Aug 7, 2023 | Email Conversion

How to backup Gmail emails - A Complete Guide

By Deepak Singh Bisht

In today's digital age, emails are more than just a communication tool; they're a lifeline for both personal and professional exchanges. Gmail, Google's acclaimed email service, is especially recognized for its reliability and convenience. However, imagine a scenario where you accidentally delete crucial emails or experience a sudden data loss. This is precisely when understanding how to backup Gmail emails becomes invaluable. Backing up your Gmail not only ensures you have a copy of your important correspondences but also allows you to backup Gmail to hard drive, ensuring offline access.

In this post, we'll delve into the reasons users opt to backup Gmail emails and explore manual methods to achieve this. Moreover, if you're on the lookout for a streamlined process to export Gmail to PST or need a dedicated Gmail backup tool, this post has got you covered.

Why do users backup Gmail emails?

Many people around the world use Gmail for personal and work emails. Because so many rely on it, knowing how to backup Gmail emails is important. There are several reasons why users want to backup Gmail emails:

Avoiding data loss: With the increasing volume of crucial emails we receive, there's always a risk of accidental deletions. Whether it's an essential business contract, memorable photographs, or sentimental correspondences, losing such vital information can be distressing. Regular backups ensure that these emails are safely stored away, offering peace of mind.

Archival purposes: Many users have been using Gmail since its inception. Over the years, they've accumulated a vast collection of emails which chronicle their personal and professional journey. Backing up these emails can serve as a historical archive, preserving valuable memories and records.

Offline access: In situations where internet connectivity is unreliable or not available, having a backup can be immensely useful. This allows users to review their emails and attachments without needing to be online.

Security concerns: Cyber threats are evolving, and email accounts can sometimes be compromised. Backing up emails is a proactive measure against such threats. In case of any security breach, users can still have offline access to their important emails.

Platform migration: While Gmail is a preferred choice for many, some users might decide to migrate to other platforms for various reasons. Having a backup makes this transition smoother, ensuring no data is lost in the process.

Limitations of Cloud storage: Despite Gmail's generous storage capacity, there's always a limit. Over time, with the accumulation of emails and attachments, users might run out of storage. Backing up emails and then deleting them from the primary account can help in freeing up space without losing the information.

Legal and compliance reasons: Businesses, in particular, may need to retain emails for legal purposes. Some industries have regulations that require the retention of communications for a specific duration. Backing up Gmail ensures compliance with such mandates.

In essence, backing up Gmail emails isn't just about preventing loss; it's about preserving, accessing, and managing data in ways that are most conducive to individual needs and requirements.

How to backup Gmail emails?

In today's digital age, understanding how to backup Gmail emails is crucial. Often, we hear of scenarios where emails are accidentally deleted or lost due to malicious activities. Thus, taking preemptive actions to backup Gmail emails can save you from potential headaches. There are two primary approaches to consider. One is the manual method, which gives users more control but may be a bit technical. The other is resorting to third-party Gmail backup tools, which make the task relatively straightforward. If you aim to backup Gmail to hard drive for easy accessibility, both these methods can serve the purpose. The best approach will largely depend on your technical proficiency, the volume of emails, and how seamless you want the backup process to be.

Instant Solution - SysCurve Gmail Backup Tool

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Backup Gmail emails to PST, EML, MBOX, MSG, and other file formats.

How to backup Gmail emails manually?

Using a Gmail backup tool is easy for many, but some people prefer doing it themselves without using extra software. This manual way is good for those who don't trust other apps. It lets you see and understand each step, and can save money since you don't need extra tools. Here are some widely-recognized manual approaches for Gmail backup:

Method 1: Backup Gmail emails using Google Takeout

To backup Gmail emails, Google offers a tool called Google Takeout. This tool allows users to save their Gmail emails to a hard drive in an MBOX file format. Once you've saved them, these emails can be accessed using email programs such as Thunderbird, Apple Mail, or Opera Mail. Here's how to do it:

  1. Sign in to your Gmail account and go to
  2. Deselect all options, select the Gmail checkbox, and click on the Next Step.
  3. In the Delivery Method section, go to Frequency and select the Export once as an option
  4. From File Type and Size, select the .zip option.
  5. Click on the Create Export button to start the export process.
  6. After the process, you will receive an email in your Gmail account
  7. Open your email and click on the download link.
  8. Unzip the folder after the download process. There is an MBOX file inside the folder.

Using Google Takeout is a straightforward way for those pondering how to backup Gmail emails effectively. However, a notable point to consider is the duration; the process is relatively slow and can take anywhere from a few hours to several days to complete.

Method 2: Backup Gmail emails using MS Outlook

If you're keen on understanding another method on how to backup Gmail emails, MS Outlook offers a viable option. To use this method, first, we'll enable IMAP in Gmail. Next, we'll generate app password just for using Gmail in Outlook. After that, we'll set up Gmail in Outlook. For those who aim to backup Gmail to hard drive using this method, it's essential to have Outlook installed on the computer.

Step 1: Enable IMAP Protocol from Gmail

The first step involves enabling IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) in your Gmail settings. IMAP ensures that the email you view in Outlook is synchronized with your Gmail server.

