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User Case: Best Way to Download and Back up Gmail?

“Can I save all my Gmail emails to an external hard drive? What’s the best way to download and back up my Gmail? I've tried MailStore, Thunderbird and some others and they were ok, but not great. And from what I remember they don't download attachments. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks!” – A Post from Reddit

Why Backup Gmail Emails to Hard Drive?

Backup Gmail to Hard Drive
Backup Gmail to Hard Drive

Can Gmail be backed up to a hard drive? The answer is absolutely YES! Gmail is a robust and smart email service that offers many convenient features. With 15GB of free storage space, users can store a large number of emails without worrying about running out of space. When users want to search a specific email, they can utilize the powerful search functionality keyword, sender, recipient, date, and more.

Many users worldwide utilize Gmail to start a business and get contact with their clients. It is integrated with other Google products, including Google Drive and Google Calendar, making it easy to share files and schedule meetings. So, it is not hard to think of emails on Gmail are important. To ensure data security and reduce potential expenditure, users can backup Gmail to hard drive.

In this article, we will show you how to make Gmail backup emails to hard drive in 2 reliable solutions. After reading, you can choose the one that suits you most.

How to Backup Gmail Emails to Hard Drive [Normal]

In this section, we will show you 3 normal and easy solutions to save emails from Gmail to your hard drive, namely using the Print feature on Gmail, Outlook, or Goole Takeout. After reading, select the right method that suits you most.

Way 1: Use Google Takeout

Google Takeout is a smart service that helps users to export data from all Google products, such as Google Drive, Google Photos, Mail, YouTube, etc. So, when you are wondering “how to backup my Google email to a local drive external”, you can take advantage of this free service. "How can I backup all my Gmail emails?" You might wonder this. Just follow the Google Takeout instructions below to backup emails from Gmail:

Step 1: Head to your Google Takeout on the web. Then hit the Deselect All button on the right upper corner.

Deselect All on Google Takeout
Deselect All on Google Takeout

Step 2: Swipe down your cursor and tick Mail. Then scroll down to hit the Next Step button.


Next Step
Next Step

Step 3: Now, select the file type, frequency, and destination based on what you need. Finally, hit the Create export button.

Choose File Type
Choose File Type

Step 4: It may take some time to create the archive, which is depending on your file size. When archive is made, you will receive an email with a downloading link. You can download the data through the link.

Download Your Files
Download Your Files

Step 5: Connect your external hard drive to your computer, and then move what you have downloaded to it. 

Note: Although Google Takeout is useful, it has many limitations:

  • It only allows you to export a limited range of data, such as emails from a specific time period. That’s to say, you may need to create multiple exports.
  • If you have many emails to export, the resulting file size can be quite large, which makes it hard to download and store.
  • And there is a limit to the number of times you can try to download the archive. If the download is unsuccessful after 5-6 attempts, the download link will expire and you will need to generate a new one.

Way 2: Use the Print Feature

You can easily save Gmail emails as PDF files on your computer's hard drive. Here's a brief guide on how to do it.

Step 1: Log in to your Gmail account and open the email you wish to save in PDF format.

Step 2: Next, locate the Print all icon in the top right corner and click on it.

Print All
Print All

Step 3: A pop-up window with printing options will appear. You can customize the settings according to your preferences by clicking the Print button. Once done, the Gmail email will be saved as a PDF file.

 Way 3: Turn to Outlook

If you have an Outlook account, you can also use this method to save Gmail emails to your hard drive. Although it is a little troublesome, it can help you out. Here's how to do it:

Step 1: Sign in to your Outlook.com account. Then, click on Settings > View all Outlook Settings in the drop-down menu.

Step 2: Go to Gmail and select Sync Email.

Step 3: In the pop-up window, enter the desired display name. Then, select Connect your Google account to import your emails from Gmail and create a new folder for the imported emails. Finally, click OK.

Step 4: Following that, select the Gmail account you wish to import.

Step 5: Enter the password and click the Next button. If a prompt appears, simply click Allow and then close the Settings window. Then, your Gmail emails will be converted into PST files which can be downloaded to your hard drive easily.

Tip: If you wonder how to migrate Gmail to Outlook, refer to the hyperlink.

How to Backup Gmail Emails to Hard Drive [Novel]

Then, "Can I move emails in Gmail to drive easily?"  Some of you might wonder. To avoid limitations you might encounter, you can turn to a useful and convenient third-party service, MultCloud, to backup emails from Gmail to hard drive easily and quickly. MultCloud is a web-based cloud storage management service that offers users the ability to manage different cloud drives and email boxes together.


This service is famous for its transferring feature between cloud drives, including Google Drive, Dropbox, SharePoint, OneDrive, Dropbox Business, OneDrive for Business, Flickr, MEGA, Google Workspace, iCloud Photos, and more. In addition, it support mailboxes such as Gmail, Outlook, etc. For instance, you can easily migrate OneDrive to Dropbox.

So, with MultCloud, you can then download multiple emails from Gmail to your PC via MultCloud easily and seamlessly, since:

  • Multi-Download Emails at Once. MultCloud allows you to download multiple emails from Gmail to your computer or hard drive at once, which saves time and improve efficiency.
  • PDF format Generated. MultCloud will download your emails as PDF files on your local device so that you can access and share those emails offline.

Then, follow the instructions below to learn how to backup Gmail emails to hard drive via MultCloud:

Step 1: Sign up an account on MultCloud for free.

Sign Up
Sign Up

Step 2: Navigate to Add Email on the left. Then add Gmail by hitting its icon.

Add Gmail
Add Gmail

Step 3: Go to Gmail, select the email you want to backup, and hit the Download button. Then it will be saved as a PDF file on your PC.

Download from Gamil
Download from Gamil

Step 4: Now, connect the external hard drive to your PC. And move the downloaded email to your hard drive by dragging and dropping.

Tip: If you want to backup Gmail emails to hard drive on Mac, you can also utilize 4 ways above.

  • IntergratedOne platform for various cloud drives and mailboxes.
  • SecureData and emails will be protected both at rest and in transit
  • Efficient: Emails will be downloaded to PDF files ASAP

Final Words

After reading this article, you now know 4 simple and easy methods to backup emails from Gmail to hard drive on Windows 10, Windows 11, and Mac. Anyway, if you don’t mind the manual process, you can utilize Google Takeout, the Print feature on Gmail, and utilize Outlook. If not, you can turn to MultCloud. This service can also help you export Gmail emails to PDF.

In addition to features mentioned above, MultCloud also helps you manage and organize data on multiple cloud drives. You are allowed to upload a document to Dropbox, download photos from Google Drive, share a Google Drive folder, etc. Additionally, you can migrate, sync, and back up files from one cloud to another directly and efficiently.

Besides, if you have problems in downloading/uploading study metials from URLs, torrent files, or magnet links, MultCloud can help you solve the problems with ease. For instance, you can download directly to Google Drive.

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Save Email as PDF

After adding Gmail or Outlook to MultCloud, it can convert emails to PDF and save them on your device or cloud storage.

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