How to Download All Your Emails in Gmail?

Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/mswin/download_gmail_to_disk.html

How to Download All Your Emails in Gmail?

Xah Lee, 2011-07-25

For those who fear of Google killing your Gmail account, do this:

• Go to your Gmail. Click the options (gears icon) on upper right. Choose the 〖Forwarding and POP/IMAG〗 link at top.

• In the 〖IMAP Access〗 section, choose 〖Enable IMAP〗.

• Now, download Mozilla Thunderbird, at http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/. Install it. Start it.

• Type in your name, Gmail, and Google password. e.g.

name: xah lee
email: xahlee@gmail.com
password: your Gmail password

• Now, Thunderbird will start to download all your emails and store on your local computer. Starting with your inbox.

• In Thunderbird, click the 〖All Mail〗 folder on the left pane, then Thunderbird will start to download all emails in that folder too. Do this if you have other folders.

• Now, you can read or write email either from a web browser or Thunderbird. When you delete a email from either, it'll be deleted in the other too. (i.e. they are auto sync'd instantaneously.)

If Google kills your Gmail account, your email will still be available on your harddrive.

Still Paranoid?

Now, technically there's still a remote chance that Google can wipe the emails on your harddrive, if they really want to be nasty. (let's suppose you've got a high-powered employee there who hates you.)

Remember, that your Thunderbird is synced with Gmail? So, technically speaking, Google can delete all your emails on their server, and disable you from login to Gmail from web, but they let you login to your Gmail account still from a email client. So, when you woke up and start Thunderbird, it start to sync, and since all your emails on server is deleted, it'll sync and delete all your email on your harddrive too. By the time you realized what's going on, it might be too late.

If you are really that paranoid, you can prevent Google from deleting your Gmail in a absolute way.

Instead of enabling the IMAP in one of the step above, enable the POP instead.

POP basically means that the email will download just one way. That is, from Google's email server to your machine. It also means your Gmail and the one in Thunderbird won't be synced. You essentially have your own local copy.

— love n share n care, —Xah

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