If you have a Gmail Account, you know how much of your life can be attached to it. All of your personal and social life can be connected to it as well as your business information and documents. Just about every app and website you use requires some attachment to your Gmail in some way or another. So, what happens if you lose all of that?

That is why a Back Up file that contains all of your Gmail information is a necessity. This will help you avoid the chaos that will come if you lose everything. You can download an archive file that has all of your Gmail information straight to your computer.

This Back Up is like a safety net that everyone should have. You can only do this on a computer and cannot do it from your Gmail App, unfortunately.

Backup Gmail Account on PC

Google Account page

1. Open your favorite web browser and go to your Google Account page. If you aren’t signed in, you will need to click Sign in in the top right corner of your screen

2. Click on the Data & personalization tab on the left of your screen.

Download your data

3. Now, you want to click on Download your data which will be under the Download of delete your data heading toward the bottom of the list

Deselect all

4. Here, Click Deselect All which is a blue button close to the top of the page. This will deselect all the aspects of your Google Account and allow you to just Back Up your Gmail. If you want to Back Up your entire Google Account instead of just your Gmail, then you can skip this step and the next

Toggle on mail

5. After deselecting everything you need to scroll down and find the Mail toggle switch to select your Gmail for Back Up. The gray switch will turn blue when it is selected. The gray down arrow to the right of the screen will allow you to choose between All of your mail or just certain labels

6. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the next step button

Select how Google will send you the file

7. Next, you will need to select how Google will send you the file, how often to do a back up, what file type, and an Archive Size that is large enough to hold all the data you want to Back Up. If you have more than 2 GB of data but less than 4 GB, you will want to choose the 4GB archive so that you have all the space you might need for the Back Up

create archive

8. Then you click CREATE ARCHIVE at the bottom of your screen to tell Google to start making a backup with all of your inbox files in it. This process can take hours and even days according to Google, depending on the size of your inbox

7. When Google Finishes making your backup file, they will send you an email that contains a link to download it. You’ll need to open the email and click the Download Archive button in it. You will have to enter your Gmail password and choose a location to save the file.

8. The file will be saved in ZIP format which means you will have to Extract it before you can open it.

  • If you have a PC that is running windows, double click on the file you downloaded. Then you will need to click Extract at the top of the window. Click Extract All and then Extract again. After it finishes, you can view the file just like any other folder
  • If you have a Mac, double click the downloaded file and then wait for the extraction to happen. It will automatically extract when you double click. When it is finished, you can view the files with no issues.

If you are worried about losing anything you should probably do a backup of your Gmail every week or every other week. Just replace the back up file you had before with the new one every time so you don’t keep filling your hard drive with duplicate files.

Remember you can’t back up your Gmail using the Gmail app and you cannot use the inbox page of Gmail to back up your inbox either.