How to Backup Gmail to External Hard Drive Easily

You have 4 efficient ways to save your Gmail to an external hard drive, namely, save it as PDF file, via Google Takeout or MS Outlook and third-party software AOMEI Backupper.


By Maggie Updated on September 4, 2023

Share this: instagram reddit

Why save Gmail to hard drive?

Gmail, a popular email service by Google, offers web and mobile access for storing personal information,  sending, and receiving emails. To prevent data loss, many users opt to back up Gmail emails to hard drives.

Gmail Email Backup Solution

The main reasons for this are:

1. Offline Access: Users save Gmail emails to access them without an internet connection, along with their attachments.
2. Data Protection: Backup safeguards against unwanted threats or accidental email deletions, preventing data loss.
3.  Data Migration: When switching email clients, having a Gmail backup simplifies transferring account data.
4. Gmail Issues: Unstable Gmail features or account inaccessibility prompts users to backup their data.
5. Storage Space: If Gmail storage exceeds limits, users save emails externally to free up space.

Backing up Gmail emails ensures access, safeguards data, and addresses various scenarios that may affect email usage.

4 Methods to backup Gmail to hard drive

How to backup Gmail to external hard drive? Don’t hurry, here are 4 useful ways for you! You don’t need to try on one by one, instead, you can choose the one that suits you best!

Method 1. Via Google Takeout

Step 1. Open Gmail and log in with your Gmail email address and password.

Step 2. On the dashboard choose the Profile icon and select the Manage your Google Account.

Manage your Google Account

Step 3. Select Data personalization from the left menu.

Data & Personalization

Step 4. Then in the Data and personalization section, scroll down the page. Select Download your data and click on it.

Download Your Data

Step 5. Then in the pop-up Google Takeout page, click the Deselect all button.

Deselect all

Step 6. Now, scroll down the page and check the mail function. Tap on the option that All Mail data included.

All Mail Data Included

Step 7. Then in the pop-up menu, uncheck the Include all messages in Mail checkbox. Select the below folder, and click on the OK button.

Include All Messages in Mail

Step 8. After that, scroll the page and tap on the Next step button. Here, choose the file type, frequency, and destination section.


Step 9. Now click on the Create Export button and download the Archive files.

Once the archive files have been created, download them to your external hard drive and use a file archiver like 7-zip to open it.

Method 2. Save Gmail emails as PDF Files

Step 1. Open Gmail and sign in with the required credentials (Gmail email account and password).

Step 2. Then locate the Inbox section, and you can choose the emails you want to save from the folder.

Inbox Folder

Step 3. Click on the Print All icon at the top right of your browser.

Tip: Here you can preview concrete messages on the selected email, like Destination, Pages, Layout, and Colour.

Print All

Step 4. Finally, click the Print button to start exporting the Gmail email.

Step 5. Then, a pop-up tab will open on your screen, enter the File Name, and press the Save button.

Save the Output As

Step 6. After saving the email as a PDF, copy the email from your PC and paste it to the target external hard drive.

This is the simple way to backup Gmail to hard drive

Method 3. Via MS Outlook

For a lot of desktop email clients, Microsoft Outlook is more welcomed and familiar. Additionally, this software can also backup Gmail to external hard drive. Now please follow to read:

Part 1. You need to add your Gmail to the Outlook Desktop app first and also, make sure your external hard drive has been connected to your computer correctly.

Step 1. To save an email from MS Outlook, open the email and click File > Add Account.

Add Account

Step 2. Enter your Gmail email account and click on Connect. Then, enter your Gmail email password, and press Connect button again.

Now you must have successfully log in your Gmai email account on the Outlook desktop client. Next part will show you the whole backup process.

Part 2. Now follow the below tutorial to backup Gmail to hard drive

Step 1. Click your Gmail on the left and then select Gmail emails that you want to save to external hard drive.

Step 2. Navigate to File > Open & Export > Import & Export.

Step 3. Choose Export to a file and click Next.

Export to a File

Step 4. Select Outlook Data File (.pst), and click Next.

PST File

Step 5. Choose the Inbox folder to export from, also make sure you have ticked the Include subfolders checkbox and tap Next.

Select Folder

Step 6. Browse and choose your target external hard drive as the destination, and click Finish to backup Gmail emails to the USB flash drive.

Method 4.  Transfer via third-party software

The distinguished aspect of third-party software is that it can provide users with versatile features and enables users to customize email backup needs. One case in point is AOMEI Backupper Professional. This software supports a wide range of Windows PC operating systems, including Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista. If you are Server users, please try AOMEI Backupper Server.

♥It offers an Email Backup feature to back up various mail services, including Yahoo Mail, Gmail, iCloud Mail, Exchange, Outlook Mail, Zoho Mail, etc. For example, beside Gmail, you can backup Yahoo mail to hard drive as well.
♥It can create auto backups for emails with options like Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event triggers, or USB plug-in. Furthermore, you can schedule tasks to wake your computer at specific times for backup purposes.
♥You can create a full copy of your entire mailbox, or you can only backup the changes via incremental and differential backup, which can largely save your storage location.

Below is the full guide to save all Gmail emails to hard drive, please download the below free link to have a try.

Download Free Trial Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Backupper and then navigate to Backup> Email Backup.

Email Backup

Step 2. Click Add Email data to select the Gmail email you want to save.

Add Email Data

Step 3. If you haven’t added your Gmail account before, please choose Add Mailbox to log in to your Gmail account and its authentification codes.

Add Mailbox

Step 4. Now, please click the triangle icon to expand the box, you need to choose Select a local path and then search for your target external hard drive.

Select Destination Path

Step 5. Confirm your settings and choose Start Backup to start backup Gmail to external hard drive.


Backup Gmail to external hard drive can be performed in 4 feasible ways, namely via Google Takeout, export to PDF file, using MS Outlook, and through efficient third-party software, like AOMEI Backupper. You are free to choose any of them, which depends on you.

Notably, AOMEI Backupper is attractive for its user-friendly interface, especially convenient for non-technical users. This software can also prompt email backup optimization. You can download its free trial to have a try!

Maggie · Editor
Maggie is a technical editor from AOMEI and troubleshoots technical problems against data protection. She has received professional and systematic technical training. With a focus on user experience, security, and problem-solving, she always puts herself in the readers' shoes and provides them with valuable technical insights.