Emails migrated from Gmail to iCloud showing wrong received date

Emiljabo

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 16, 2013
40
12
Hi,

I recently migrated 20,000'ish emails from Gmail to iCloud.

I completed the migration over the last few days.

The oldest emails being from way back in 2012 which I need to keep for business purposes.

However, all of the 20,000'ish migrated emails in my iCloud now show a received date which is the day that I migrated them (last few days) and not the actual date they were originally sent.

Obviously, I need the emails to be listed in the order they were originally received.

Does anyone know why this might be happening and how to solve this issue?

Thanks!
 

Emiljabo

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 16, 2013
40
12
So, I just got off the phone with Apple support and in fairness this is an expected behaviour. Essentially, moving old emails from one server to a new server would be seen by the new server as receiving new emails so they would have the date received as the date they moved to the new server.

However, this creates a fundamental problem with regards to emails when one of the most important pieces of information which needs to be retained during a migration is the date the email was originally received prior to the migration taking place.

This is a problem which could be solved quite easily if you were able to choose to sort the emails in Mac Mail by the date they were sent by the sender. Which is information which should be recorded in each individual email's code.

Currently there is no solution to this problem according to Apple other than to send feedback to suggest the development of a "sort by date/time sent" in the Mac Mail app.

A very frustrating situation. I was looking forward to removing myself from the Google ecosystem and having everything handled by Apple/iCloud, but it's all just been one big time consuming headache.
 

Emiljabo

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 16, 2013
40
12
I set up both my Gmail and iCloud mailboxes in Mail. Then I selected approximately 100 emails at a time in the Gmail mailbox, then right-clicked them and chose "Move to" and selected the iCloud mailbox. It took about 3 days to move 20,000 emails because moving them all at once was causing hang-ups etc.
 

rmhop81

macrumors 68020
Apr 4, 2005
2,249
103
Dallas, TX
So, I just got off the phone with Apple support and in fairness this is an expected behaviour. Essentially, moving old emails from one server to a new server would be seen by the new server as receiving new emails so they would have the date received as the date they moved to the new server.

However, this creates a fundamental problem with regards to emails when one of the most important pieces of information which needs to be retained during a migration is the date the email was originally received prior to the migration taking place.

This is a problem which could be solved quite easily if you were able to choose to sort the emails in Mac Mail by the date they were sent by the sender. Which is information which should be recorded in each individual email's code.

Currently there is no solution to this problem according to Apple other than to send feedback to suggest the development of a "sort by date/time sent" in the Mac Mail app.

A very frustrating situation. I was looking forward to removing myself from the Google ecosystem and having everything handled by Apple/iCloud, but it's all just been one big time consuming headache.
I went through the same experience recently. Majority of my emails were fine. I have about 8gb worth of emails that i transferred from Gmail to iCloud. For me, it was only 1 specific folder that had issues and it seemed to be an issue when i copied over so much at the same time, not in small bunches. Unfortunately, there's no real fix like you said. It sucks that all of your's ended up that way and mine were just 1 specific folder.
 

Emiljabo

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 16, 2013
40
12
I'm glad most of yours were ok which leads me to wonder why some of your emails kept their original dates and mine did not?

I had seven folders on Gmail 6 had reasonably few emails in them with the vast majority of the 20,000 being in one single business related folder. However, all emails in all seven folders lost their original received dates.
 

rmhop81

macrumors 68020
Apr 4, 2005
2,249
103
Dallas, TX
I'm glad most of yours were ok which leads me to wonder why some of your emails kept their original dates and mine did not?

I had seven folders on Gmail 6 had reasonably few emails in them with the vast majority of the 20,000 being in one single business related folder. However, all emails in all seven folders lost their original received dates.
yeah that's no good man. i think what happened with mine, is majority of the time i just took what's in the folder and copied some over and left it. then after a little bit i'd do another folder. at one point i got really annoyed of it taking forever that i just copied over the remaining folders and that's where i think too much was trying to copy over at once. I just remember the folder with the messed up date was the last one i tried copying over.
 

SuperYorkie

macrumors newbie
Nov 7, 2019
1
0
Northamptonshire
I'm not quite sure I agree with Apple on this about it being unavoidable given my experience. Like you, I used Mac Mail to logon to both my Gmail and my iCloud email accounts, then tried both 'copy' of folders and 'move' of folders. In both cases, the emails seemed to move/copy correctly. On my Mac in Mac Mail, the emails all have the right dates and times. However, when I logon to my iCloud mail account on the web, I can see the dates and times have all been reset to hold the moment the upload occurred. So I am sat in a position where on my Mac, all mails have the right date and time on them, and in iCloud, they don't.

