Using iCloud email through Gmail

When iCloud was announced I saw an opportunity to finally grab an email address that was a little more appropriate for every day life then that gmail address I signed up for years ago. Really it was time to grow up a little so as a developer at the time I had access to iCloud and I got my address that I so desired and moved over to the iCloud world from Google.

At first it was great, simple and easy it all synced with my phone, laptop and I could use the browser for times when I was away from both. Over time though I missed Google's services, mostly I missed Gmail, iCloud email is okay but Gmail is far superior, for me at least anyway. So after a while I decided to see if I could keep my email address but move back to Gmail, so here's what I found.

There's no offical or easy way to do this but the place to start is with your Gmail account.

1 - The starting point is your Google Account page, add your iCloud email as an alternative email address. This lets you log into your google account using this email and your google password.

2 - Now sign in to your Gmail address. Add your iCloud as a "send email as" address in your gmail account. Go to Settings > Accounts and Import > Send Email As, then add the email address and when going through the settings use the "Send through SMTP servers" with SMTP settings for iCloud.

3 - Here's where it gets interesting. If you just forward your iCloud email in you get a large percentage of your email put in the Spam folder. So I found a work around and it involves the new Outlook email. I created an Outlook account and set my iCloud email to forward to there. In iCloud email click Settings > Preferences > Forward my Email and set it to your new Outlook email.

4 - In your Outlook email make sure that filters and spam settings are off, go to more email settings and in the preventing junk email section choose Filters and reporting and make sure the settings are the least restrictive as possible. Also in the Managing your account section go to POP and deleting downloaded messages and set it to Do what my other program says and save.

5 - Go back to Gmail and go toSettings > Accounts and Import > Check email from other accounts, now add your Outlook email.

At the end of these five steps you should be forwarding your iCloud email to Outlook which is then imported into Gmail, your Gmail should be sending email from Gmail using the iCloud SMTP server. In effect you are using your iCloud email address but through Gmail. There is a slight delay in recieving mail, it might be about 10 minutes or so but it works just fine for me.

If you have any experiences with this share them in the comments or if you have any questions ask away.