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December 27, 2007

Creating a Backup for Your Google Account

Using a single account for all the Google has a lot of advantages but if, for some reason, you can't access the account or Google temporarily disables it, you lose a lot of important data. Fortunately, you can set up a Google account that should give you access to some of the information from your account. (You should also backup important data in other ways: download Gmail messages using POP3/IMAP in a mail client, export your documents from Google Docs, back up your Blogger blogs etc.)

* If you use Gmail, you could create a Gmail account whose only purpose is to fetch messages from your main account. Set up mail fetcher in the backup account and add the main account as a custom From address. This way, you'll be able to read all the messages from your account and even send mail.

* Add the backup account as a Google Talk friend from Gmail Chat or from other Google Talk interface. As a side effect, you'll have access to your shared items from Google Reader.

* For Blogger, add the backup account in the blog authors section: Settings > Permissions > Add authors. The account should have admin privileges so that you can create, edit and delete posts.

* In Google Analytics, go to Access Manager and add the account as an admin. You'll have access to all reports and profiles in the backup account.

* Google Calendar lets you share the main calendar with other people and even give them the right to edit events. Click on "Manage calendars" at the bottom of the window, share the main calendar and add the backup account. You should select "make changes and manage sharing" from the drop-down.

* If you're the owner of a group in Google Groups, go to the member invitation section, select "Add members directly" and add the backup account. Then change the membership type of the new account to "owner". It's also a good idea to select "no email" in the subscription type.

* Add the backup account as a collaborator for some of the most important Google documents and notebooks.

* Other Google services only allow you to export your data: Google Reader (Settings > Import/Export), iGoogle (share each tab with the backup account), Gmail contacts, Google News personalization (scroll to the bottom of the homepage and click on "Share your personalized news with a friend").

The backup account will not have all the data from your main account, but you'll still be able to read your email, send messages, publish blog posts, check your calendar, add new events, access important documents etc.

63 comments:

  1. Backup or export of data should be centralized for all services, especially for Google Apps domains.

    Recently many users of Google sticky notes, lost all data, and it seems Google doesn't have reliable backups.

    http://www.google.com/ig/directory?&url=http://www.google.com/ig/modules/sticky.xml
    http://groups.google.com/group/Google-Gadgets-API/browse_thread/thread/0e5eb1b7e4b62be0

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    Replies
    1. And Now Google Reader will be retired on July 1, 2013.
      so take a back up data from Google Reader: Read this:
      http://www.authorcode.com/how-to-back-up-your-google-reader/

      Delete
  2. I tried to set up mail fetcher to fetch mail from my primary account. I checked to leave the mail on the server, and it said that Gmail will not do that. I can't have it remove the mail from the server, that would kind of take away the purpose of a backup. I think they did it so that you couldn't use the accounts as backups. If you have a workaround, I'd love to know.

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  3. Well, mail fetcher from Gmail works fine and it doesn't delete the messages from the original account. In fact, to control this you need to go to the original account and make sure that in Settings > Forwarding and POP/IMAP > POP Download, you've selected:

    "When messages are accessed with POP... keep Gmail's copy in the inbox."

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  4. I have my gmail automatically forwarded to another non-gmail service (just in case all of gmail goes down).

    Requires no action on my part other than to check the mail on the back-up account often enough so that it doesn't get deleted.

    Using POP to fetch your mail as a back-up is fine, as long as you do it often. If you haven't done it in a week, and gmail goes, how useful will it be to you?

    The bigger problem if gmail cancels your account for some reason is that you won't be getting any NEW mail.

    Best solution for this of course is to own your own domain and manage where it points to by using some service you can get to independently.

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  5. << If gmail cancels your account for some reason... >>

    In the post, I mentioned that Google might disable (!=cancel) your account, but this could also work if the original account is removed. For example, I'll be able to post to Blogger from the secondary account and even send messages telling my contacts that I have a new mail address (I'll use the custom from feature, so I'll still be able to send messages from the old address).

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  6. I don't have any problem accessing my gmail account since day one.

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  7. I lost access to my Gmail for two days earlier this week and I have no clue why. All of my other accounts worked just fine. I could sign into Google but not into Gmail. Any emails I received during that time did not come through. Not sure if setting up a backup email account would work for this or not.

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  8. I would not call using another Google user as a backup for Google since it's still Google and they have control over your data. You should try to use something other than Google to backup your Google account. Forwarding emails to a non-Gmail account, exporting Google data to off-line files, etc.

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  9. Yes, you can use any mail account, but you still need a Google Account to login to the different Google services. I didn't suggest to use Gmail, it was just an example.

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  10. I have Thunderbird running in the background all the time. I have uptodate backup of all of my gmails.

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  11. > "Other Google services only allow you to export your data: Google Reader (Settings > Import/Export), iGoogle (share each tab with the backup account)"

    It's incredibly annoying and self-defeating that I can't import data to iGoogle (I want to import OPML from Netvibes, for example). The thought of having to manually recreate my Netvibes feeds doesn't exactly encourage me to switch!

    iGoogle will have to wait until the option is available.

