How do you backup your emails?


#1

I hope this is the right forum. If not, please feel free to delete this topic.

I use Chronosync and Arq in order to backup my Home folder in an automated fashion. However, I’m wondering if this is enough to easily get to my emails in case of an emergency (mail provider gets hacked and all emails deleted, my laptop gets stolen, Mac OS decides to stop working on my Laptop, etc.). I tried to convert everything to PDF files, which - even semi-automated - was cumbersome and didn’t handle attachments well.

I would therefore like to get a feel of what others do to automatically backup their email.


#2

I use MailStore on my Windows PC to manually backup all email to an encrypted container.

Would like to learn about macOS solutions.


#3

What sort of solution are you looking for? There are many ways to approach this, but they are dependent on your circumstances; what you use currently, budget, access to alternative equipment, etc.

Based on loss of laptop…

  • A full disk bootable backup would be an option if you have access to another Mac to boot to.
  • Mail clients store their data on your drive, so if you know what mail client it is, then we can probably figure out where it is stored and you could back that up. Then you need an alternative Mac to restore to.

Based on loss of service provider.

  • Depending upon your sync configuration you may already retain local copies even if the service loses the originals.
  • Some third party online services exist to backup other services. It may be you could utilise one if you can find one that supports your mail service provider.
  • Many mail service providers have rules that can allow you to auto copy/forward mails to an alternative account (/provider).
  • Some providers have direct export services that you could tap into.

Beyond that, you could look at exporting to the ubiquitous EML format rather than PDF (typically this would handle your attachment issues), or purchasing a separate mail archive app/service.

Hope that gives you some ideas of avenues to investigate.


#4

Unless you use webmail instead of a mail client (like I do, with FastMail).


#5

Indeed, but the OP asked if the existing backup was sufficient to backup e-mails indicating a local client app. In some cases, app based web UIs also store data locally for offline use, so the use of a web client does not necessarily indicate no local storage of mail data.


#6

I sync my mac’s mail folders to a synology location via resilio sync, and backup to synology C2 from there as a separate backup. As all my macs are cloned through ccc and have time machine enabled I think this should suffice :slight_smile:


#7

I use Chronosync and Arq in order to backup my Home folder in an automated fashion. However, I’m wondering if this is enough to easily get to my emails in case of an emergency

Yes, if you have a Mac you can restore to (assuming you are using Mail).


#8

Recommend very ugly, but very powerful and capable Mail Steward.


#9

Sorry for my late response. Life got in the way. :slight_smile:

I’m indeed using a mail client; just Apple Mail for now. AFAIK, Apple Mail stores all its data inside the Library folder. So if I’m backing up my home folder (which encloses the Library folder), I should be safe?

It would be ok, if I would only be able to open the backed up emails on another Mac again. However, I would prefer some kind of “open” format for future-proofing things. I will look into the EML format. As far as I understand, though, this only relates to separate emails. I, however, would like to export the mailbox (= my account) as a whole.