Backup Your Gmail Account / Google Mail
Gmail is doubtfully the best email service and one of the most popular email service. But that doesn’t mean that it can never go wrong. In fact no email service is 100% reliable. In 2011 an unexpected bug deleted Gmail accounts of 150,000 users. And that’s not all. There were many incidents of Gmail outages as well in the past.
Google does have the backup of everything, so those deleted accounts were eventually restored. But what if they couldn’t? Or what if your Google account is erased forever?
Should You Back Up Your Gmail Account?
Yes, you should. Incase your Gmail account is hacked then you’ll still have access to your previous mails. You can recover mails if you have deleted it accidentally from your primary Gmail account. And, you access your emails even if Gmail service is down.
Six Ways To Backup Google Mail
You can backup your Gmail emails using any of the following six methods. So choose a method according to your requirement. If all you need is a copy of your incoming mails then you can try the Gmail Forwarding method or if you’re serious about backups then try Backupify.
1. Forward Your Emails To Any Other Email Account
Gmail “Forwarding” is the easiest way to backup the emails you receive. But you can’t forward the mails in the “Sent Mail” (for that you need to use POP as explained below). Gmail allows you to forward all (or select) incoming mails to any other email address.
2. Backup All The Emails In Your Gmail Account With POP
You can download all the emails in your Gmail account by enabling POP (What is POP?). All you need to do is enable POP in your Gmail settings’ Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab and configure your email client (Supported POP Clients).
Emails in your Gmail Spam and Trash won’t be fetched by the other email client unless you move those emails to Inbox/All Mail.
You can either download all your emails from Gmail to your desktop email client (like Windows Live Mail) or you can even create another Gmail account and add your primary Gmail account to that account using Gmail’s Mail Fetcher. If your primary email is Hotmail then you can add your Gmail account to your Hotmail.
Use Third-party Gmail Backup Services
3. Backupify (FREE 15 Day Trial, No Credit Card Required)
Backupify is the best Gmail backup ever built. It is the leading backup provider for cloud based data that lets you backup data from Google Apps, Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sites, Google Calendar, Google Contacts, Picasa, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Blogger, LinkedIn and more. Backupify stores your data securely in Amazon Web Services. The whole setup takes less than 5 minutes and the data can be restored in just few clicks.
Pricing starts at $3/user/month for 25 GB of data. But you can try the service for free before you buy. Backupify is offering a 15 day free trial. It takes less than two minutes and no credit card needed.
4. Fetchmail (Free, Windows Only, a bit Complex)
Fetchmail is a free full-featured, robust, well-documented remote-mail retrieval and forwarding utility intended to be used over on-demand TCP/IP links (such as SLIP or PPP connections). It supports every remote-mail protocol now in use on the Internet: POP2, POP3, RPOP, APOP, KPOP, all flavors of IMAP, ETRN, and ODMR. It can even support IPv6 and IPSEC. Lifehacker has an interesting article about how o backup Gmail with Fetchmail.
5. Gmail Backup (Easy, Free, Windows Only)
Gmail Backup is a simple utility (but works only on Windows) which can be used to backup your Gmail emails and restore your Inbox.
6. Gmail Keeper (Paid, Windows)
Gmail Keeper is a One-click lightweight Gmail backup & restore tool specifically designed for Gmail and Google Apps email users. It is very easy to use. Gmail Keeper offers a free trial with limited features or you can pay $19.95 for the full version.