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  12. Bob, iGoogle is not a feed reader, so it's not designed for handling a lot of feeds. That's way importing from OPML wasn't a priority for Google. Most iGoogle users don't use a feed reader and don't subscribe to a big number of feeds.

    On the other hand, it would be useful to export your feeds (and maybe the list of gadgets) from iGoogle.

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  13. Thanks ionut

    Despite your reply, I think that iGoogle -- given that it is a "Personalized homepage" -- should be flexible enough such that it can be used in different ways by different people. I.e. we should be able to personalize it somewhat.

    My idea of a good personalized homepage isn't just one that can handle a few feeds and gadgets. It's one that doubles as a way of visually laying out a spread of RSS feeds like newspaper columns. I.e. it should be able to read lots of feeds (even if this doesn't technically make it a feed reader in the same way that Google Feed Reader is a feed reader).

    Netvibes has a very similar brief to iGoogle and yet its superior capacity to handle many feeds is part of why I use it. It has that flexibility which I choose to take. "Personalized homepage" applies much more easily to a service which offers this greater degree of personalization.

    I suspect that, in reality, a big part of the reason why mass feed importing is unavailable in iGoogle is because iGoogle still has some technical improvements to make (unlike Nevibes it seems to have to reload the content on every tab every time you switch, for example).

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  14. Hello, About a year ago I had an iGoogle account homepage. I would like to use it again but do not remember userid, password. Is it possible to locate it or do I need to re-create another Home page? Thank you...

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  15. Afew days ago I paid about 50.00 to get special acces to various programs , I put in my name I used and my pass word and they say it is not recognized, can you tell me have I lost my money

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  16. ./mailutil transfer "{imap.gmail.com/ssl/user=id@gmail.com}" mailarch/ -v

    Alpine is awesome!

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  17. And for the Calendar, downloading the *.ics file works very well for me. If I make major changes to my calendar, I download the current ics file to my thumb.

    Personally - if there were a way for me backup my entire iGoogle account - gmail messages, calendar calendars, doc & spreadsheets - I would us it exclusively. No that I have a means for calendar & mail , I still dont use the Docs or Spreadsheets. say-la-ve =)

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  18. Is it possible to get the backup of my previous chats from gtalk which are not been saved in my gmail.

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  19. you said for backing up igoogle you share each tab with your backup account, but to do that you need to have another google account

    what's the use if the whole google server crashes ? thats a useless backup imo.

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  20. a question: I want to back up according to different labels... unfortunately, using POP linked to Thunderbird anyway, all the emails downloaded since last time get dumped in the inbox without distinction. I seem to have the idea from somewhere that using IMAP instead of POP might allow this differentiation somehow? Anyone know anything? Thanks

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  21. About backing up my account,

    How secure is this operation?
    Can it be done with a "https" counterpart?

    I would prefer to keep my history private:)

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  22. When I sign into my igoogle account,I can not access anything without illegal procedure system will shut down
    message,and shut. Only happens with google can anyone help?

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  23. On the question of using igoogle to set up your own feeds page. I have found a nice work around for this.

    Simply use google reader for the feeds, and then use the google reader gadget on your igoogle page. You can set up multiple gadgets from your google reader accoun..each pointing to the feed of your choice.

    Each gadget will read the feed you select...so it's fully customizable...and you can instantly change the content of each gadget on the fly.

    My own fully customizable electronic newspaper...with simple and fast changes of content in each gadget.

    Awesome!

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  24. I don,t think any one is going to have any problem in in accessing Gmail account ever.

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  25. Its a good idea to have a backup for every thing. the question of google going down is well valid.

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  26. I have already backed up my mails to my personal website mail server. u never know what is gona happen..

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  27. Can I back up google onto my computer? Every time I try to, I run out of room on my hard drive...

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  28. at this stage there is a definite need for proper backup of Docs, the solution I see for the moment is to use Gears and that way all Docs are locally synced and available for fear of worst

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  29. "one account one blog" better than "one account many blog"

    I recommended it to you

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  30. Where is the simple way to save incoming emails on my computer?
    I previously used a laptop with Windows XP and Internet Explorer. I used either PPRuNe email or Yahoo mail for my email service. When I read an incoming email I clicked "Save" and was given the options of where on my computer it should be filed, the title I wanted to give it, and the format in which to save it. I saved everything in text format to save space.
    I am unable to find how to do this simple act of saving an incoming Gmail email on my computer. I now have an iMac and use Safari. It looks as if I will have to get another XP computer and revert to using Internet Explorer and Yahoo mail again.
    Why don't these nerds provide the services that users need and make them simple to use?

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  31. Would you like to save your Gmail messages on your computer? There are many options:

    1. you could copy their content in individual text files (copy & paste)
    2. use the print (print all) option from Gmail's sidebar to obtain a printer-friendly output that can be saved in a HTML file or a PDF
    3. use the basic HTML view (there's a link at the bottom of the page) and you'll be able to save the messages as HTML
    4. set up a POP3 or IMAP account in a mail client like Outlook, Windows Live Mail, Mozilla Thunderbird. You'll be able to download all the messages from your Gmail account on your computer. More about POP and IMAP.

