Migrating Google Apps To a New Domain Name

by: maestrojed

Migrating Google Apps

Recently Outlier Solutions became the proud owner of Outlier.com. This is Part 1 of our 3-part series centered on migrating over to a new domain.

We are all very excited about our new domain name. Well, everyone except IT that is.

IT had two main concerns about making the switch:

  1. Our organization uses Google Apps for Business. Google doesn't let you update your primary domain, so how do we move our email, docs, contacts, calendars, etc? This is the topic we'll be covering in this post..
  2. How do we migrate years worth of online content and SEO juice from one domain to another without losing position? We'll talk more about this in a future blog post. (Read Checklist for Migrating Your Site to a New Domain Name.)

This is not a free solution; we could not find a reliable free solution. ShuttleCloud worked great for $19.99/per user with a free trial. (We are not affiliated with or promoting ShuttleCloud. This is simply our experience.)


In Google Apps, primary domain names cannot be modified or updated. If you are migrating to what you consider to be a new primary domain, you have two options:

  1. Create a brand new Google Apps account with this new domain. Migrate your data. This was not the course we chose, but the specific migration topics below should still apply.
  2. Add this domain to your current Google Apps account. Don't add it as an Alias, add it as a New Domain. You will continue to access your Google Apps Admin account using your old domain, so you have to maintain control of it. But your new domain will operate separately. This is the option we chose for the Outlier migration.

The Process

  1. Add your new accounts.
  2. Go to your old email account and set up a forwarder to your new account.
  3. Go to your docs and share all docs with Admin permissions to this new user. Then go to share again and you can change the owner via the drop down next to the new accounts name. Some files can't be transferred because they are not Google docs or are from email attachments. If you select items in bulk and these are included, the change ownership option will not be available.
  4. Export your old contacts, import them in the new account.
  5. Export your calendars, import them in the new account.
  6. Log in as your Google Apps Admin and install the ShuttleCloud App.
  7. Use ShuttleCloud to transfer all of your mail and labels.
  8. Delete your old email account.
  9. Using the Google Apps Admin account, modify a user and add a nickname. Add your old address here to capture those messages.
  10. Review all of your groups (forwarders) and make sure they are set up for the new domain and addresses.
  11. Other Resources:


Video, Web, and Design Agency