For one reason or another many email applications don’t provide an easy way to backup all of your data. To me it seems like a no brainer to offer such a feature especially for online email services where you have a minimal amount of control over how you can export your data. Luckily there are some applications out there that can give you a hand!
The free MailStore Home is a fine example of a top-notch program that can help keep your sanity. It is setup to retrieve emails from applications and web services (via POP3 or IMAP), and offer a one-click backup solution. Here is the wide array of apps and services it supports:
- Microsoft Outlook
- Microsoft Outlook Express
- Microsoft Windows Mail
- Microsoft Exchange Server Mailboxes
- AVM KEN! Mailboxes
- Mozilla Thunderbird
- Mozilla SeaMonkey
- POP3 and IMAP (Gmail offers both options for free)
- File Import
It’s so easy to use that anyone smart enough to understand an email application will have no troubles figuring it out…
- Download and install the free MailStore (download mirror). Then run MailStore.
- Click on the Import Messages tab at the top of the application, and then along the right side choose what you want to import. I’m going to import my Gmail account using the new IMAP support, so I clicked the IMAP option.
- Now you’ll need to configure the settings for your account. If you’re importing from an application such as Thunderbird or Outlook it won’t ask for much other than the profile name. If you’re importing from an IMAP or POP3 account you’ll need to enter in the server details:
- All that’s left to do is double-click on the new profile that you created, and towards the bottom of the window it will show you the email backup progress.
- After the emails (including attachments) have been imported you can leave them there as they are, preview/browse them, search them, or export them as a .EML file so that they can be imported back into the original application. MailStore even has integrated burning software so that you can burn the emails onto a CD or DVD for more reassurance that your data is safe!
The great thing is that once you’ve setup the profile in Step 3 you’ll never have to do it again! To perform an email backup just start MailStore and double-click the profile that you created. Unfortunately there is no way to automatically schedule future backups, but it’s such a fast process that I don’t see that being an issue.