Automated Gmail backup via IMAP

In this post I’ll tell you a little about the internal of Gmail Keeper.

One of the interfaces Gmail Keeper uses to backup emails from your Gmail account is the IMAP interface, without this IMAP protocol being supported by Gmail server in addition to pop3, it’s not possible to backup both the emails and labels, because the POP3 protocol allows you access the inbox only, but through  IMAP you can read all folders and labels in your Gmail account.

There are other programs you can use to backup Gmail using the IMAP , such as the open source mail client Thunderbird, the Microsoft Outlook, etc. So you might want to ask why Gmail Keeper? Well, those software are not designed for the backup purpose. So I think there are at least several reasons why Gmail Keeper is better for this purpose:

  1. Automated backup. You can schedule the backup jobs to run on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
  2. You can better organize your backup data for the purpose of archiving.
  3. Gmail Keeper is lightweight and fast.

Of course, I have to mentioned the open source that also uses the IMAP interface, to avoid other people criticize me being biased, I’m not going to compare it with Gmail Keeper here, you can check it out and you will have your idea 🙂



  1. I will try the way you suggested.

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