Gmail: How to Back Up Your Mail to Your Hard Drive

Gmail offers a native option to save all your emails on your computer in the open MBOX format.

An ideal feature for accessing your emails in offline mode or changing your email address while keeping your messages.

back up gmail

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In this quick tutorial we give you all the keys to perform this operation in a few minutes!

Whether you change your email address or want to keep track of all your messages before a big spring clean, it’s very useful to be able to forward all your emails from Google’s servers to your hard drive.

Gmail allows you to do this natively with files in MBOX format, an open standard for email.

This is compatible with most email clients (although they usually promote their own proprietary format). In addition, it is almost as easy to export these messages as it is to import them into your new client.

Backing Up Your Gmail Email to Your Hard Drive

To back up all your Gmail email to your hard drive :

  1. Go to Google settings
  2. Go to Personal Information and Privacy > Define your content
  3. In the Upload or Transfer your content box, click CREATE FILE
  4. Click on DO NOT SELECT anything.
  5. Mail – All messages and then click NEXT
  6. On the next screen you can customize the file format – you can choose a large size to prevent the file from being divided into several files, which will make it easier to import your messages later
  7. Click on CREATE A FILE

Depending on the delivery method you choose, you will receive a download link by email or the file directly to your favorite cloud service (Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive or DropBox).

To import these messages into your new account, the easiest way is to use an email client like Thunderbird. We will explain the procedure in detail in a future quick tutorial.

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