Google’s Gmail is easily one of the most convenient and reliable free cloud email services on the web at the moment. When you consider how important Gmail is to so many people around the world, it’s a wonder that there aren’t more utilities available on the market for backing up and restoring your email archives. However, there is one nifty little program called Gmvault that makes backing up and restoring bulk email from your Gmail account an absolute breeze.
This particular backup utility is a command-line program for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux that relies on the Python scripting language. While there’s no GUI to speak of, it’s incredibly simple to use even for non-geeks. Gmvault features full sync capabilities with any Gmail account of your choice, full encryption support, impeccable IMAP compatibility and a whole lot more. Better yet, Gmvault features very clear-cut and well-written documentation that should be more than enough to guide any user through the installation process.
Installing & Using Gmvault
Downloading and installing Gmvault on your laptop or desktop PC is remarkably easy. From their download page, you can snatch either the Python source distribution, the experimental 64-bit binary or the Windows installer. Once installed, a user can simply enter a terminal shell and input the basic command
gmvault sync firstname.lastname@example.org
to start the synchronization process. For generic backup purposes, that’s about all you need to know to use Gmvault.
To restore the backed up emails to any Gmail email account, you can run below command
gmvault restore email@example.com
Obviously, Gmvault delivers a lot of power and functionality in a simple package. The only real requirement is that you have either Python 2.6.x or Python 2.7.x installed on your PC, so it’ll run on just about any machine seamlessly. Furthermore, its IMAP handling is practically flawless and can work around the occasional glitches and bumps in the road that users experience with Gmail. Gmvault comes in handy when you’re without wireless Internet access, such as during a power outage or when you’re working from a remote area.
It’s no surprise that a tool like Gmvault would show up on GitHub. Since its inception in 2008, GitHub has proven to be a veritable treasure trove of independently engineered open source projects. Gmvault is just the latest handy utility to come along that solves a common problem for free. Despite the fact that it’s not a “professional” piece of software, it manages to do what it does quite well without a lot of fuss. Considering its power, ease of use and fair price tag of zero, there’s no reason not to give it a shot.