Google released Gmail Offline a while back, a Chrome app that allowed you to view your Gmail account offline. The app was meant for Chrome alone, and all other browsers were pretty much left out. What’s more, the app wasn’t a backup solution. BackUp Gmail is a Mac app available for $1.99 in the Mac App Store that allows you to back up all email messages in your Gmail account to anywhere on your hard drive. The app is nothing more than a downloader for all your inbox messages. You can set up a regular time interval for when the app will back up messages, or enter a given time when the app will perform a backup daily. The messages are readable in Apple’s default mail client, and not encrypted in any way. It works for both Gmail and Google Apps accounts.
When you first launch the app, it will add the Gmail mail envelope icon to the System Menu Bar. As long as you have not added an account to the app, the icon will be greyed out. To add an account, click the icon and select Open BackUp Gmail Preferences… From the Account tab in preferences, enter your Google email (complete with @example.com) and your password. Click Check Availability and the app will check if the credentials you’ve entered are correct. If both email and password are correct, a notification window will pop up to confirm it. Notice that the app icon will no longer be greyed out after an account has been added.
From the Folder tab, select where the app should backup emails to. The app will create a folder by the name of FileStore at that location when it takes a backup for the first time, and all subsequent backups will be saved to this folder. To set a regular time interval for backups, or to fix a time for a daily backup, go to the Schedule tab. From the Backup Time dropdown, select SetTime if you want to take backup once every day, and enter a time in the Start On field. If you want to take hourly backups, select Every Hour from the dropdown.
The force the app to take a backup, right-click the app icon in the System Menu Bar and select Make backup now.
Email messages are saved with the date and message number appended to the file name, as well the as the sender’s email address. You can double click a message and it will open in Apple Mail, regardless of whether or not you’ve added an account to it. Before you start using this app, understand two things; first, it does save your account and password locally, and anyone who has access to your Mac can force the app to take a backup to any location on your Mac. Secondly, the backups can be opened by anyone, and unless you save them to a folder or drive that you can lock, they are pretty much there for anyone to read. The point of this app is to download the contents of your inbox – protecting those is your responsibility.