Ever since 150 thousand Gmail users had their entire archives accidentally deleted by Gmail in 2011, backing up email accounts has been something many people are interested in. There are two impressive standalone software solutions that can backup your email account to your PC or any other desired location. What’s even better, they’re both free.
The first one is MailStore Home which can backup your email from almost any IMAP enabled email provider and then there’s Gmail Backup, which is dedicated to backing up Gmail accounts.
Each of these software titles has everything you need to suit your backing up needs, and on top of that, they’re incredibly easy to use. Our guide will outline how to use these two programs to backup your email.
Backup Email Accounts To Your Hard Drive
MailStore – A Comprehensive Email Backup Tool
MailStore Home is an excellent backup email option for any POP-3 or IMAP email account. Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Outlook, etc. It can also backup emails from a Microsoft Exchange account, Windows Live, and from desktop clients like Thunderbird.
First, download MailStore Home (not to be confused with the paid version of MailStore, which is for businesses) and follow the prompts to install the program.
You’ll also need to make sure you’ve “Enabled IMAP access” in your Gmail account to avoid the “Unsupported language of Gmail” error.
To do this, go to “Settings” in your Gmail account, then go to the “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” tab and click “Enable IMAP.”
After installing MailStore Home and loading the software, you’ll notice the GUI looks pretty sleek. The center of the interface lists quick links to the most commonly used functions: “Archive Email,” “Search Email,” “Export Email” and “Backup to HDD or USB” as well as an overview of your backup archive, including how many messages it’s currently storing and the current disk size.
To begin backing up emails, click “Archive Email.”
After you click, a new screen will load asking you to “Create a Profile.” This is where you’ll need to input the email address for the account you want to backup. After entering the email address, click “Start.”
After you click Start, it will verify the settings of the email account you entered, and then it will create a new profile for that account and include it in a running list of “Saved Profiles,” allowing you to archive several email accounts in one place.
MailStore Home by default, will only backup email folders, and ignore the Trash or Spam content.
Next, double-click the saved profile you want to backup and MailStore Home will contact the servers for that account, and begin backing it up.
After the backup is completed, a “Completed successfully” message will appear.
Searching For Specific Emails
You can find any email you are looking for by searching the MailStore Home archive.
The search results from your archive will appear in the middle window.
After you’ve backed up your account with MailStore Home, it offers a handy search tool located at the top left corner of the GUI, making it incredibly easy to swiftly search your entire archive.
Otherwise, an advanced archive search is offered, which can be accessed by clicking “Search Email” in the top left corner as well.
After clicking, a detailed search page will load, offering several methods of searching, including by “Subject,” “Message body,” “Sender/Recipient” and “Attachments.”
Backup To External Storage Device
This program also lets you move backup emails to an USB storage device; a nice option if you’re backing up a huge email archive.
Restoring Your Emails
Some users may need to restore their content back into the cloud for security reasons, or if they deleted an email in their web-client they still need. If you’d like to “Restore” your archive, simply go back to the Start Page and click “Export Email.”
After clicking, select the email account you want to restore.
After you choose the email address you want to restore, click “Next.” Now you’re ready to enter the configurations for the SMTP connection. If it’s a Gmail account, the host is “smtp.gmail.com” for example, then click “Next” again.
MailStore Home will also create a “via IMAP” export profile for any email account you want to restore.
And to begin restoring, double-click the via IMPAP profile to begin.
Backing Up with Gmail Backup
Gmail Backup is a free and easy-to-use backup software. It will backup the entirety of a Gmail account on your hard drive, giving you peace of mind that all of your important archived emails will never be deleted accidentally.
You can get Gmail Backup here, and follow the prompts to install the software.
Once you’ve installed Gmail Backup, to start backing up a Gmail account enter your Gmail login information, which it will ask for when you load the software. The window that pops up when logging in is the sole interface of the software.
Enter your login info, and simply click “Backup” at the bottom of the page to start backing up.
First, please make sure you specify a folder location on your hard drive to store your backed up emails. You can do this by clicking the “Directory” button at the right side of the window.
You can also specify date range for which you want the program to backup your emails. If you don’t want your archives to go back in time, you can choose to start backing up email from the current day onward by selecting, “Newest emails only.”
Now you’re ready to click “Backup.” After you click Backup, you can watch the progress in the open white area above the Backup button.
It will back up most accounts quite quickly, but this can range from 1 – 10 minutes depending on how many messages are in your account.
Also, view the contents of the backup folder to make sure the backup worked. Locate the backup folder and open it.
You will notice Gmail Backup organizes your archive by month, referring to each month by a number associated with a folder.
Open the folder for each month to see all the emails for that month.
Restoring Emails From Gmail Backup
When needed, you can choose to restore the backed up contents of your account to your online Gmail account.
To restore your archive, click the “Restore” button near the Backup button, and Gmail Backup will quickly return the archived contents of your Gmail account back to their online location.
Everyone, no matter which web-based email service they use, should consider backing up their email account. The user-friendliness of both of MailStore Home and Gmail Backup take the dread out of this task. They’re both simple to use and consistently reliable. You can’t get any better options than these.
To learn how to backup your Twitter account, which is a just as easy task, check out our guide to backing up your Twitter account.