How to Backup your Gmail Account - Unclouding the Cloud

By on March 2, 2011, 1:09 AM
This past weekend over 150,000 Internet users woke up to find their Gmail inboxes, contacts and chat conversations gone. The issue, according to Google, was caused by a storage software update that introduced an unexpected bug. But while the company has since begun restoring data from tape backups and will likely offer some compensation where applicable, the incident served as a reminder that no matter how reliable some cloud-based services are, they are certainly not infallible, and thus it might be prudent to have your own backup ready just in case things go amiss.

There are numerous ways to backup your Gmail data and deciding which way to go will largely depend on the level of effort you want to put into it. You could simply setup Gmail to forward all your mails to another email account and call it a day, for instance. But there are also a handful of other options that offer a bit more flexibility and convenience.


In this brief guide we've listed a few of them, so you can choose whichever best suits your needs.

Read the complete guide.




User Comments: 19

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Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Good read

All i've been using is the old forward trick. That Gmail Keeper looks like a worth try though.

Forward myself to the download section i think...

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

"Unclouding the Cloud," now that's a creative title, and a good read... I've used a desktop client for years now (imagine all the clutter as I don't delete emails often!). Though one of my old personal email services ended up porting to gmail to saving server space, something I was unhappy with then, now, and will forever be unhappy with. =/

Incidentally I use Thunderbird for 3 active emails so it is on 24/7 and picks up new messages every few minutes, so getting emails is not an issue.

fpsgamerJR62 said:

I do have a Gmail account and it wasn't affected by the bug. However, I mostly use my old Eudora 7 desktop client for my e-mail and the inbox does get a bit crowded even though I delete old e-mails quite often. I've been thinking of switching to Thunderbird to link to Gmail but can't quite figure out how to carry over my old inbox from Eudora.

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

No backup for me, if Gmail goes down I go down with it!

That's loyalty

matrix86 matrix86 said:

This is why I got Thunderbird a long time ago

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

matrix86 said:

This is why I got Thunderbird a long time ago

Indeed, love Thunderbird .

ToneEQ said:

I pay for a small web hosting package with included e-mail allowance (only around £1.80 a month, though paid annually). I do prefer Gmail, but I auto-forward any e-mails to my Gmail and Ymail accounts, plus my hosting company has webmail access. Gmail down? No problem!

If my internet connection goes down though... :(

ansh1993 said:

good post . i was actually wondering that whether

will this work on yahoo ?

wjm said:

I was so excited about "Gmail Keeper" after reading what you said that it will "back up Gmail messages and any other data from your Google Apps (Docs, Calendar, etc.)".

I don't think that's accurate. This seems to be a gmail only backup... not docs or calendar.

Staff
Jos Jos said:

Thanks for your feedback, @wjm. My mistake, it supports paid Google Apps mail accounts (companies using the Gmail system with their own domain) but not Docs or Calendar.

edwinyzh said:

Hi,

I'm the developer of Gmail Keeper. Yes, Gmail Keeper currently only backs up the emails and labels, but I'd like to let you guys know that, soon it'll support both calendar (sooner) and docs (later).

Leeky Leeky said:

No backup for me, if Gmail goes down I go down with it!

That's loyalty

Yeah, I think my arrangement is something like that!

I'd definitely sink if google did though. Time to start doing some backups I guess. lol.

Guest said:

I have tried all the backup methods mentioned and the only one that really works is to setup Thunderbird on your pc and keep it synchronised.

It will only download or delete changed emails.

If you have thousands of emails you really do not want to download them all every time you do a backup.

Taking it a step further you can backup the Thunderbird profile, copy to cd or whatever, so that you have a history of backups.

Quick, simple efficient and bullet proof.

You can add as many Gmail accounts as you like to the Thunderbird account and back them all up at once.

rajevcharudutta rajevcharudutta said:

Thanks Jose, very informative. Never thought Gmail could fail. I think Thunderbird seems to be the best option for me.

jobeard jobeard, TS Ambassador, said:

hmm; imo, the Contacts are more important than the existing Email

If you've not run into this issue, Verizon webmail has NO MEANS WHATSOEVER to export or save contacts!

Now that's a stinken means to keep your users

Guest said:

Better concentrate on Google contacts.

Guest said:

What about contacts? It's amazing how much info I've lost using outlook by assuming everything was saved to my *pst file. I'm really looking for something that will back it ALL up: emails, contacts, calendar...everything that you'd actually have IN outlook...

Guest said:

I found this thread because of a problem I helped someone with recently. Their Gmail account (The Apps for business, under 10 users free account) had been suspended because of an apparent breach of Google's terms and conditions

5 users losing access to all old inbox and sent mail for 2 weeks was a big problem. They don't want the same again.

Trying to get anything other than a useless automated response from Google was a major challenge. Eventually I did get email contact from tech support and on the 3rd attempt they fully re-enabled the account (first attempt: only restored access to the admin account, second restored access to all accounts - log in username and password worked but gave no access to any apps).

They were reluctant to say why the account had been suspended, I was 100% certain none of the users would do anything dubious and (with permission) went through their filed email (inbox, sent, spam and trash) and settings once access was restored and found nothing at all questionable. Eventually Google said it was a false positive.

The reason I'm posting is to underline the importance of NOT being solely reliant on Gmail. They CAN and DO arbitrarily suspend accounts for no good reason and there is no easy way to get them restored.

Guest said:

Gmail Backup isn't free any more. Just a free trial limited to 100 emails, and for any larger download you have to pay. It's not expensive but the whole download set-up seems badly arranged, and rather hides the need to pay. Your choice, but I am looking for something that feels more honest.

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