I can understand your irritation, when all these years after indulging in processes of taking backups of your devices like desktops, laptops, smartphones, iPads etc. , now you are supposed to take backup of your email accounts. You use Gmail to manage your Emails, no doubt it is safe and secure but I believe the one incident which we witnessed in past(when 15,000 Gmail users got stranded when all their messages and email accounts were deleted) should be considered as wake-up call.
Due to its policy of multiple backups though Gmail was able to restore all users and their messages with in a week, but we can’t afford such or worse occurrences in future. Use this article to initiate the backup process for your Gmail account and make your life free of worries. I have consolidated few ways to Take Backup of your Gmail account.
Use Gmail Backup Application
It is a standalone application with standard interface. It is free and work for both Windows and Linux. Here is what you need to do,
- Download latest version of Gmail Backup here.
- Install the application.
- Using Gmail Labs? Make sure to enable IMAP access into the All Mail folder (Setting/labels page).
- For Linux install “wxPython” packages from here. For Python 2.5 distribution “ctypes” module is also required.
- Open the application and enter you username and password.
- Specify destination folder and dates for the backup.
- Start the process.
You will be able to see a scrolling list of messages download as it proceeds. Data is stored in .eml format and hence it is easy to open with different programs. It also checks any already backed up file and hence negate any chances of redundancy. File attachments are also downloaded, so just be careful in case using a notebook. Now you can read your stored emails through outlook or any other text reader but I wish one day we will get an in built reader.
Note: Gmail backup is free open source and recommended when looking for very basic backup functionality. In case you are looking for features such as profile management, scheduled backups, filtering by labels and offline documentation you can consider spending $30 on Backup Keeper.
Backup using another Gmail account
This is very simple and one time set and forget method. Here are the steps,
- Create one more Gmail account, the backup account where all the emails from your primary account will be transferred.
- Go to primary Gmail account’s settings and click “Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.
- Click on “Enable POP for all mail” under POP download section.
- Select “keep Gmail’s copy in the Inbox” in the 2nd point saying “When messages are accessed with POP.”
- Click Save changes button.
- Logout from primary Gmail account and sign in the backup Gmail account created earlier.
- Go to “Settings” and then “Account and Import”.
- Go to 4th point “Check mail using POP3” and hit “Add POP3 email account you own” button.
- You will be prompted by a box asking to add a Gmail account you own, enter your primary Gmail account address and click “Next Step”.
- Now you will be asked to enter your username and password for primary account. Forget about rest of the settings as Gmail will fetch them itself for you.
- You may or may not label the incoming messages. Then click “Add account”.
- You will get a pop up window “Your mail account has been added”, click finish and you are done!
Note: Now this new backup account will start fetching your mails from your primary account, be patient and I suggest you to make sure you are getting everything you need, whenever you get little time. Also labels don’t get transferred if you use this free and easy method.
Backup using MailStore Home
It is a free windows-only achieving tool. It allows you backup and restores both Web-based and desktop-based e-mail.
- Open it and click “Archive e-mail”.
- Choose POP3 mailbox (your primary Gmail account), and enter your username and password for your Gmail account.
- Set the ‘Access via’ drop-down menu to POP 3-SSL, and click Next.
- On next page you will get options to delete your messages from the primary Gmail account after download. I recommend not doing it. Default setting will never delete your emails.
- You can also decide to include or exclude email with particular labels or emails from certain a date range.
- You can see your messages in MailStore Home now.
- One more reason to use MailStore is its fast searches. Hence after download searching your mails is very fast even better than your primary account.
- It also stores labels.
Note: MailStore stores the data in local database, so if you want to take a backup on external hard drive or DVD, MailStore home page will give you an option to do that too.
Taking Backup to an Email client
Here are the steps you can follow to copy your messages from the Gmail account to an Email client installed on your device,
- Go to Settings->Forwarding and POP/IMAP.
- In 2nd point “POP Download” select “Enable POP for all mail (even mail that’s already been downloaded).
- Save your changes and open the email client you have installed on your device to check the downloaded messages.
Note: Messages in Spam and Trash aren’t downloaded unless you move them to your inbox or All Mail.
There are plenty more, which you can try to get your Gmail backup locally: Desktop client, Thunderbird, GetMail, FetchMail etc. I have provided you with some most common and effective ways to back up your Gmail account. If you are happy with these, go for it, else world is yours!