Cloud based email is great. Providers such as Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo Mail offer web access to their email services that allow users to access their emails from everywhere, provided that they have an Internet connection and compatible web browser at hand.
A minority of Gmail users recently noticed that all of their emails were missing. Their inbox showed zero emails, and while Google was able to correct the issue later on, it was a shock for them and demonstrated that individual backup strategies are a must for cloud-based storage solutions. Users need to make sure that they have access to their emails, even if they become inaccessible online.
What can you do to protect your emails so that you won't be losing the data in similar situations? The emails need to be backed up regularly, of course. This may sound cumbersome and complicated, and that may be true for the setting up part, but once that's done it is not complicated or time consuming at all.
Most email providers offer Pop3 or IMAP access next to web access. These protocols are used by desktop software and mobile applications to retrieve emails from the provider. Most applications can be used for backup purposes, but they lack advanced features that may be needed. We are going to show you how to utilize the free email backup software MailStore Home for the purpose of backing up email accounts that support the POP3 or IMAP protocol.
The program can backup POP3 and IMAP mailboxes, as well as email inboxes from popular desktop clients such as Microsoft Outlook, Exchange or Thunderbird. Support for Google Mail has been integrated directly which eliminates several configuration steps when configuring a Google Mail account, more about that later.
MailStore Home displays all email archiving options on startup.
Gmail users have the easiest configuration ahead of them. All they need to do is to click on Google Mail and enter their Gmail email address and password. They do however need to make sure that IMAP is enabled in Gmail. This can be done under Settings > Forwarding and POP/IMAP > Enable IMAP > Save changes.
MailStore Home will backup all Gmail emails to the local computer system. The emails can be read, searched and restored whenever the need arises. More about the program's functionality later on in the guide.
Hotmail users need to select POP3 Mailbox from the available choices. The required Hotmail Pop3 information are the following:
A click on Next displays the archiving options. Here it is possible to select whether the emails of the account should be deleted after backup or left untouched. The default setting is to keep all email messages. It is possible to delete all emails after archiving, x days after archiving or to delete emails that are older than a specified time period.
MailStore Home establishes a connection to the selected email host after the initial configuration has been completed. The connection and backup process is displayed in a log.
Yahoo Mail does not support Pop3, only Yahoo Mail Plus users can enable that feature. Yahoo Mail Plus users need to enable POP3 access under Options > Mail Options > Pop & Forwarding.
The tricks that worked in the past to add POP3 access to Yahoo Mail standard accounts do not seem to work anymore. Programs like YPOPS and setting the region to Asia worked in the past, but seem to have been fixed by Yahoo in the meantime.
Windows users can backup all email accounts if they support either POP3 or IMAP. Most providers disable the protocols by default which makes it necessary to enable them in the web email options. Some, like Yahoo Mail, offer these features only for premium account owners.
MailStore Home offers a search which can be used to find emails. It can furthermore import existing folders if supported so that the original layout is preserved. The advanced search is sophisticated. It is possible to search for any of the following: Subject, Message Body, Attachment contents, sender, recipient, attachment file names.
Filters are available to search only specific folders, dates, email sizes, priorities or messages with or without attachments.
Emails are displayed right in the main program window from where they can be saved or printed.
Another interesting feature is the ability to export archived emails. It is for instance possible to export them into desktop email clients such as Microsoft Outlook, Windows Mail or Thunderbird, or to an email address via SMTP.
The latter option can be used to restore deleted email addresses to the primary email client or web mail client.
It is possible to schedule backups, but not from within the program. Existing backup configurations can be saved as shortcuts to the Windows desktop. These shortcuts can then be scheduled in the Windows Task Scheduler or a comparable program to run regularly, for instance once per day or month.
MailStore Home is a flexible email backup solution. Especially the ability to re-import email messages after backup is interesting. The free software program can be downloaded from the developer homepage over at Mailstore.com.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.