If you’re like us, you love your Gmail. If we ever have a kid, we might name him “Gmail.” It’s the only the only appropriate way to pay homage to all that Google has done for us. Gmail is super easy to use, you can store like a metric ton of data in Gmail without getting any complaints from Google, and — best of all — all of this Gmail goodness comes with a pricetag of zero point zero dollars.
Google is an industry leader in data security, which makes all of the information you entrust in Google’s hands pretty safe, but nothing is totally infallible. Even Google is prone to crashes and hacks. This is why it’s a good idea to setup a good Google backup and restore plan. To help you out, we’ve provide four simple ways to backup Gmail accounts, both online and offline.
- Setup POP3 to a Mail Client
When you setup POP3 with your Gmail, it will automatically forward the mail you send and receive to Google recovery account that you designate. If you want to be the personal guardian of your Gmail data, you can designate your Google recovery account to be a mail client, which will store your Google goodness directly onto your hard drive.
There are several good providers of mail clients, who already offer services that you use: Mozilla Thunderbird, Windows Live Mail, and Mac Mail, to name a few. And this tool is usually free!
To setup POP3 to a mail client, follow these steps:
- Determine the mail client service you want to use, and setup a Google recovery account with them.
- Now, sign in to your Gmail, and select the “settings” icon in the upper right-hand corner.
- Within the Settings menu, choose the “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” option.
- Click the “Enable POP for all mail” radio button. This will even create a backup of mail that has already downloaded.
- Save changes.
- Now open your Google recovery account mail client, and check to see if the mail has been forwarded.
- Use a Gmail backup tool.
There are several services dedicated specifically to nothing other than providing a backup to all of your Gmail data. Like the previous option, many of these services save a local copy of your emails to your hard drive. If you are one of those people who likes to be in control of your own destiny, it might give you comfort your Google recovery account is not sitting on a server outside the grasp of your hands.
These tools are very simple to use, but you should do some homework and find a reliable one that you know you can trust, before you hand over your Google credentials to them. Read reviews on different services, look for a Google backup tool that is recommended by tech experts who you trust.
- Use POP to another email account.
This suggestion looks a lot like our first point, but is geared towards people who worry they’ll spill their coffee on their hard drive, and lose their entire Google recovery account in a single clumsy moment. If you don’t want personal responsibility for your Google backup, you might feel better about letting it reside in the hands of another server in the cloud. To do this:
- Setup a new email account that will serve as your “Google recovery account.” Now we know you heart Google, but you want to look outside of the original G for this. To have true redundancy and backup, you want your backup account to be stored on a different server, in a different state, with a different company. This way, if somehow all of Google went down, your backup account would be unaffected.
- Now scroll back up to our first point, and follow the exact same steps, but with your alternate email account, rather than a mail client.
- Rinse and repeat.
- Sign up for Hotmail TrueSwitch
Hotmail wanted to make an easy way to get people to leave Google and hop on the Hotmail train, so they created TrueSwitch. While you’re probably loyal to Google, this is a super easy way to setup a very reliable Google recovery account. When you use TrueSwitch, your Google emails, calendar, and contacts are copied over. Then you just select “forward emails” and TrueSwitch will maintain your backup account for you.