While Gmail is a solid email service you can trust, it’s never a bad idea to backup the messages in your Gmail account in case any of them is accidentally deleted. Losing important emails to human error happens all the time.

There are several options to backup Gmail too. You can use Backupify, a website that lets you store data in the cloud, standalone software, email desktop clients, or you can use one of the easiest options for backing up – using Hotmail (Uh, I mean Outlook) to backup Gmail, which is still possible despite True Switch going belly up earlier this year.

Our guide will outline how to backup all of your messages in Gmail into Outlook, and bypass having to use True Switch.

Backup a Gmail Account to Outlook

Change Your Gmail Account to POP3

Before you open a browser and login to Outlook to add your Gmail account, you need to make sure you’ve set your Gmail account as a “POP3” account. This is an essential step since True Switch, the previous migration tool favored by Microsoft, closed May 2013. Outlook still gets along really well with any POP3 email accounts.

To set your Gmail account as POP3, open your Gmail account, then go to the “Settings” area, which you can get to by clicking the “Gear icon” in the top right corner of your window.


After arriving in Settings, click the “Forwarding/POP3” tab, then stop in the “POP Download” section and select “Enable POP for all mail.”


Also, make sure to “Disable IMAP,” which can cause Outlook to have troubles recognizing your Gmail account.


Before exiting, click on “Save Changes” at the bottom of the page.


Adding a Send-Receive Account in Outlook

After getting your Gmail account ready, you can now login to your Outlook/Hotmail account to begin backing up Gmail. If you don’t have an account, you can sign up for a new one here.


After logging into Outlook, head over to the “Gear icon,” which is in the top right corner of the window. After clicking the icon, select “More mail settings.”


The “Options” page will load. To start backing up Gmail, go to the first section – “Managing your account” – and select “Your email accounts.”


Wait for the “Your email accounts” page to load. This is the page you will go to whenever you want to view anything related to your Outlook account or any account tied to it.

On this page – you’ll want to scroll to the bottom to the section where it says, “Add an email account.” In this section, click “Add a send-and-receive account;” “receive” being the opportune word, as that refers to receiving messages in your Gmail account.


After the “Add a send-and-receive account” page loads, start entering your Gmail login credentials into the “Name,” “Email address” and “Password” fields. Make sure everything is correct and click “Next.”


After clicking Next, Outlook will ask you which folder in your Outlook account you’d like to store your Gmail messages. You can store them in a new folder or you add them to an existing folder.


Click “Save” after selecting a folder, and Outlook will begin adding your Gmail account.


Once it’s finished, Outlook will let you know if it’s been successful.


After adding your account, head back to the main “Inbox” page for your Outlook account, and go to the folder where you directed your Gmail contents to go and make sure backing up has begun.


After all of your Gmail messages have been loaded into Outlook, you can sort them chronologically, by subject, size, sender and conversation by clicking the “Arrange by” drop-down menu in the top-right corner of the window.



For a secure option in backing up Gmail, you can’t go wrong with using Hotmail. While some users may be daunted by the prospect of a workaround to bypass True Switch, this bypass is as easy as it was to transfer data using True Switch, if not easier. Changing the required settings takes a few minutes, and Outlook backs up most Gmail accounts blindingly quick.

If you want another backup option, you have two awesome standalone software options to backup your email to your hard drive.