How to Backup Your Gmail in Mac

We love Gmail, and we keep our faith in Google that they will do their best to keep their servers up and running at all time. But still, that doesn’t mean we should place our absolute trust in their reliability. What if one day, their servers went bonkers and all your emails are lost overnight? By then, don’t you think it is too late to realize that you don’t have a backup?

In Mac, you can easily backup your Gmail without having to install any third-party software. The powerful Mail.app can do this task easily, quickly and automatically.

Let’s see how this can be done.

Enable POP in Gmail

Log into your Gmail. Go to “Settings -> Forwarding and POP/IMAP”. Select “Enable POP for all mail” and make sure that “keep Gmail’s copy in the inbox” is selected. Also make sure that IMAP option is disabled. Save the changes.

gmailmac-enable-pop

Configure Mac’s Mail.app

In your Mac, open your Mail.app.

If this is the first time that you are using mail.app, it will prompt you to setup your mail account. What you need to do is to enter your name, email address and password and it will perform the setup for you.

gmailmac-setup-new-mail

In Snow leopard, Mail uses the IMAP protocol by default, so you will receive the following message when trying to set up.

gmailmac-pop-error

Don’t worry, just click Continue.

In the next page, change the Account Type to “POP” and change the incoming Mail Server to “pop.gmail.com”. Include the “@gmail.com” in your username.

gmailmac-config-pop1

In the next page, enter the following information in the outgoing mail server page.

gmailmac-config-pop2

That’s it. When you are done, Mail will start downloading your emails.

Backing up to an Archive folder

The last thing that you want to see is to clutter up your inbox with your backup emails. The best way is to move all the message to another Archive folder.

First, go to “Mailbox -> New Mailbox“. Select “On My Mac” under the Location field and name it “Archive” (or whatever name you desire).

gmailmac-new-archive-mailbox

Next, right click on your Inbox and select “Edit Gmail”

gmailmac-edit-gmail

Go to the Rules tab and click Add Rule.

gmailmac-add-rules

Add the following rule:

gmailmac-set-rules

Done. Everytime you check mail, the message will automatically be marked as read and move itself to the Archive folder (You can further customize it by adding your own rules).

Automating the backup

Unless you fancy opening up your mail and perform the backup manually, you might want to consider automating the back up process.

Open up AppleScriptEditor (Applications -> Utilities -> AppleScriptEditor).

Paste the following lines:

tell application "Mail"
    check for new mail
end tell

Save the script as CheckNewMail.scpt.

Next, open your iCal and create a new event (File -> New Event). Set the event to repeat itself every day or week or month. Under the alarm, select “Run Script” and choose the CheckNewMail script that you just created.

gmailmac-ical-alarm

That’s it. This method should work for all web-based mails that support POP protocol.

What other ways do you use to backup your Gmail in Mac? Share with us in the comments.

Image credit: Coalsi