How To Backup Your Entire Gmail Message and Attachments To Your Local Windows 7

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If you are a Gmail user this will be useful for you, especially if you wish to have a backup of your entire Gmail to your local machine. There maybe many reasons why you want to back up your Gmail, you may feel safer to have an archive of your older messages. You might not trust your provider 100%. (though, if in that case you might want to ask yourself why are you still using their service ?) Whatever your reason might be, the bottom line is, it’s always good to have some backup, just make sure you keep it safe. There is nothing worst than lost your backup to some thief’s hand. With that said, if your goal is to keep your file secure, it might not be a bad idea to let Google take care of your data. If you need extra security with your Gmail, make sure to checkout setting up 2-step verification.

Backup Gmail

Enough talking, Gmvault, is a new utility that allows you to backup your entire Gmail to your local Windows machine. It requires Python 2.7.x installed on your machine. You can download and install Python here. (update: it doesn’t require Python)

Once you have Python installed, go ahead and install Gmvault.

gmvault shell icon - How To Backup Your Entire Gmail Message and Attachments To Your Local Windows 7

You will see an icon on your desktop after you have finished installing Gmvault.

How To Use Gmvault

Now the tricky part is how to use gmvault to back your Gmail. It is a command line utility, requires you to type a few commends in order to have this setup.

Setup 1

Double click the gmvault icon. This will launch the shell terminal.

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Next type

gmvault that will give you more information on what this command will do.

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Step 2

This is very important, make sure you type exactly as it shows.

gmvault sync [email protected]

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Read the instruction carefully. Go to the browser and grant gmvault access and come back press enter when you done.

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Step 3

Now you just wait and sit back until it finish archive all your messages.

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Your Gmail archive will be organized in monthly manner, starting your oldest message.

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Inside each month, contains each message in zip, within the zip file is a eml format file that you can open with most of the email client and read the message.

So there you have it, archive your Gmail offline. Use it wisely, and make sure secure your data !

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7 COMMENTS

  1. one question remains.
    Situation: 2 people sharing email address
    Person A removes permanently (not stored in Trash) some email
    Person B runs a sync/backup shortly after

    Will that email be gone forever?

    I assume it is gone. The only way to have a copy of permanently removed email is to run a stanard file backup of the GMVault’s backup’s directory, so the changes in the emails (stored as files) will be backed up as soon as the change is triggered by the GVault sync. 
    Also a good idea to make that searchable.

    =)

  2. I backup my Gmail a little differently. I just use standard POP3 email and download copies of each email to my drive, and the storage folder is compressed. POP3 is set to leave a copy on the server, so if my drive fails, Gmail still has it. And if Gmal fails, my drive has it. And no need to install anything other than the email client I already use.

    • Not a bad idea, but this won’t support folders. While new email can be captured, responses won’t be, nor will the mailbox structure, so it is partial at best (but definitely simple).

  3. Thanks for sharing… Good to know this..
    Here I would like to share another simple E-mail backup tool called Beyond Inbox. It is a cross-platform based application providing the email backup taking service to users. It can back up, copy, move and restore email messages of your IMAP account (including Outlook, Yahoo and Gmail backup).
    It works on all the OS including MAC OSX, Linux and Windows.
    http://www.beyondinbox.com/

  4. I was a fan of Gmvault until I faced an error that stopped my backup midway due to some SSL timeout error.

    I then searched for a substitute of Gmvault software and I came across this blog on Gmvault errors & its solutions:
    http://sysc.org/gmvault-alternative/

    I am impressed with the solution given in the blog as it showed me good results.
    For the users who are facing Gmvault errors, do visit the link mentioned above.

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