Gmail is the best free email service from the Internet giant Google. Everybody likes and uses it. I myself log on to Gmail several times a day. But do not take it for granted. Gmail servers can experience outage like any other servers. It has happened before and it might happen again. So when you cannot access Gmail servers, how would you access your emails? Easy – by creating a local backup of all your Gmail emails. The Gmail Backup software is a freeware tool that can help you create a local hard disk backup of all of your Gmail emails.
You can download Gmail Backup from http://www.gmail-backup.com/. The latest version at the time of writing this article was 0.7. The download size is only 4.4 MB so it downloads pretty quickly. The Gmail Backup comes with an installer for both Windows and Linux. For Windows, just double-click on the downloaded EXE file to start the installation.
After you have installed the Gmail Backup, you can run it from the Start Menu shortcut. The main window interface is quite basic. You can enter your Gmail login name and password. Then select a folder where backed up emails would be kept. You can choose to backup only newest emails or you can choose a time period to backup from. Note that your Gmail account must be enabled for IMAP access before you can start the backup process.
After you have filled in all the fields, you can start the backing up of your emails by clicking on the Backup button. The backed up data is stored in the .EML format which makes it easy to open it other programs like Mozilla Thunderbird. The messages are stored in the selected directory in files which names follow the format YYYYMMDD-hhmmss-nn.eml where YYYY is the year, MM the month number, DD is the day number, hh are hours, mm are minutes and ss are seconds when the e-mail was SENT. It also downloads the email attachments, so be careful if you have large file attachments in your emails as you might run out of hard disk space.
If later you want to restore your emails back to your Gmail account, then you can fill up all the information as you did when creating a backup and click on the button labeled Restore. This would start uploading emails to your Gmail account from the selected folder.
So if you are worried about losing your Gmail emails, then backup your emails regularly using the free Gmail Backup software. This is free, easy to use and open source software which may save you from troubles when GMail servers are having a cloudy day.