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15 ways to back up your Gmail

Google has a gigantic infrastructure for managing and storing Gmail email. Even so, some folks just want to know they control their information. This gallery shows 15 ways you can back up your Gmail email.
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1 of 16 David Gewirtz/ZDNet

How to back up Gmail

If you're a Gmail user, you know that Google's entire IT infrastructure is standing behind your email archive -- but you also know that things sometimes go wrong.

In this gallery, and its accompanying article, we'll explore 15 different ways you can make sure you can back up your Gmail message store.

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2 of 16 Mozilla

Back up using an email client

The easiest and most obvious way to back up your Gmail is to connect an email client like Thunderbird or Outlook on your desktop.

Be sure to set Gmail up to allow IMAP (and don't forget to turn IMAP on for your labels). Then set up your email client and let it run.

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3 of 16 Gmvault

Gmvault

If you want to go a lot more hardcore, there's always the open source Gmvault script. It's a command-line script written in Python and it's quite powerful and flexible.

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4 of 16 David Gewirtz

Simple forwarding rule

If you want go simple (really, really simple), just set up an email forwarding rule in Gmail that sends every incoming message to another service.

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5 of 16 iFTTT

Attachments to Dropbox

If you want to get creative, you can use IFTTT.com to set up all sorts of interesting triggers and scripts. One of the most useful is to send all attachments to a folder in Dropbox.

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6 of 16 David Gewirtz

Forward from a Google Apps account

Another variant on the forwarding idea is to set up an inexpensive Google Apps account and use forwarding rules to send messages to both Gmail and a designated alternate email service.

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7 of 16 MailArchiver X

Archive to FileMaker

An interesting Mac-only solution is MailArchiver X, which will allow you to download your Gmail and archive it to FileMaker.

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8 of 16 Upsafe

Upsafe

If you want a super-simple Gmail downloader for Windows, you can't go much easier than Upsafe.

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9 of 16 David Gewirtz

Use your hosting SMTP server to route mail

If you use a hosting provider and a custom domain name, you can set up your SMTP server at the hosting provider to have a server-side rule that sends messages to both Gmail and another service, like Office 365.

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10 of 16 Mailstore Home

Mailstore Home

Mailstore Home is another way of downloading your messages to a Windows machine. What makes these folks different is they also have enterprise-level solutions, so you can scale.

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11 of 16 Evernote

Forward to Evernote

We keep coming back to using filters and forwarding because it's easy to do. Evernote gives users a unique email address, so you can forward all your messages to your Evernote archive.

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12 of 16 Backupify

Backupify for G Suite only

Backupify used to offer a backup solution for Gmail users, but now only offers it for G Suite. Even so, if you're a G Suite user, it's an option.

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13 of 16 Google

Google Takeout

If you would be content with a single-time snapshot export of your email, you can't go wrong with Google's own Takeout service. A few clicks and all your email is downloaded in a pile of zip files.

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14 of 16 YippieMove

YippieMove for migration

If you want to do a one-time migration of your Gmail messages to another service, give YippieMove a try.

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15 of 16 Microsoft

Migrate to Outlook.com

Microsoft would love to help you back up your Gmail email, as long as it means you're backing it up to Outlook.com. They offer a service to make the move.

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16 of 16 Google

Gmail Offline

If you don't mind having just the last month's email messages offline (great for traveling), consider Gmail Offline, a Chrome plugin that caches recent Gmail data.

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