iOS email backup -- possible or SOL?

So evidently, people think that using an email service that is run out of someone's basement is a good idea, and the server is now dead with no backups in sight. (Why someone wouldn't use Gmail or some similar service that would handle backups and such on its own I don't know.)

However, their logic up until now is: Well my iPhone 4 keeps all my email! I'll just get it off there!

Well that's just great if you needed to forward yourself ONE email or something... or maybe even 10... but 3,000 or so... that's another story.

So now the ultimate question is... is there any way to 'download' or 'backup' the emails from an iPhone (4 to be specific) to a PC and be able to actually read them? Or are we just SOL here and stuck forwarding emails individually?

The iPhone (any version) was not an 'approved' device for use at the office... due to the many incidents we've had regarding iPhones and our crappy email server. However, since the stuff is now needed for evidence in a company lawsuit... I guess we have to try and get it off the iPhone. (Or so says the boss man... --__--)


TS Ambassador
hmm; not a 'smart phone' user, but here's what works for my Nokia;
Install the PC Suite software and use Bluetooth to connect Cell->PC.
With the PC software, I can then read (and save) contents of the Cellphone.

So, can you find an iPhone PC Suite?
Sadly, the only iPhone 'PC Suite' is pretty much iTunes (Well at least the only official one), which doesn't allow you to do what we need, as far as I can tell. :(
iPhones are pretty much under the impression that nothing can ever go wrong, so Apple has made them so that the only 'backup' you can do is to move information from one iPhone to another it seems.
Well, thanks for the idea... but evidently Mr. Boss Man decided to drop his iphone in a puddle and break it... so we never were able to get anything off of it anyways. --__--
<sarcasm>God bless iPhones.</sarcasm>
Anyhow, thank you though for the ideas... if I ever need to try and get stuff off an iPhone again, I'll certainly try them and let you know what works and what doesn't.


TS Rookie
I cannot speak to older IOS versions, but on IOS 6, email messages are stored in User/Library/Mail (that's a symlink, the actual path seems to be var/mobile/library/mail).

That folder contains sub folders named for each email account set up on the device; inside each, there are further sub-folders with pretty self-explanatory names. Drill down enough, and you will find all the locally stored emails and sent messages as individual plain text *.emlx files, which can be imported into various email programs (outlook, thunderbird, etc), although you may need to rename them to *.eml files when importing them on Windows.

Accessing the filesystem is the difficult part here. There are various options (mostly involving jailbreaking the device), but Ifunbox is one that claims to allow you read access to the actual filesystem without jailbreaking.