Avoiding Lost Mail After Migrating From Google Workspace

Early in January Google started telling users of the free tier of Google Workspace (previously G Suite and Google Apps for Work) that they had until July 1st of 2022 to pay up or the service would shut off. I’ve been a user of that service for years, and the various projects I work on used it too. Google Workspace was almost perfect for a free email service that worked with custom domains, but I always kept a regular gmail account in my back pocket to use for Google’s services because I thought this day might come.

The one good thing about Google deciding that one of the richest companies in the world can’t afford to give email services to small open source projects, small businesses, and individuals, is that it was the impetus to finally switch all of those projects away from Google’s services and support smaller businesses that don’t make the majority of their money from being a slimy advertising middleman.

So, off to Fastmail it was, signing up, importing mail from Google, and updating the MX records was easy enough after I realized I had forgotten a period at the end of one entry but there was still one large problem with Google’s services: Even after a week of changed records, long enough to bypass the time-to-live many times over, some automated corporate e-mail was still being delivered to a Google account that had no MX records pointing to it.

Turns out, that unless you go into the Google Workspace administration panel and specifically shut off the GMail service for all users, Google continues to receive some mail despite the MX records being set to go to Fastmail. It is truly bizarre that either Google or some automated senders ignore the MX records and I’m still not sure if it was only for mail delivered using Google’s services or what, but that was the final trick to getting all mail delivery go to the new service provider instead of the old one.