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I have had the email purists gang up on me for this in the past but I constantly use my Gmail account for backing up my digital life. This has led to the online lynch mobs chanting “an email account is not for backing up important documents!” and they are right to a certain extent. I wouldn’t dream of putting into my Gmail account things like my passport or my birth certificate. I’m not stupid!

But if I find things on the internet like pictures, MP3’s, video clips, and other such paraphernalia then I would rather store it in my large 6.6GB + Gmail account then have it lying around in my computer. Plus day to day things such as letters, documents, contracts, e-books and other pieces of paper that can be scanned and emailed to myself can also live in Gmail and can be accessed wherever I have access to a computer.

This is where the freeware software program Backup To EMail becomes extremely invaluable. I have been using it every day for months and it makes backing up files to email effortless and a cinch.

Backup To Email allows you to right-click on any file in your computer and send it to an email account that gives you POP / SMTP access. The program integrates itself into your Windows Explorer right-click menu so it really is a case of right-click and send :

After installing the program, you have to put in the email address you want to send the files to as well as the password of the email account. You also need to put in the details of the SMTP server.

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What I find really cool is that the program accepts and recognizes the “+” for Gmail addresses. I have various labels set up for various kinds of emails so if I have one set up for say username+backup@gmail.com, the program accepts the email address and sends the file directly to the backup label in my Gmail account.

The only limitation with Backup To Email is that files over 10MB are broken up into pieces and sent in individual emails. So if your file is over 10MB, consider zipping it and getting the size down.

Once you start using this, you’ll wonder how you previously managed without it!

  1. PowerhouseHome
    April 30, 2008 at 5:22 am

    hi, i've installed and configured it but was being told "this file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. create an association in folder options control panel. need help in this.

    • Mark O'Neill
      April 30, 2008 at 6:03 am

      Well that's a new one. It sounds like that isn't an issue with the program, more an issue with your operating system. I personally don't know the answer to it. Can anyone else help? Or alternatively put the phrase into Google and see what pops up.

      • PowerhouseHome
        May 13, 2008 at 7:48 am

        hi, i'm still looking to fix what needs to be fixed here. can anybody have an idea?

  2. ew
    April 28, 2008 at 6:17 am

    thanks for the heads up!
    since i have been using toread.cc , i couldnt live without it anymore.
    this seems to be perfect for stuff, that is not text based, as all the sites, that i use to store ín my gmail with toread!!!

  3. Rakshit
    April 28, 2008 at 3:50 am

    I am going to backup all important files to gmail server. This utility is really very useful.

  4. Stijn WIjndaele
    April 28, 2008 at 4:59 am

    Hey,

    I know something a lot easier , it is called Email2Folder for more information go to :

    nomadesk.com/index.php?id=email2folder

    And besides the email2folder functionality , it offers also a lot more...

    • Kaly
      April 28, 2008 at 6:14 am

      But it is not free Dude...

  5. Anthony Ding
    April 27, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    Hey Mark,
    Absolutely fantastic application. Already starting to back-up my extensive list of Word documents and school projects so I can clean out my hard-drive. The fact that GMail gives you tons of free space is great for backing up files.

    -Anthony

  6. Mark O'Neill
    April 27, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    yes, exactly - smtp.gmail.com . Every email service that offers POP / SMTP service will have a settings page where they will list their POP / SMTP settings. Gmail's starts here - https://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=13273

    For Yahoo mail users though, you need to be a paid premium mail user though to get POP / SMTP.

  7. Garretonfire
    April 27, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    Nevermind, found it. It's [ smtp.gmail.com ] for those who were wondering the same thing.

  8. Garretonfire
    April 27, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    Any help on how to find the details of this 'SMTP' server? I'm using gmail.

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