Google Apps @ MHC - Preflight Check

For the most part you can just sit back and relax!  There is nothing most users need to do ahead of their own transition to Google Apps. However if you really want to get started with some tasks before you transition, here are a few things you can do shortly before you go, which may save you time later.

Do Some Housecleaning

Do you have tons of old emails or mail folders you haven't looked at in years and really don't expect to ever need again? If you'd like to take advantage of this opportunity to do some housecleaning, you are welcome to do so. While it is absolutely not required, if you know for sure that you have emails or mail folders you no longer need, you may want to delete them so they are not carried over to Google and you start with a cleaner slate.  If you are not sure if you'll need old emails or folders again, we suggest you leave them alone, just in case.  Google allocates 25 GB of storage space per users, so there will be plenty of room for them there.  It just may take a bit longer for them to copy over.  

Please note, however, that you should complete any housekeeping before the morning on which your account transitions, to prevent any problems with the transfer.

Document Your Email Filters

Are you using rules or filters to automatically sort your email? If so, you’ll want to make a note of them so you can set them up in Google Mail. There is no way to migrate these, so they will have to be recreated.


In Thunderbird, go to Tools, then Message Filters. The Edit button will show the details of the filter.

In Horde, go to Webshell, then SPAM Filters, and choose the Special Filters tab to display your filters.

Copy Your Vacation Message

If you've struggled to write the perfect text for your email vacation (or "away") message, you can easily keep it to use with your Google Mail. The vacation message is set in Horde -- you can get to it there by going to Webshell, then Email Vacation Message. Copy the text of the message and save it as a .txt file in Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac). Just save this file on to your desktop or someplace handy and you'll be able to copy it into your MHC Google Mail at your convenience.

Copy Your Signature

As with your vacation message, if you have a signature file you'd like to save rather than re-type, you will be able to just paste that in to Google Mail.


In Horde, go to your Inbox, then select Options. Under the General Options column, select Personal Information. Copy the text of the signature and save it as a .txt file in Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac).
  • In Thunderbird, go to the Tools menu and then choose Account Settings.  In the Default Identity box, look for the Signature Text field.  Copy and paste the contents of this field and save it as a .txt file in Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac).

Prepare Your Address Book for Google

None of the Mount Holyoke email addresses will need to be imported into your contacts in Google Apps -- they will already be there. Moving your other contacts to Google is easy.  Read on for a step-by-step walkthrough of exporting your contacts from Thunderbird and Horde into a format that Google will be able to read.  You can export your address book & contacts now and save them as a file.  Then after your transition, follow the last set of instructions to import your contacts to Google.

Exporting Address Books from Thunderbird
  1. In Thunderbird, click on the Address Book icon in the toolbar.
  2. In the Address Book window, click on the Tools menu and then the Export option.
  3. In Export Address Book select the Comma Separated option in the Save As field, name the file tbcontacts.csv and save to your desktop.
  4. After your transition, go to the section: Importing Contacts into Google. 

Exporting Address Books from Webmail/Horde
  1. After logging into Webmail/Horde, click on the Address Book icon in the top toolbar.
  2. Once the Address Book is selected, click on the Import/Export option in the top toolbar (just to the right of the Search option).
  3. Under the second part of the page "Export Address Book," be sure the option "Comma Separated Values" is chosen in the pulldown menu.
  4. Click on the Export button to export your address book to a file called hcontacts.csv, in your browser's Download folder.
  5. After your transition, go to the section: Importing Contacts into Google.

Importing Contacts into Google

Note: Internet Explorer does not work well with the import function in Google -- we suggest using Firefox, Chrome, or Safari instead.

  1. After your transition - Go to and Sign In with your MHC email address and MHC password.
  2. Click Mail in the upper left corner of the window to reveal the pulldown menu.  From the pulldown menu, choose the Contacts option.
  3. Click More at the top of the screen. Under the More menu, choose Import. In the Import Contacts window, click on the Choose File button.
  4. Browse to the location where you saved your contacts from Horde or Thunderbird (your Desktop or your Downloads folder), and click Import File.
  5. After a few moments your contacts will be uploaded and imported to Google, and you’ll be ready to start using them to send email.
If the Import Fails

If the import fails, then you may need to make some adjustments to your CSV file. Open the file in Microsoft Excel and find the column with the email addresses. In the top row of this column, edit the name of the column to be:

Email 1 - Value

Save the CSV file (Excel may warn you that it cannot save all the formatting and features in that format, but it's okay) and try with the modified file. If that still doesn't work, then contact the helpdesk for further assistance.