  1. Log in to your Gmail account
  2. Click on the settings icon and select the Settings option
  3. Go to the Forwarding and POP/ IMAP tab
  4. Enable the IMAP option and click on the save changes button.

Step 2: Generate Gmail app password

If you've activated 2-Step Verification for your Gmail account, you will need an application-specific password to set up Gmail in Outlook.

  1. Go to
  2. Click on the Security option and enable 2-step verification
  3. After that, click on the Security option and select the App Password
  4. Log in to your Gmail account again and select the other (custom name) as an app option
  5. Enter MS Outlook and click on the Generate button
  6. Copy the generated App Password

Step 3: Connect Gmail in Outlook

  1. Open MS Outlook
  2. Go to the File option and click on the Add Account.
  3. Enter your name, Gmail email address, App password, and re-enter your App password
  4. Review your account details and click on the Next button.
  5. After the verification process, you will receive a successful message.

With the successful completion of this method, users can effectively backup Gmail emails. Yet, there is an important note for those utilizing Outlook 2013 or its newer versions. Emails saved will be in the 'OST' format. This specific format poses a challenge: moving OST files. If users attempt to transfer them elsewhere, opening and viewing become impossible. Therefore, when deciding to backup Gmail emails, it's crucial to be aware of such intricacies.

For those who seek automated and simpler solutions, considering a Gmail backup tool might be an optimal choice. Such tools often streamline the process, making it easier for users to secure their essential communications.

Method 3: Backup Gmail emails to PST using the Gmail Backup tool

Here, we are going to use SysCurve Gmail backup tool. With the help of this software, you can quickly backup Gmail emails to PST format. Follow these steps to perform this method.

  1. Go to
  2. Click on the Security option and enable 2-step verification. If you have already enabled it, you can skip this step.
  3. After that, click on the Security option and select the App Password
  4. Log in to your Gmail account again and select the other (custom name) as an app option
  5. Enter the Gmail Backup tool and click on the Generate button
  6. Download and install the SysCurve Gmail backup tool
  7. Open the software, enter the Gmail email address and app password you just generated
  8. Click on the Connect to my Gmail account button
  9. Select Folders you want to export and choose PST as an Export option
  10. Click on the Browse button, provide a location to save PST, and click on the Process Now button

Other helpful features

  • Backup Gmail emails to PST, EML, MBOX, MSG, and other file formats.
  • Export selected Gmail Folders
  • Preserve mail properties and original folder structure
  • Export the first 10 items per folder for free
  • Simple User Interface
  • Compatible with Windows OS and support all versions of MS Outlook.

Frequently asked questions

How to export Gmail emails to PST?

With the help of the SysCurve Gmail Backup tool, you can quickly export Gmail emails to PST format. To perform this task, follow the steps given below.

  1. Download and install the SysCurve Gmail Backup tool
  2. Open the tool, and enter your Gmail email address and Gmail App password. If you do not have an App password, then generate one.
  3. Click on the Connect to my Gmail account button.
  4. Select Gmail Folders and choose PST as an Export option
  5. Click on the Browse button and provide a path to save the PST file.
  6. Click on the Process Now button.

How to save Gmail emails to my hard drive?

To backup Gmail to hard drive, you can opt for manual methods, but they can be complex. A more efficient way is to use a third-party SysCurve Gmail Backup tool. It allows you to export Gmail emails seamlessly to formats like PST, MBOX, EML, and more.

Can I use this tool to download all my Gmail emails at once?

Yes. With the help of the SysCurve Gmail Backup software, you can download all Gmail emails at once.

Can I use this tool to backup Gmail emails with attachments?

Yes. By using this tool, you can easily backup Gmail emails with attachments.

What is the best Gmail Backup software?

Many consider the SysCurve Gmail backup tool as the prime choice. It allows users to backup Gmail emails to PST, MBOX, EML, and other file formats with a user-friendly interface. It also comes with a free demo version.

Is there a free Gmail email backup tool?

No. There are no free tools to backup Gmail emails. Try the manual method to take email backup from Gmail for free. However, manual solutions are slow and time-consuming. If you are looking for an easy solution to backup Gmail emails, try the SysCurve Gmail backup tool.

How safe is it to use the SysCurve Gmail backup tool?

SysCurve Gmail Backup tool prioritizes user safety. The tool ensures your Gmail credentials are not stored or misused.

I have multiple Gmail accounts. Can I back up all of them using Gmail email backup tool?

Yes, you can. However, you'll need to process each account separately using the tool.

The final word

In today's digital landscape, safeguarding Gmail communications is paramount, and knowing how to backup Gmail emails becomes vital. Gmail serves both personal and professional needs, making its backup essential to avoid accidental data loss and ensuring offline access. Whether you choose to backup Gmail emails manually through Google Takeout or MS Outlook, or prefer to backup Gmail to a hard drive using SysCurve Gmail backup tool, the process caters to various requirements including legal compliance and storage limitations. These methods, although varying in complexity, emphasize user safety and control. Regardless of expertise, backing up Gmail is a proactive step every user should consider to secure their valuable digital correspondence.

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