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  32. Is it possible to get the backup of my previous chats from gtalk which are not been saved in my gmail...

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  33. Great thing and useful as a security backup...

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  34. I do this for more than a year and i have never had problems in order to take benefit from it,but it still help not to worry about ;)

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  35. Its really great. I've heard this form other sources but got the complete info here. thanks

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  36. Can you plz list the Gmail backup software in this post?

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  37. I found an easier way to backup and archive my old GMail emails. I found a software called MPP (www.mailspect.com) and with their archive product (free trial download, cheap to buy) and I could simply point MPP to imap.gmail.com and export & archive certain folders or emails from a certain time period. MPP also does a lot with attachment stripping and de-duping of emails, so my Gmail inbox, which used to be almost full, is now only at 500mb and I have all my archived mail on a PC with MPP installed as a VMware on top of CentOS. If you use gmail and have any email compliance or regulatory rules, MPP's archive product will also address those needs. I strongly recommend it for those of you using GMail for sensitive data or just a heck of a lot of data!

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  38. Really thanks for informing this feature.
    I have important data in my google accounts.
    Now I can make them secure.

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  39. Hi,
    I’ve released the first version of my php script (based on Zend Framework) to backup Google Apps data. Now it is limited to Google Documents but I think it could be interesting.
    http://ardoino.com/php-google-backup/

    Thanks,
    Paolo

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  40. i dont have backup my account so thanks to share this information of me.i use only gmail.com account

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  41. I didn't know that you can set up a Google account that can give you access to some of the information from your account. Thanks for the informative post!

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  42. For Google Documents you can use GDocBackup http://gs.fhtino.it/gdocbackup

    It exports all your docs.

    Freeware, opensource, runs on Win (+Net) and Linux (+ Mono).

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  43. Yes its a goo one, but not working now, showing 404 page, can anyone explain?

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  44. Well, it's good to know this useful tip. Remember Murphy Law. Thanks!

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  45. I have tried to backup all G-mail resources. But only the g-mail backup my mails not all features.

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  46. The same issue goes with me also, i only got all my emails and the rest features are missing.

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  47. same thing happens with me as well even feeel frightened to be a victim of data loss

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  48. Google wants to rule the world and play as an enterprise company that will control every thing in the cloud but they will not backup their own servers? I have not lost anything yet but now maybe I will move off google

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  49. I've lost access to a Gmail account before. I never did recover. I think the problem is that the account doesn't expire. That's true for Blogger accounts too. Years after the blogs are dormant, they still up.

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  50. I didn't know this has been happening until now. Though i use thunderbird for official puporse but i guess ihave to start using it for gmail now which holds all my private emails.

    thanks

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  51. I never really though about backing up my google account. But after reading this article I do now.

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  52. I put together a script that lets you download all the results of a gmail search query to a .mbox file. It works through the gmail web interface so it can grab chat archives too.

    http://www.charmcitynetworks.com/techblog/download-the-results-of-a-gmail-search-query-including-chats/

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  53. by putting together all information the best is the gogle search engine query

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  54. need to work on more from the best of google

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  55. You can also use backup in your social accounts and other google data

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  56. or you could use a local client such as thunderbird to keep local copies..

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  57. Hi,

    You can you use "Google Docs Backup Utility" to backup all users documents from Google server to your local directory.

    The main features are :
    • Administrators can backup a single user or the entire domain user’s documents to local directory.
    • Synchronize local with remote versions
    • Download latest version of documents to save bandwidth.
    • Multiple download formats are available, including Adobe Acrobat Reader(PDF), MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, Open office etc
    • Schedule as an automated task for recurring backup
    • Easy GUI backup wizard
    • Authentication Support: OAuth

    Please VISIT http://www.workflow.ae/Google-Docs-Backup-Utility/

    Cheers !

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  58. I am one of the developer team member, and would like to share a simple tool that lets you enable to have gmail backup or IMAP backup. The tool is known as Beyond Inbox.

    Since we all have been very well acquainted with the gmail outage or disruption and such problem might be occurred in the future also. So what we have to do is to have regular backup of our email account.
    So the simplest way to start the backup using Beyond Inbox.
    It generate separate file(.eml) for each email message.
    http://www.beyondinbox.com/documentation/mail-backup--how-to-backup-emails-from-imap-account.html

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  59. or you could use a local client such as thunderbird to keep local copies..

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  60. I developed Gmail Keeper solely for this purpose, and Google just enabled IMAP access to the Chats folder, that means Gmail Keeper alone can backup all the emails, labels, buzz and chat history now ;)

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  61. So, basically you use another Google account to backup your Google account!!!! And if Google fails? Doesn't seem so reliable...
    How to make A LOCAL BACKUP? A HARD COPY?

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