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Downloading GMAIL - IMAP or POP?

Posted on 2011-03-18
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi,

I always used Outlook Express in the past, but started using Gmail for a class I took a while back. I want to backup my e-mail onto my computer because I have some very important e-mails and am afraid if Gmail has a problem and loses my e-mail I will shed many tears.

I set up both OE and MS Outlook with IMAP, which was recommended. The only problem is if I am offline, I can't read the "body" of the e-mail, only the header is available. Is there a solution to this, or do you have to be online to read in the IMAP protocol? If the latter is the case, then it would seem to suggest that IMAP is an unrealiable way to backup my e-mail store. Should I set up to download in POP instead?
Please provide input. Thanks in advance.
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Question by:sheana11
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Expert Comment

by:dtrance
ID: 35164806
For the purpose of backup, POP is the way to go.

Be sure to that the option "keep Gmail's copy in inbox" is selected in your gmail settings.
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by:Ernie Beek
ID: 35164816
Looks like you have the headers only download ticked. If you have an offline compy of the mailbox and set it up to completely download the mails, there shouldn't be a problem (I know I haven't :).
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by:villeah
ID: 35164823
Hello,

With default POP3 settings the email client downloads messages and deletes them from mail server. However, you are able to change that. Check this article http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/read-pop3-e-mail-messages-on-multiple-computers-HP010102443.aspx
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Expert Comment

by:enkor
ID: 35164926
I use only IMAP, because you can synchronize both web-mailbox and PC. Also the capacity of GMAIL is 7,5GB, which is too small for me, because i recieve attachments to often. So if the attachment is too big and i dont need it, I delete it. So i dont need to login to web interface.
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Author Comment

by:sheana11
ID: 35164955
According to erniebeek, I have "download headers only" selected. I checked my setting in OE, and have "All messages" ticked and not "headers only". Is there a setting elsewhere in OE or something with GMAIL that I'm supposed to configure?
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Expert Comment

by:villeah
ID: 35164983
Here are the instructions fro OE, that should do it http://www.wikihow.com/Set-Outlook-Express-To-Leave-Email-Messages-On-The-Server
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Accepted Solution

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morganmce earned 500 total points
ID: 35184655
Having configured Gmail with Outlook to suit different situations, the option that I think will most likely suit your scenario is:
Configure OE with POP access rather than IMAP
Configure your Gmail a/c POP settings as:
When messages are accessed with POP:
- Mark Gmails copy as read

At least that way, you have the benefit of having your Gmail stored completely on your local PC, yet if you decide to view the web-interface if anything happens your own PC, you won't be faced with thousands of unread email.
IMAP works well if you're regularly online, but doesn't meet your offline  backup requirements.
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Author Closing Comment

by:sheana11
ID: 35192324
This answer is complete - thanks so much.
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