GMail Backup is a straightforward utility that copies all emails from your Gmail account to a local drive or removable disk, and lets you restore them to a different one (provided that it is the same e-mail service).
It comes in handy if you want to create email backups, migrate emails to a different account and delete your current one, prevent worst case scenarios when you become the subject of identity theft, unable to access your email account, or simply if you want to read messages in an offline environment.
Does not store credentials
The interface is represented by a single window with all options neatly displayed. You can get started by inputting your Gmail user name and password. The application does not remember account credentials, so it is safe to use when sharing the computer with other people.
Process mails by date and back them up as EML files
After specifying a backup folder and time period to take into account (start and end date), you can initialize the backup procedure by clicking a button. It is also possible to process only newest emails. Restoring emails is done in a similar manner.
During the task you can view log details in the primary panel, such as current speed and size, sender name and message title. Emails are delivered to the specified location in an EML format, enabling you to use them in other email clients, such as Outlook Express, IBM Notes and Mozilla Thunderbird. The file names contain the timestamp, sender name and message subject.
Performance and conclusion
GMail Backup takes a reasonable amount of time to carry out a backup/restore task. It uses low-to-moderate system resources and does not interrupt user activity. However, the app does not include options to select which parts of the email account to process, yet automatically backs up messages found in all folders (e.g. inbox, sent, custom). Plus, you cannot filter emails by keywords or sender name, for instance.
Nevertheless, GMail Backup serves its purpose and can be used even by less experienced individuals.