Gmail: how to save all mails on the hard disk

Gmail offers a native option to save all your emails on your computer in open MBOX format. An ideal feature to access your emails in offline mode or change your email address while preserving your messages. In this quick tutorial, we give you all the keys to carry out this operation in a few minutes!

Whether you change your email address or just want to keep track of all your messages before a big spring cleanup, it’s pretty useful to be able to transfer all your emails from Google’s servers to your hard drive. Gmail allows natively to do this with files in MBOX format, an open standard for emails. This is compatible with most mail clients (although they usually promote their own proprietary format). In addition, it is almost as easy to export these messages as to import them into your new client.

How to save all emails from your Gmail account to your hard drive

To save all the mail from your Gmail account on the hard disk:

  1. Go to your Google Account settings by clicking this link from your PC
  2. Go to Personal information and privacy> Define your content
  3. In the Download or transfer your content box, click CREATE AN ARCHIVE
  5. Mail – All messages then click on NEXT
  6. In the next screen, you can customize the format of the archive – you can choose a large size to avoid that the archive is split into several files which will later facilitate the import of your messages

Depending on the method chosen, you will receive a download link by email or directly the archive on your favorite cloud service (Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, or DropBox). To import these messages into your new account, the easiest way is to go through a mail client like Thunderbird. We will explain the detailed procedure in an upcoming quick tutorial!

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