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How to backup email with GMail

Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2011 in User

In my previous post on email backup, I demonstrated how to backup email to a Storage folder in Windows Live Mail. Today, we’ll be looking at another alternative for archiving email when you are short on inbox space (remember I had just 48MB).

With the current talk of cloud computing, it will be nice if you could access your email backups from anywhere at anytime. Of course, you can do this by uploading your backups to a storage service regularly, but I am looking for a more automated solution which allows me to also search my email archive at any time. This is where GMail comes in.

If you are using GMail, (which is one of the best email services around) then you may or may not be aware of a little nifty feature which allows you to import mail from other email accounts. The only requirement is that your email provider support the POP3 protocol. The email import setting can be found in

Settings –> Accounts and Import –> Check mail using POP3 –> Add POP3 email account.

Once you click on ‘Add POP3 email account’, a popup window will be opened where you can input the email address of the account which you want to import. Give the email and click next. You will then see a window like this:


You can now enter the username and password for the email account, as well as the POP server address. Most POP server addresses are something like or, but check with your email provider to be sure what the address is. It will normally be found on the same page which describes email client configuration settings.

The same goes for the port. For POP, the default port is 110, but if you  check the box “Always use a secure connection …”, then you need to select port 995. Using a secure connection means that eavesdroppers cannot view your emails while they are in transit from your email provider into GMail and I recommend you check that box.

You can then choose to label the messages with the email address or provide a custom label. In my case, I also opted to leave a copy of messages on the server and skip the GMail inbox, since I am only using GMail for backup of the other account messages. Click Add Account and you are done. If GMail had any issues connecting to the mail server, it will let you know so you can adjust the settings accordingly.

Your email is now regularly imported and searchable in your GMail. GMail also nicely applies conversation view to the imported email and when you click on ‘Reply’, GMail uses your email address from the other account in the ‘From’ field. Your contacts would see the mail as coming from your other email account.

Now, whenever other inbox gets full, you can simply delete the mails to create more space, safe in the knowledge that GMail has your back!

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Bring on the comments

  1. Aashi says:

    I am one of the development team member.Backup is one solution in today’s scenario to avoid loss of important emails in disruption­, hacking, so that you can restore them back.
    Here i would share one simple Google app “Beyond Inbox” for backup mail.
    Beyond Inbox provide feature like backup, restore, archive, transfer and organize the data.
    It stores each and every email as a separate file.–how-to-backup-emails-from-imap-account.html

  2. Freya Jordan says:

    If you want to backup the entire GMail labels data, then download Gmail backup tool from this site:

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