How to Migrate Domain & Email from one Google G Suite to another Gsuite Account
And how NOT to lose all of your other Google services like Google Play Developer and Youtube Business accounts in the process.
Jump to the end if you just want to know how not to lose your shit before you do the migration.
- Make sure you have admin privileges to both G suite accounts
- FROM and TO G suite accounts must be paid
- Add a temporary domain to TO G suite account (or use an existing one)
- Re-create all the email accounts you want to transfer from FROM G suite account inside the TO G suite account using the temporary domain
- Go to Migrations in TO G suite account
Note, if Migrations are not setup yet, search Google for instructions on how to do this, it can be a bit tricky
- Setup migration for each email address in TO Gsuite account
- Click plus button to start new migration
- Enter the email address in the “Migrate From” field (this is the one in the FROM Gsuite account)
- Click the “Authorize” button, then login to the FROM email address when prompted and approve migration connection to get the Auth code
- Enter Auth code in the corresponding field
- Select the email address in the “Migrate To” field that is in the TO Gsuite account (the one you setup on the temporary domain)
- Click start, this can take hours to days depending on size of email database
- After all migrations are complete:
- Go to FROM Gsuite account and delete all the email addresses you just migrated to the TO Gsuite account (triple check you’ve migrated them all.
Note, to be super safe, actually log into the temporary emails from the TO Gsuite account in Gmail to spot check that the email is migrated
- After emails are deleted in the FROM Gsuite account
- Go to Domains > Primary Domains in the FROM Gsuite Account and remove the domain you are transferring
- After the domain is removed from the FROM Gsuite Account
- Go to Domains > Primary Domains in the TO Gsuite Account and add the domain you just remove from the FROM Gsuite Account
- Click on the “Activate Domain” link in the list of primary domains for the domain you just added
- Validate domain either using Google’s automated system if your DNS provider is in the list (although this rarely works) or just select “Other” from the list and get the DNS > TXT record for Google Verification
- Go to your DNS provider and add the TXT record to that domain
Host Record = @
TXT Value = Text string from the Google verification screen (looks something like google-site-verification=kS6V7jV5kGuhmjDBDfnbTQLun-wkI-5yx7ivAhRB1Qg
- Save this entry
- Go back to Domains > Primary Domains in the TO Gsuite account and click the verify button
- Note, this can take a few hours, so you might have to check back later
- After verification is successful
- Go back to Domains > Primary Domains in the TO Gsuite Account and click on the “Validate MX records” link
- You should already have these MX records in DNS for this domain as it was previously working on the FROM Gsuite Account, and the MX records should be the same, but double check
- Go back to Domains > Primary Domains in the TO Gsuite Account and confirm the MX records are setup right (this can take a few hours also)
- If correct, it will say “Active” next to the domain in the TO Gsuite Account
- Once domain is “Active”
- Go to Users in the TO Gsuite Account
- Choose the first email account you migrated and click the Name
- Then click “Rename User” on the edit screen of that email account
- Change the “Primary Email” from the temporary domain (i.e. @temporarydomain.com) to the newly transferred and active domain
- This can take a few hours to update, refresh a few times to be sure it’s changed
- This will automatically make the temporary domain an Alais, but you can remove that Alias after if you like.
- Add any other aliases that you need
That’s it, yeah, total pain in the ass.
THE BIG GOTCHA
There is one HUGE gotcha to look out for when doing a Gsuite to Gsuite migration, it’s this:
Gsuite and many Google Services are tied to a primary google account, which is an email. However, it’s also tied to a unique identifier in thier system.
So when you go about the steps I outline below to migrate from one Gsuite account to another Gsuite account, you are essentially going to be deleting the email on the original account then re-creating it on the new account.
You won’t lose email, because there is a step where you copy the historical email to the new Gsuite account.
But you WILL lose the unique identifier that was tied to that email address.
And because Google services like Google Play Developer and Youtube for example (probably others, but this is what I’ve had issues with) are tied to both the email addresss and the unique identifier, once you delete that email from the original Gsuite account and re-create in the new one, you get a new unique identifier.
This new ID is NOT recognized by these other Google services, so they think you deleted your accounts and you WON’T be able to login.
This is obviously a major flaw in the system and even Gsuite support doesn’t tell you about it, I bet only a handful of people there actually know about it. But it’s real, it’s happened to me twice.
POST ISSUE RESOLUTION
At present, I’ve only been able to resolve getting the Google Play Developer account restored. That account appears to just be “orphaned” and if you contact support, after a lot of explanation, they can restore the account to your same email address, but with the new unique identifier and you’re back. As for Youtube and potentially other Google services, it appears they are lost forever.
PREVENTING THE ISSUE IN THE FIRST PLACE
There is a simple solution to this whole thing that Google doesn’t tell us. That is to just change the primary email of the other Google Services to something else (that isn’t being migrated), then do the migration, then change the primary email back to the newly migrated email.
Knowing this would have saved me hours upon hours of work.