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What’s the Best Way to Backup Your Emails?

What's the Best Way to Backup Your Emails?

There are several reasons you might want to consider creating a system to create a full backup of your emails. Maintaining a personal copy of your work emails can ensure you keep connections and feedback from past projects in the event you decide to change jobs. Work emails can sometimes accumulate to become a portfolio of sorts and examples of your past work can be helpful to show potential new employers. Your personal emails might already be part of your comprehensive backup plan but they, too, are important to backup and secure. There are several ways to save emails. Here are a few methods to consider:

First Things First

Check with your IT department about policies related to backing up work-related emails. IT departments may be alerted if you batch download a large number of emails or files at the same time. It could make for an awkward conversation with your supervisor if you haven’t checked in advance. While your IT department is likely well-versed in the benefits of backups, it might help to remind your supervisor that backing up your emails could save critical downtime in the event of a crash. Once you’ve been given the green light to proceed, choose the method for you.

Saving Select Emails in Outlook

Outlook the most common email platform used in the workplace. Surprisingly, there’s not yet a clearly labeled menu command to backup just emails via Outlook. The process, however, is straight-forward and quick. Simply drag the emails from Outlook over to a folder you’ve created for the backup. You might want to label it with the range of dates of emails saved. Pick the emails you want to save and drag them over to a folder within Microsoft Edge. If you have a Mac, drag your emails to Finder. Doing this will save your emails as an individual .msg file that has a subject and file name. It will also include attachments if you have them.

Export to an Outlook PST File

If you want a full backup of everything in your inbox, you will use the export function on Outlook. To reach this system with Outlook 2010, you first go to File > Options > Advanced. Next, you save the folders as .pst files. This strategy will back up the calendar, mail, tasks, notes and contacts. You can open the .pst files with a different computer, but you can only use Outlook to do so.

To continue, use the "Save as" command to save the messages in a more universal format. For example, you can save these files as HTML, text or RTF. There are different benefits and uses for these different file types. Consider these when deciding how to save your emails. Keep in mind, you must save the attachments too. If you have multiple emails to save, this option might be too time-consuming.

Saving Emails in Batches

If you have a large inbox, you might want to consider saving your emails in batches. Use a VBS script to save your emails in the format of your choice. There are several free scripts available. There are also a wide range of third-party apps that offer customizable features and more user-friendly interfaces than a script. To get the most bang for your buck, consider tools that will backup other files in addition to your emails. Our SecureBackup is an all-in-one solution for backing up business and digital life.

Cloud-based email services, like Gmail, also offer multiple options for backup. If you’re feeling especially frugal, consider forwarding copies of all emails received via email to another account set up for backup purposes.

Once you’ve created a backup for your emails, don’t forget to routinely update it. Set up filters to organize the most important emails and develop your own system to ensure your personal and business-related communications remain safely and securely intact and accessible. There's no single best way to backup emails because it depends on your personal preferences, number/size of emails, and your intentions for their future use.

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