How Do I ... Backup My Email

Before you decide which option to choose to backup your email, you need to evaluate the importance or operational need for the information. This is a practice called records management.

For more information about records management, please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Records_management.

Depending on the percentage of messages which meet this requirement you can consider the various options listed below:

  • Level 1
    • Use a full mail client such as Thunderbird, Outlook or MacMail and copy messages to a local folder OR
    • Use a full mail client such as Thunderbird, Outlook or MacMail and configure the client to use POP3 and leave a copy on the server OR
    • Use Outlook and take advantage of its Auto Archiving feature
  • Level 2 - Option A
    • Print and store a hard copy of the message
  • Level 2 - Option B
    • use 3rd party tools associated with either the client or OS to backup and if necessary recover the appropriate system source files AND use one of the options listed in Level 1.

Caution: There are tradeoffs which come with a pop client configuration (e.g. additional time and/or potentially cost to manage the quota associated on the server). Avoid using server side filters on messages which you are looking to create backups of.

See the table below for links for tools depending on the email program or client that you use:

Email Program Possible Tools
      
Thunderbird        http://kb.mozillazine.org/MozBackup
http://www.mozilla.org/support/thunderbird/profile
      
Outlook http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;287070
      
Outlook Express http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;270670
      
MacMail use Time Machine (part of MacOS 10.5)

 

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