If you are using a Gmail account as part of your email strategy, it is recommended that you make a backup of your account. Unfortunately, Google has lost a few accounts in the past, so it is a good idea to have your important data stored on your hard disk, as well as the cloud. Backing up your Gmail account using the tool Gmail Backup makes this chore simple to complete.

The first thing you will need to do is to activate IMAP. Open your Gmail account and go to Settings. Next click on the Forwarding and POP/IMAP and IMAP Access. Enable IMAP.

Next, download the tool Gmail Backup from the link below. Installation is straightforward and only takes a few minutes to complete. Once you open the tool you will need to enter your Google Gmail address, which must be the complete address including @gmail.com. Next, enter in your password.

You will also need to set up a backup directory [folder] where you wish your emails to be saved. I used a folder I named Gmail Backup, which I confirmed was on my system, after I completed my first backup. You have two options on how you wish to back up your account.

By default, the Newest Emails Only box is checked. If you uncheck this box, you can then select specific dates to complete your backup. For my first backup I chose the default setting. The backup took about five minutes to complete. I would venture a guess that times would vary depending on how many emails your account consists of. I usually delete old messages about twice a month, so my account was fairly small — which could account for the speed in which my backup was completed.

If you are already using a third party software such as Thunderbird, Live Mail, or other email client to save your messages, you still may wish to give Gmail Backup a try. My experience has been that the more backups you have, the better protected you are.

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