My Gmail has become the other email service, the one that I use when I want an account other than my school account. Google is relatively stable, and all the Google apps have been great, but there is also a risk that you can lose everything if something goes wrong. This was brought home to me again this week when the email system at work “fell over”. For 2 days we were all “in the dark”. I had to tell students to use my Gmail account to send me some documents, and I also had no access to important information from my local library network.
Today I tried out Gmail Backup which is a excellent software option. It allows you to backup your entire Gmail account offline. Thanks to a post by Patricia Donaghy in her Using ICT in Further education blog.
Gmail Backupwill allow you to download all the emails and attachments to your local machine. Another useful feature in Gmail Backup is that it stores the backup in Microsoft’s eml format which allows user to easily import the messages into other mail clients.
It is really a very simple tool to use. After installing, you just enter your GMail username and password, select the folder for storing backup and then click the backup button.
It is also important to note that it is not just a one time process as it provides you with incremental backups, where only the emails that have not yet been backed up to your computer will be downloaded. This can save a lot of time. You can also specify the dates from when you want to backup your emails and you can also specify a time interval so that emails that come in during a certain period of time will be only backed up and not all of them.
Due to the filters at our school I had to download it at home but I think it was worth it and I like the tool, especially if it allows me to easily save any email attachments.
If you want to use Gmail backup, before initiating the backup, make sure to enable IMAP in the Gmail account settings. The software works on Windows, Mac and Linux.
Patricia Donaghy ties in with another utility backup to email. This tool allows you to backup files to your email account. (There is a very handy Backup to Email user guide and a Flash Tutorial how-to to follow.)
These emails can then be backed up themselves. I have other backup options and have not used this tool, although it looks reasonably straightforward and offers a valuable backup option.