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How to back up your Gmail

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Back up using Gmail Backup (Windows)

Despite lacking a recent build in more than four years, Gmail Backup remains one of the best solutions for automatically downloading and saving emails in a format readily-accessible using most email clients. The downloadable program is free and open-source, and though it lacks resources for labeling and organizing emails, the application is coupled with additional tools for restoring your Gmail mailbox should lose your data or need to migrate clients. In addition, it wipes your login credential when after downloading the requested emails, allowing other users to utilize the program without compromising your security. It’s not as quick or fully-featured as a dedicated email client, but it still offers access to all your emails regardless if you’re connected to the Web.

Step 1: Download, install and launch Gmail Backup — Assuming you don’t have Gmail Backup already, navigate to the Gmail Backup download page or the Softpedia download page, select the appropriate file for your system — the most recent build is release 0.107 — and follow the on-screen installation instructions. When the installation is complete, launch the program.

Step 2: Backup your emails — Once opened, enter your Gmail address, corresponding password, and select a save location for the resulting files using the gray Directory button on the right-hand side of the window. Afterward, choose your desired date range for the emails you wish to backup and click the gray Backup button at the bottom of the window.

Gmail Backup

Step 3: Wait — Allow Gmail Backup to download and save the resulting EML files. The process can take anywhere between 5 minutes to an upwards of an hour depending how many emails the program needs to comb through, but when finished, you’ll be able to access the email backups from the folder in which you saved them. Email clients like Outlook and Thunderbird, as well as Web browsers like Internet Explorer, should have little trouble opening the file format.

Gmail Backup Example -- in folder

Next Page: Other third-party backup services

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