[Windows] Back up, transfer, and restore your Gmail inbox and archive with GMVault

A lot of people use Gmail to manage their day-to-day lives. But what happens if Gmail were to suddenly get wiped off the face of the earth, or if Google were to close down your account? It’s important to keep backups of your emails for the sake of your data’s longevity. GMVault can back up your account, as well as restore it to your current and future Gmail addresses.

What is it and what does it do

Main Functionality

GMVault is a free command line program that lets you back up and restore your Gmail account. Rather than only restoring one account, however, it lets you restore your emails to multiple accounts, enabling you to easily transfer all of your emails from one account to another.


  • Powerful
  • Restore to other accounts
  • Back up only new and changed emails
  • With Windows Task Scheduler, can be run daily to automatically back up your email


  • Command line interface means troublesome to use for some
  • Lots of commands to memorize


To use GMVault, you’ll need to run a series of commands.

gmvault sync [myEmail@gmail.com]

This will prompt you to log into your account with Oauth, allowing GMVault access to your email. When you’re done, return to GMVault and press the Enter key. It’ll automatically retrieve all of your emails. In the future, to download another backup, just run this command:

 gmvault sync -t quick [myEmail@mail.com]

This command syncs your email account, but instead of downloading every single email you’ve ever received like the first one does, it simply downloads new emails. This lets you keep your transfer times to a minimum.

In the future, if you want to or need to restore your emails, it’s as easy as running this command:

gmvault restore [myNewEmail@gmail.com]

You’ll notice that it doesn’t necessarily need to be your original email address. GMVault can back up from anyone’s email account and restore to anyone else’s, and it’s as simple as running the restore command with a new email address.

Conclusion and download link

Backing up email is something that a lot of people don’t do but should. Programs like GMVault that make it easier to not only entirely automatically back up but also to use Windows Task Scheduler to schedule backups are great tools for those who care about their data but don’t especially want to take the time to set it all up. If you’re looking for a Gmail backup tool, GMVault is one of the best.

Price: Free!

Version reviewed: v1.7-beta

Supported OS: Windows XP+, OS X, Linux

Download size: 3.8MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/39

Portability: Requires installation

Gmvault homepage

[via the How-To Geek]

Related Posts

  • RR Patterson

    IMAP and Thunderbird seem to be a logical backup system. You can read your email in your browser or with Thunderbird. And GMail’s servers backup emails that are on your personal computer’s Thunderbird, and vice versa.

  • Ali

    Hi, thanks for the article.
    Please also add this case to the first paragraph, which is more probable:
    “Or if one day your government (Iran) decides to block access to Gmail and Google ‘until the second announcement’.”
    (which it actually did last Sunday…)

  • Becky

    Thanks for your effort Locutus.

    I’ve been using MozBackup, which works fine for me but it takes a huge amount of space.
    I leave posts on my Gmail accounts as a backup, not deleting the junk as much as I should. Daily I open the web-based mail to delete junk and stuff I don’t care to read in 3 of the 12 accts I use as they get most of the mail.

    I download messages to my Thunderbird to save them to my hard drive. These are the ones that are valuable to me. But I’ve gotten behind (by 5 years) and have many of these posts in their own special folders and they’re living on my desktop Thunderbird. These are the messages I don’t want to lose!

    In the last year or so, MozBackup has become unreliable, often failing for reasons I cannot determine….and one I can determine, not enough space on the thumb to which I send them. I can fix that.
    When learning all this about my machine and GMVault, what I found is that I couldn’t reconfigure Gmail from pop to imap to even try GMVault out. This may be because I didn’t delete the pop account…it works and I didn’t want to lose the settings!

    So I’m not backing up all those gmail accts out there that are only partially clean yet. It may be overkill, anyway.

    I appreciate the option.

  • willyneu

    I have set up a gmail account to test it.. I have been using Thunderbird to download messages I want to keep Or refer to later. This seems a lot easier then using a command line utility.

  • AFPhys

    This is a task that I last did over ten years ago, and has bugged me from time to time recently. Thank you for prompting me again, and not only that, leading me to a tool to accomplish the task.