Backing up Gmail with Thunderbird

I’m backing up my Gmail account and will later backup my Yahoo e-mail account too to my computer via Mozilla Thunderbird, then I’ll back that up to an external hard drive, so that I can still access old e-mail messages in case my Gmail and Yahoo accounts online ever go down or get accidentally erased…


My biggest wish is that Thunderbird would encrypt downloaded mail by default and require a password to login to Thunderbird.   As it is now, once you’ve downloaded e-mails, anyone who has access to your computer can just open Thunderbird and start reading all of your e-mails.

Gmail and Thunderbird

I had some trouble by using the “Gmail” radio box on the Thunderbird wizard, when I tried to make changes (change to IMAP from POP), I had to choose the “e-mail” option instead of Gmail, which then gave me more choices…

Also, is there anyway using Thunderbird and IMAP to automatically download the entire messages? Apparently the entire messages aren’t downloaded until you click “Work Offline”? I haven’t found the right setting yet apparently. Ah, looks like it might be File->Offline->Offline settings, then select the folders that you want to have e-mail messages available in for offline use (the messages for these folders should then be downloaded–whenever you choose to work offline? Or automatically, I’m not sure yet…)

Will using IMAP download all my mail?

Not unless your client is set to do so. Most IMAP clients will download only the headers of your Gmail messages while you’re connected to the Internet. However, a few clients will download all of your mail by default.

Your messages will download completely when you select your client’s option to work offline. You’ll be able to read, sort, and compose replies to your messages while you’re working offline. Once you’re connected to the Internet again, you’ll be able to sync your client with the Gmail interface on the web.”

More info:

Turn Thunderbird into the Ultimate Gmail IMAP Client

Using Thunderbird with Gmail IMAP

Apparently Yahoo still only offers POP access with a paid Yahoo Plus account, and they still don’t offer IMAP access. Um…


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