A simple backup solution for Gmail

I have previously never bothered as I have always thought the chances of a company like Microsoft or Google losing email to be quite remote, however this is more an attitude born of laziness rather than good sense, as a quick search will show mistakes can happen.
So with this in mind, I set about finding the easiest way to backup my Gmail account. I came across a solution (that suits me at least), which leverage my old Hotmail account. All I did was setup the Hotmail account to collect mail from my Gmail account via POP and dump it in a newly created folder called “Gmail Backup”. I selected “Enable POP for all mail (even mail that’s already been downloaded)” in the pop settings so it would pull all the mail in the Gmail account to the Hotmail account.
I’ve found this to work really well, as it will pull down not only the email received at the Gmail account, but also all the email I send from the account. Granted the mail on the Hotmail end is completely unstructured (i.e. no labels or differentiation between sent and received mail) but it’s better than nothing and best of all it works completely automatically without any input from me required.
Hopefully this will prove a fairly resilient system, as I imagine the chances of Microsoft and Google both destroying/losing/incinerating my email, at the same time, to be vanishingly small. Or perhaps I’m being lazy again…

Having recently moved to Gmail from Hotmail, I thought I should tackle another email related task I’ve been putting off, namely setting up a backup regime for my email.

I have previously never bothered as I have always thought the chances of a company like Microsoft or Google losing email to be quite remote, however this is more an attitude born of laziness than good sense, as a quick search will show mistakes can happen.

So with this in mind, I set about finding the easiest way to backup my Gmail account. I came across a simple solution (that suits me at least), which leverages my old Hotmail account. All I did was setup the Hotmail account to collect mail from my Gmail account via POP and dump it in a newly created folder called “Gmail Backup”. I selected “Enable POP for all mail (even mail that’s already been downloaded)” in the pop settings so it would pull all the mail in the Gmail account to the Hotmail account.

I’ve found this to work really well, as it will pull down not only the email received at the Gmail account, but also all the email I send from the account. Granted the mail on the Hotmail end is completely unstructured (i.e. no labels or differentiation between sent and received mail) but it’s better than nothing and best of all it works completely automatically without any input from me required.

Hopefully this will prove a fairly resilient system, as I imagine the chances of Microsoft and Google both destroying/losing/incinerating my email, at the same time, to be vanishingly small. Or perhaps I’m being lazy again…


  • interesting solution. Maybe a yahoo account also works

  • Nick

    I basically do the same. I copy the mail to my own computer(s) instead of hotmail (which is probably less reliable but does mean I have it all locally for when I’m on the plane). I use IMAP instead of POP because I find it more convenient when I am online.