Backing Up Gmail

For those of you who are using Gmail, you should do back ups just in case something goes wrong, such as your account is hacked, or something wreaks havoc with Googles storage, or if you just feel the need to have your stuff safe at home on your computer.

There are two ways of backing up your emails. The first method is to use Google to create an archive and store it somewhere out there in the cloud. When you are finished, you get an email with a link so you can download your back up to your computer as well. The instructions can be found at

The second is more complex and results in a backup just on your computer. Follow the instructions at It involves downloading some software written specifically for Gmail. Therefore it is written to handle all the tags etc used in Gmail. I believe I have read somewhere it is recommended by Google Gmail as the preferred back up software.

You don’t only have to do one. You can use both.


The other option is to use a email software package like Thunderbird, set to POP, to download all messages on gmail. These messages can be saved and backed up locally.


I have always used programs like Thunderbird, and all my messages are downloaded to my PC and backed up locally. In my view, storing emails online doesn’t make sense. My emails go back years, and with disk space so cheap these days and with a decent search facility, you can always be sure of having access to emails virtually forever.