This sounds like a translation/mapping issue in Mac Mail/iCloud importing.

If I then logon to a different Mac and connect to the same iCloud account, it comes down with the wrong date, i.e. the corrupted date on iCloud, as you would expect. So I am sat here with two Macs, both showing the same emails but with different dates attached to them.

Here's what I have done - I exported all the emails from Gmail to .mbox files and have kept them as an archive which I can load back into Mail at any time. I am storing these .mbox files on my cloud storage. If I import them to Mac Mail in the future, it's easy and they come across with the right dates. I'm then using iCloud for any new emails. A bit of a mess having emails and an archive, but better than all dates being corrupted...and I have been able to dump Gmail.

Out of interest, has anyone tried doing this on a different email client, such as Outlook? I guess this would prove if it's Mac Mail or iCloud that's chewing the dates up.

One other reason I disagree with Apple - I used to work for a company who migrated company emails from on-premise to either O365 or our private cloud - and these were 'large company' customers. At no time did a single email lose the date and time during that export/import process. So moving emails from server to server should make no difference. I get that 'last modified' date may change, but the date the email was sent/received should not.

Finally, I have just tried exporting an email from Gmail to Outlook.com and the date has not been corrupted. So this looks to me like an iCloud mail issue that Apple need to fix.
 
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Emiljabo

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 16, 2013
40
12
Yes, it's a major problem. Sadly, then I did mine I did not expect this behaviour to occur so once I had moved the emails over there was no going back as they were removed from the Gmail account. Had I known I would have taken steps to prevent it.

Having just put in my years tax returns it was a major ball ache going through my digital receipts. I had to manually check every single email in the hope that the correct date had been included somewhere in the body text of the email. Sadly that was not the case with all of them. So I had to go and find those transactions on the invoices on the websites I had purchased the item from. Some were there, some were not. Then I had to cross reference these with my bank statements. It took approx 16 hrs to sort out this mess. All of which would not have needed doing had the emails simply retained their original dates... Thanks Apple!
 

daanodinot

macrumors regular
Mar 26, 2015
153
255
I have the same issue. I've done a lot of trial and error - even used Thunderbird to copy - but all resulted in the same: proper dates are visible on the Mac but not on iOS and the web. To me it seems this is simply a matter of these clients parsing the wrong dates. It can and should be fixed.

It's frustrating because I badly want to transfer my emails from Gmail to iCloud, but I'm not ready to do so until this is fixed. (I don't really want to use intermediate backups or the like.) I'll probably stay put for now. :(
 
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luminosity6

macrumors newbie
Dec 27, 2015
11
0
Same here! Date is correct on Mac but shows the "migrated" date (date the message is moved) in iCloud web. I never even knew this could be possible to display two different dates on the same message. :(
 

dh33rajc

macrumors newbie
Nov 11, 2019
2
0
Guys I am having this same issue. Because of trying to use icloud on outlook and have my sent folders in sync, all of my sent mail got deleted and when I am reuploading my archived mail it has the correct date on my laptop but wrong dated on ios and icloud.com! Has anyone come across a solution?
 

luminosity6

macrumors newbie
Dec 27, 2015
11
0
Hi again - I sent a message in to Apple about this (of course knowing I wouldn't get a reply, but hey, why not send it). After that, thinking hopefully, I checked in again this week and tried another "migrated messages" test. Success!!! The dates in iCloud are the true message date! Hopefully this fix will stick :)
 
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daanodinot

macrumors regular
Mar 26, 2015
153
255
Good to hear! Can anyone second that?

EDIT

Alright, I've tried it for myself and the issue seems to be solved. iCloud Mail on the web now shows the proper dates. It's hard to scroll through all messages (since it's slow af) but I've seen enough to know that the dates are correct.

iOS is a bit of a mess. My iPhone showed the proper dates right away. My iPad showed some incorrect, recent dates. What I did was disable Mail in the iCloud settings and delete Mail completely. I installed Mail again and enabled iCloud Mail. It then showed the proper dates but a random selection of the messages. You'll have to scroll through the message list a bunch of times to make it download everything.

Frankly, Apple should be ashamed of Mail on the web and iOS. Both feel unreliable and slow. Unlike Mac Mail, they feel like toy apps not meant to be used as your primary mail app.

In any case: all seems good now so try it for yourself.
 
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