For a large number of people these days, email is one of the most important means of correspondence and communication. Most of us have years of conversations saved somewhere on a server on the World Wide Web.
Irrespective of whether you are using the web-based email account provided by your ISP or the popular accounts offered by Microsoft or Google, it is undoubtedly a great idea to keep a backup of your web based email account, in case there is any technical problem or permanent data loss.
A great way to accomplish this task is with the help of the email client called Thunderbird. Thunderbird is actually a great open-source client run by the Mozilla foundation that maintains the web browser Mozilla Firefox.
The program is easy to use and can successfully run in different platforms including Windows, Linux, and Mac. In order to begin the process of backing up your email account, you need to fulfill two main criteria:
1. You must have a copy of the thunderbird program suitable for your particular operating system.
2. You need to have the login details for the web based email account that you want to backup.
Read on to find out the exact steps that you need to follow to backup your entire email account with the help of thunderbird.
Enabling Remote Access and Email Server Information
Depending on the particular email server you are using, you need to enable access to this server before you can move further. If you are using Gmail, click on Options > Mail Settings, then Forwarding and POP / IMAP. In the settings that appear, click on Enable POP and then choose ‘Leave Gmail copy in Inbox’.
Installing and Configuring Thunderbird
The process of installing Thunderbird is just like installing any other program on your computer, but which few additional choices and options, such as installing thunderbird portable, or installing thunderbird on your Dropbox. If you simply wish to have the backup of your email account on your local hard drive, then complete the installation without making any modifications.
Once installed, run thunderbird and click Tool > Account Settings. Here click Account Action and type in your username & password, then press continue. For most of the popular web-based email providers, thunderbird will automatically add the server information.
Then click on Create account. Thunderbird will automatically authenticate the account details you have provided and then move back to the Account setting screen. Check if you need to make any further modifications in the settings to suit your preference and then click OK to return to main Thunderbird dashboard. If thunderbird doesn’t download your email on its own, you can click ‘Get Mail’ to begin the process.
Once the process is complete, Thunderbird will automatically check your email account every 1 to 10 minutes, depending on the setting you have made during the configuration stage. In case, you have a huge email account with lots of heavy mails, be prepared to leave the program running for a while. The program downloads emails in batches, instead of the entire account at the same time.
When the downloading process is completely, you will end up with an updated backup copy of your Gmail or any other web-based email account. The only thing you need to do now is run Thunderbird program every few days to update your archive with the new emails received in your email account.