Backing Up Your Gmail Using This Command Line Tool Gmvault


There are number of ways to back up your Gmail but this Gmvault stands out in an unique position, because it does the job as a solo command line utility without an user interface. I was a bit annoyed at the beginning but after spending a few minutes poking around, I found it’s actually fairly easy to set up and use.

First, go to their website and download the latest installer for Windows. Once it’s installed, it places a shortcut on the desktop letting you easily to launch it.

The command line gmvault comes with only 3 switches,

sync – to synchronize with a given Gmail account

restore – to restore gmvault-db to a given email account

check – to check and clean the gmvault local disk database.


To start backing up your Gmail, simply type and launch the following command

gmvault – sync [email protected]

If it’s a new address, it will prompt and redirect you to the Gmail to get the XOAuth token. Click Grand Access button to authorize.

GMVault - gmail authentication

Once granted, the backup process will automatically proceed and all emails in your Gmail account will be pulled over and stored in your local storage in a single unique directory as a GMVault database, all encrypted. To allow GMVault to grab the emails from your Gmail account, you will need to enable IMAP in your Gmail before the process starts.

gmvault shell

The restore process can recreate your Gmail mailboxes in any Gmail account. All attributes in your Gmail account such as labels are preserved and recreated as well. It just simply recovers your entire Gmail account exactly as it was before.

GMVault is an open source freeware that works on both Windows and Mac OS X platforms, both 32-bit and 64-bit are supported.


Even though I may not be using it as my primary Gmail backup method, GMVault certainly surprises me with its simple and powerful feature. It just works, and can be completely rely on as a solid Gmail backup tool for both Windows and Mac Gmail users.



  1. I recently switched from one GMail account to another as my primary account. I tried to import the old email into the new account but it wouldn’t import all of them. I ended up using gmvault to get all of my old email into the new account. Worked like a charm.


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