One nice thing about Mail is the Redirect feature, which lets you forward mail to a particular address so that it does not appear to have been forwarded from you. The final recipient sees the message just as you did when it arrived in your inbox.
One annoying thing about Mail’s Redirect feature is that it cannot be used on more than one message at a time. You can’t select, say, the entire contents of one mailbox and tell Mail to redirect all those messages to your Gmail account. If you select more than one message, the Redirect menu item is unusable.
For people with the urge to adopt Gmail as their main email client, and shift their mail archives from Mail to Gmail in one fell swoop, this could be more than just annoying; it could be the deal-breaker that prevents them moving at all.
So be thankful for Mail Act-On, because this handy little Mail utility lets you do perform a simple redirect command for as many messages as you wish, with just a few keystrokes. I recently used it to move several months’ worth of email over to my Gmail account, and it worked like a charm.
The steps are very simple:
- Get Mail Act-On, if you haven’t already got it
- In Mail prefs, add a new rule:
- If all the following conditions are met:
- Every message
- Perform the following actions:
- Redirect message to (Your Gmail address)
- Give the rule a name that suits Act-On, and an appropriate shortcut key (mine was ‘r’)
- Select all the messages you wish to redirect, and hit “`” then “r”
- Sit back and wait while Mail gets on with the job
To avoid the prospect of Mail hanging with so much to do, I redirected my messages in batches of 100 or so; it didn’t take very long to get through 3000 saved emails. And thanks to the way the Redirect feature works, they all appeared at Gmail with their original senders, dates and appropriate attachments. I monitored my Gmail inbox during the process and periodically selected all the incoming new messages, marked them as read and archived them. The whole thing took about 30 minutes.