How to Backup Your Gmail Account to YOUR Hard Drive

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Do you use Gmail? Of course you do – doesn’t everybody?

The Google gives you tons of space to store your precious email and attachments. We have found ways to use that space for our practical ways.

We all know The Google backs up regularly and runs some of the biggest redundant data centers in the world, but do you really trust your emails from your long lost girlfriend attachments of your trip to that sci fi convention important work emails and attachments with them?

Wouldn’t you feel safer with a backup of your own?

Of course you would young Admin! It is one of the rules I preach daily as a Network Administrator.

BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP! He who laughs last usually has a backup…

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gmail account to your hard drive

Enough beating around the bush – the tool is called simply GMail Backup and guess what it can do?

Wow you guys are on the ball today! Yup it can backup your entire Gmail account including attachments to a local folder on your computer. That is backup entire Gmail account on your hard drive. Ready to check it out? The GUI version of this is WINDOWS ONLY but there is also a command line version that works on Linux and Mac.

The installer version 0.44 is 4.4 MB and can be downloaded from here (Windows, Linux or Mac). The Windows download is directly available here. After installing it you can launch it from your start menu.

gmail backup tool

This is as simple as it gets guys. Easy as….well easy as typing in your username and password and clicking a few buttons.

gmail backup

You will have a full local copy (or a backup filtered by date). These messages are able to be opened in Outlook Express or similar email programs – and get this they will retain all their attachments! This is a glimpse of the file structure Gmail Backup creates. As you can see in the screen shot below it used the path I specified in the GUI and if I had folders created in my account it would have created those sub folders as well.

gmail backup mac linux

It gets even better. You can restore your local emails right back to Gmail with the click of the restore button. Awesome!

restore gmail

Is anyone using another method to do this? (Yes this is done via IMAP but it does not require any technical knowledge other than clicking and installing.)  Let us know in the comments!

Let’s hear how MakeUseOf’s superstars are backing up their Gmail accounts….or if you think we need to.

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