click here to organizing your digital life.

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