Gmail Backup – A Free Minimalist Gmail Backup App

imageGmail Backup (which migrated from a commercial application to open source, in September 2010),  is definitely without any bells and whistles, but it does what it says it will do, without any fuss or bother.

The application is designed to backup your Gmail account to a folder on your Hard Drive, and as an added bonus, you can restore back to Gmail.

Prior to using the application, it’s necessary to enable IMAP by clicking “Settings” – “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” in Gmail.


The application interface is simple and basic, as the following screen capture indicates.


For this test run, I downloaded 47,142 emails totaling 1.03 GB (that’s 6 years or so of emails), which took  about 8 hours.  The average download speed was an unimpressive 50 KB/s – sloooooow! But, that’s not related to the application – that’s a Google issue.

The application transferred this huge number of emails perfectly. I selected one at random for this test, as indicated by the arrow in the following screen shot.


Then, I opened that particular email in Thunderbird, to ensure the contents, and the attachments, were accessible.

Gmail Backup Test

Note: You don’t have to backup your entire Gmail account, as I did for this test. You have the option of choosing specific “from”, and “before” dates.

Gmail Backup is certainly not the most exciting application I’ve taken for a spin recently, but it’s basic functionality was impressive.

Not everyone has a need to backup their Gmail account but if you do, then Gmail Backup is a free solution that’s worth taking a look at.

Note: As with all backups, the local folder should be copied to portable media.

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7 and a Gmail account of course.

Download at:

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Filed under Backup Tools, downloads, Email, Freeware, Gmail, Google, Open Source, Software

4 responses to “Gmail Backup – A Free Minimalist Gmail Backup App

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  3. Thanks for this great tip, Bill! I am not sure what I would do if I lost everything in my Gmail. I actually used to have email accounts on Yahoo and AOL, but didn’t use them for a couple months and everything got deleted. I wish I had known they delete everything if you are inactive for a certain amount of time—I would have backed up those accounts as well.

    • Hey Alexandra,

      Years back, I had a similar experience with Hotmail – they even deleted my account. Luckily, I was able to get the same name back, but all my saved emails were gone. Major bummer!