DON'S FREEWARE CORNER - SEP 2021
©2021 Donald R. Snow -- This page last updated 2021-09-06.
These Freeware Corner notes are published in TAGGology, our Utah
Valley Technology and Genealogy Group (UVTAGG) monthly newsletter.
They are also posted on my Freeware Corner Notes page
where the links are active and there may be corrections, updates, and
additional information about the topic in other class notes.
Many of us use Gmail as our email program. This is a well-run
email system and your free Google account includes many other of
there products, but this artice only deals with Gmail.
Recently, I received a note from them that my Google account was
75% full and I needed to do something before I run out of
space. This space includes all my other Google items such
as My Maps, but my Gmail is what's taking up most of the
space. Several years ago (Mar 2017), mu Freeware Corner
article was on backing up Gmail and how to read the backup
file, so I went back and tried what I wrote then. This
is an update to that note and only deals with backing up your
Gmail, not how you read the backup file you get. That
will be the subject of another Freeware Corner article. A
nd it doesn't seem to work the way it did several years
THE GOOGLE TAKEOUT (BACKUP) PAGE
Google has a Takeout (backup) program
at https://takeout.google.com/settings/takeout .
This program makes a backup copy of whatever you want in
your Google account. Your Google account can have more
than 50 Google products such as Gmail, Google Maps,
My Maps, Google Drive, your Profile, and much more. The
Takeout program is free, but hard to find in Google.
The easiest way to get to it is to click on the link
above. Or you can find it by doing a Google site
search, e.g. search Google for "site:google.com takeout"
(without the quotes).
SELECTING WHAT TO BACKUP
At the Takeout (backup) program in your Google account
you can select what you want to back up of the more
than 50 Google products. If you don't want
to include everything, click Deselect All so you get
the option of what you want to select. To backup
your email go down the list (alphabetical order)
to Mail and put a check in the box. This
defaults to selecting all your emails. To
backup only certain labels of your email click on
All Mail Date Included which opens your Gmail labels for
you to check which to back up. Click Next and
it starts collecting the data and forming the backup.
It will send you an email, when it is done, and it may
take hours or even days, depending on how much you
are backing up.
The email they send tells you where to go to download the
file(s). You could store them "in the cloud", but then
you have to be online to red them, so I usually
download them to my own computer. When the email came,
it told me where the file was stored so I could download
it to my own computer. They include an mbox file
which is the format used by several email programs to
store their data.
Here is a screenshot of the Google Takeout page while it was processing my Gmail.
Screenshot of Google Takout Page While Processing
READING THE MBOX ARCHIVE FILE
The file extension .mbox refers to the format that many
email programs use to store emails and is the format
that Google Takeout produces with all your Gmails.
For me this was a many-gigabyte file for just
some of my email. Google suggests that to look
at it you set up the free email program THUNDERBIRD
on your computer and open the mbox archive in that.
That used to work for me, but now it doesn't, for
some reason. So, when I figure it out, that will be
the subject of another Freeware Corner article. The
mbox file backup includes all the attachments and
other items with your email. There are also
other programs that will open the mbox file and I'll
mention those in the later article.
OTHER EMAIL ACCOUNTS
If you use an email program other than Gmail, and it
doesn't have an easy way to back up all your old
emails, you could consider getting a free Gmail
account and setting up a filter in your email account
to automatically forward a copy of each email,
received or sent, to your new Gmail account. Then,
these could all be backed up with Gmail. Of course,
this wouldn't back up earlier emails before you
started this system.
Since Gmail doesn't have a way of automatically sending
yourself a copy of the email, I started several
years ago, sending myself a copy of everything I
write. Gmail does have a sent label with some of
this, but not all. For example, if I send an email
from a different computer, the copy I send myself
is always there, even if the Sent one isn't.
HELPFUL ARTICLES ABOUT BACKING UP GMAIL
Google Helps -- https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/3024190?hl=en
Ubergizmo -- http://www.ubergizmo.com/how-to/backup-restore-gmail/
How-To Geek -- https://www.howtogeek.com/216189/how-to-create-and-download-an-archive-of-all-your-google-data/
Since many of you use Gmail, this Freeware Corner article
may help you back up your emails. I'll write
another article on how to read the mbox file you get
from the Gmail backup, when I get that figured out.
Everyone says it's easy, but the steps don't seem to
work on my computer. More later.