Why you need to take backup of emails

Your Gmail contains important business information. Customers and future customers use it to contact you. It may even contain sensitive project information.

But what if your email messages were lost or compromised?

The truth is that email accounts and other online accounts are hacked into all the time. The news is filled with accounts of data breaches and other security failures. If someone else had access to your email account, it’s possible you could lose some of those important business communications.

While setting up strong Gmail passwords can help reduce the chances that a hacker will get into your email, no system is foolproof.  In a worst-case scenario, you may even need to delete your Gmail account if it is compromised. For guidance on how to do that, follow the steps in this tutorial:

Having up-to-date Gmail backups allows you to restore your lost emails should anything ever happen to your Gmail account. There are several methods you can use to back up your Gmail account.

Google Takeout creates a copy of your entire Google Account, including your Gmail data. To use it, here’s what to do:

1. Start by typing https://takeout.google.com/settings/takeout in your browser’s Address field. If you’re not signed into your Google account, you must sign in before you can use the utility. If you’re signed in, the Google Takeout screen appears:

Google Takeout screen for Gmail email backup

2. Use the scroll bar on the right of the screen to view the list of data that you can back up with the utility:

Google data you can back up with Google Takeout

3. Slide the Gmail slider (on the right of the screen) to the right to back up yourGmail account. If you click the down arrow to the left of the slider, the screen expands and you can further refine which parts of your Gmail you want to back up:

Choose which Gmail labels to back up

Choose one of the following options:

  • Click the toggle next to Include all your mail to back up all your Gmail.
  • Click the toggle button next to Select labels to bring up a screen that lets you choose which labels (folders) you want to back up.

 4. When you’ve finished selecting data types to back up, click the Next button on the lower left of the screen. The Customize archive format screen displays:

Define your Gmail backup archive format

Use this screen to define the following characteristics of your archive:

  • File type. The default file type for your archive file is .zip. Click the down arrow to choose the .tgz file type. (This file type may be hard for most users to open.)
  • Archive size. The maximum file archive size is 50GB. Click the down arrow to choose one of the following file sizes: 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, 10GB, 50GB.
  • Delivery method. This is how you’ll get your archived data. Click the downarrow to choose between receiving an email download link, a file on Google Drive, a file on Dropbox, or a file on OneDrive.

 5. When you’re finished selecting your archive format options, click the Create Archive button in the lower left corner.

You’ll see a notice on the next screen that your archive is being prepared. (The archive process isn’t instantaneous.) When your archive is ready, you’ll be notified of the archive’s location through email. Here’s what the email might look like:

Gmail backup archive email

6. Follow the instructions in the email to access your Gmail archive. (In the example above, I would click the Download archive button.)

Set your desktop client up so that it retrieves messages from Gmail onto your computer through IMAP protocol. Here’s what to do:

1. Go to Settings > Settings > Forwarding and POP/IMAP in Gmail to make sure that IMAP is turned on. Your screen should look like this:

Enable IMAP access

2. Google considers most desktop email apps to be less secure. So, you’ll have to change the security settings in your Google account so that it’ll give you your desktop email client access to your Gmail account. To start, go to https://myaccount.google.com/. You’ll see the My Account screen:

Google My Account screen

3. Select Apps with account access. The Sign-in & security screen appears. Scroll down on the Sign-in & security screen to the Allow less secure apps: option:

Allow less secure apps Google access

Slide the toggle to the right so that your desktop email client can access your Gmail account.

Your next step is to add your Gmail account to your desktop email client. The exact process you’ll use to do this varies depending on your desktop email client.

1. For MS-Outlook, click File. When the Account Information screen appearsclick the Add Account button:

MS Outlook Add Account button

2. You’ll be prompted to enter the Gmail account and password you want to add to Outlook. Type the information and click the Connect button. The following prompt displays:

Account setup complete

3. Click OK to finish connecting your Gmail account to your desktop account. Your accounts are connected.

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