Do not trust free webmail providers with your email. At any time, they could simply delete or suspend your account. Make sure you have a backup right now in case your account is removed, deleted or even hacked. Do not assume your Gmail account (or any other account) will always be available. Search the internet Gmail down" or Gmail account deleted for reasons you need to do this.
These steps should take no more than 15 minutes, and could save you a lot of heartache if you lose access to your Gmail account.
- Download Thunderbird, an open source mail client
- Go to your Gmail account
- Select the "settings" link in the top right corner
- Select "Forwarding and POP"
- Select the enable POP option (see detailed help if necessary)
- Save the changes
- Go to Thunderbird and choose Tools then Account Settings
- Click the add account button and choose "email"
- Enter your name and gmail address, click next
- In the server information box, type pop.gmail.com as the incoming server
- In the next box, type your gmail address for incoming user name (and outgoing if that option is there)
- Enter an account name (a descriptive phrase to describe the account, like "Gmail")
- Click finish, and then go to the 'Server Settings' section
- Make sure te server name is pop.gmail.com, the port 995, the user name is your gmail address, and select SSL and leave messages on server (assuming you still want your mail stored on Gmail as well as locally)
- Now go to the Outgoing Server (SMTP) option.
- Make sure you add smtp.gmail.com as the server name, on port 587, with SSL selected. The username should be your Gmail address
- Finally, click "get mail" on the toolbar, and wait... eventually all your gmail will be download to a folder on your computer.
- You can continue to use Gmail in the normal way, or you can choose to use Thunderbird for sending and reading mail instead.
- Gmail category on the Google Wikia.