How to: Back up your Gmail account

If you use Gmail as your primary email, you might have been worried by last night’s glitch that left almost 0.08% of accounts empty. Fortunately, it’s really easy to back up a Gmail account!

Here are the three most practical ways to do it:

1: Enable Offline Mail

Click the Gear tab on the top right of the Gmail interface, choose mail settings and you’ll see a tab called Offline. To turn on Gmail Offline you have to install the Gears Plugin (standard in Chrome), but you are taken through this simple process as soon as you click Enable.
You can configure how much and what of your email you want to download, and which folders. Once it’s all downloaded you’ll have offline access from your desktop.

2: Use a desktop email client.

Download Mozilla’s excellent Thunderbird desktop email client, then go to Gmail settings again and check Enable POP for all mail. Run the Thunderbird installer, and it will ask you for your email address (add your Gmail address here) the first time you start the program – and unless you want to get into any complicated set-up you can then just let Thunderbird download your entire Gmail account. Easy!

3: Backup with Hotmail

It might be crushingly uncool, but Hotmail is a useful space-saving way to back up your Gmail. Simply create an account, sign in and click the options question mark on the top right then choose more options. Here you’ll see a link saying Sending/receiving email from other accounts. This will allow you to add your Gmail account really easily, with no technical knowledge needed, and won’t use any of your hard disk space!

There are other apps and methods of backing up your Gmail account, but I think these are the best and simplest solutions.

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