Backing Up Gmail using Google Takeout

Effortlessly backup your Gmail data with Google Takeout. Learn to securely archive your emails and keep your digital correspondence safe. Ideal for both personal and professional use.

  1. Visit Google Takeout:
  2. Select Data to Include:
    • By default, all data from various Google services is selected. Click on “Deselect all.”
    • Scroll down and only select “Mail.”
    • You can choose to include all your email or select specific labels.
  3. Choose Export Type:
    • Scroll to the bottom of the list and click “Next step.”
    • Choose your delivery method (send download link via email), frequency (export once), file type (.zip), and archive size (e.g., 2GB). If the file is larger than the chosen size, it will be split into multiple files.
  4. Create Export:
    • Click “Create export.” Google will start preparing your data which can take hours or even days depending on the size of your mailbox.
    • You’ll receive an email with a download link when it’s ready.
  5. Download Your Archive:
    • Once you receive the email from Google, click on the link to download your data.
    • Save the zip file to your computer and extract it to access your Gmail data in MBOX format.

Part 2: Setting Up Mozilla Thunderbird

  1. Install Thunderbird:
    • If you haven’t already, download and install Mozilla Thunderbird from the official website.
  2. Set Up Your Email Account:
    • Open Thunderbird and set up your email account. Go to Account Settings and add a new email account by entering your Gmail address and password.
  3. Import Your MBOX File:
    • To import your backed-up emails, you may need an add-on like “ImportExportTools NG.” Install it from Thunderbird’s add-ons menu.
    • Restart Thunderbird, right-click on your email account’s folder, choose ImportExportTools NG -> Import mbox file.
    • Find and select your downloaded mbox file to import your emails.
  4. Access Your Emails:
    • After the import is complete, you should see a new folder containing all your backed-up emails.
    • You can now access these emails through Thunderbird.
  5. Retiring Gmail Account (Optional):
    • If you plan to stop using your Gmail account, ensure that you have transferred or backed up all necessary data.
    • You can then proceed to your Google Account settings to deactivate or delete your Gmail account, but be aware that this is a significant step that cannot be easily reversed.

Remember, it’s crucial to ensure your data’s security during this process. Keep your backup files secure, and be cautious if you decide to delete your Gmail account permanently.

Questions and a

Q: Does your computer need to stay on and connected to the internet while using Google takeout?

A: No.  The computer can be off while the archive is being created

Last modified: November 16, 2023