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Steve AveryFlag for United States of America

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Best software for backing up Gmail accounts.


What are your recommendations for backing up Gmail email accounts?  I have searched Expert-Exchange but the questions were 6, 7, 8 years ago.  I am sure there are more backup options available today then ones available back in 2010, 2011, and 2012.


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Steve Avery
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Andrew Leniart
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Hi sla0610,

I use POP and keep a local copy of my Gmail account in Outlook in its own PST file. I first clear any garbage I don't want using Mailwasher Pro, then just let Outlook drag the stuff I want to keep in. Gmail spam filters are quite good so it's never been a big deal for me. Been doing that for years now and as my PST files are backed up to Acronis Cloud backup servers daily, I'm pretty much covered against any accidental loss or disaster.

Another way is to auto-forward all email to another cloud email service, but I prefer the local storage method.

Hope that's helpful.

Regards, Andrew
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Scott Fell
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You are better off using IMAP if you are using a client like outlook. Then your email will be backed up to the cloud. Gmail is saved forever until you delete it.  However, if you want to archive, one option is to save to your google drive, one drive or dropbox https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/3024190?hl=en
Hi Scott,
You are better off using IMAP if you are using a client like outlook
Curious as to why you say IMAP is better to use than POP. Doesn't IMAP just synchronize with a server with local content on available as per offline settings?

So if a connection is lost, so too is online IMAP content and then the only way to restore the content requires converting an OST into a PST, which just lets you end up with the same result as you would have if you just saved the data to PST with POP in the first place?

(That was a mouthful, sorry, couldn't think of a more succinct way to express it lol) I leave all mail on Gmail's server so it's always available to me on there as well.

What am I missing?
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Scott Fell
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Curious as to why you say IMAP is better to use than POP.
I don't want to turn this into  a side discussion, but it does related to backing up.   When you use POP, that refers to using a client like outlook and pulls your email off the server and now your data is potentially in one spot. With IMAP you can use your client and keep email both on the server and your hard drive. In the case of gmail or office 365, the server means their cloud where it is much safer than your external drive. There are a lot of advantages to imap besides that but that is for another discussion.

If you are using gsuite, there is also the possibility of using the archiving service which is separate from your gmail where you can set it to never delete. That is mostly used for people that are in the financial arena and governed by compliance.  Third party providers like smarsh https://www.smarsh.com/email-archiving-solutions/google-mail are an option.
You can backup Gmail account data to Outlook PST file format. Just go through https://www.nucleustechnologies.com/how-to/backup-gmail-account-data-in-pst.html to follow steps for taking Gmail backup as PST file.
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Sara Teasdale

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Steve Avery
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I used Gmail's download and archive.  After using Gmail's download and archive, I downloaded Mozilla's Thunderbird and ran it.  Thunderbird allowed me to ensure (gave me piece of mind) that I could restore individual emails, if that time every comes (let's hope not).

Thanks to all of the experts that helped me.  If I am ever stumped -or- can't figure anything out, I always come to EE first for help.


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