Best Free Email Backup Utility

 
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Introduction
For many people, email backup is nearly as - or more - important than backing up documents. Yet it's often not as easy. And if you have more than one account, backup can quickly get out of hand, particularly if you need to find some particular message(s).
Discussion

MailStore Home enables you to backup all your email messages from multiple applications and online accounts into one secure and persistent archive. Lightning-fast search, one-click backup, powerful export (restore) - all information from your email is at your fingertips anytime. Never lose important email again! MailStore Home does not back up account settings or contacts, although you could recover the latter from the email messages.

  • Microsoft Outlook 2000, XP, 2003 and 2007
  • Outlook Express, Windows Mail and Windows Live Mail
  • Microsoft Exchange Server
  • Mozilla Thunderbird and SeaMonkey
  • POP3 and IMAP (including webmail services such as Gmail and Yahoo)
  • .eml and other files

I've used MailStore Home for several years. It comes as close to being a snap to set up as you're going to get. The user interface could be better-organized, but it's not hard to use. Reading emails in the backup archive is as quick and easy or easier as reading them in a regular email client. You can reply to messages directly from MailStore. The quick search utility lets you find that one message you're looking for out of all the possible accounts it could be in.

KLS Mail Backup backs up email for many of the popular email clients. It also backs up profiles for popular internet programs. KLS Mail Backup is free for personal use. It's a clean, straightforward backup tool. KLS Mail Backup uses standard ZIP files to archive email, so you have direct access to the backups. Each step of the backup and restore processes employs wizard-like dialog boxes that keep the process straightforward and intuitive.

KLS Mail Backup does not backup POP or IMAP accounts. That means you cannot use it to backup webmail accounts like Gmail or Hotmail directly.

Related Products and Link

Dropmyemail.com offers cloud-based backup for most email services. It is a new service, just getting started - March 1, 2012. It has a well developed website and cloud interface, and is easy to set up for your account. The free account offers only 120 MB of storage, but you can expand that by getting your friends to sign up too (5 GB is $9.99 per year).

Thunderbird can be used to back up any accounts that offer POP or IMAP access. Just add the accounts you want to back up to Thunderbird, and then run Thunderbird when you want to create a backup. Of course Thunderbird saves server settings, but contacts are not included. You need to import them directly to Thunderbird from each of your email clients or accounts, or back them up separately. [more]

Comodo Backup is a general purpose backup utility, which also backs up email. It also offers 5 GB of online storage. Comodo works by backing up email that has already been downloaded by clients. It supports Thunderbird, Eudora, Microsoft Outlook 2003, Microsoft Outlook 2007, Windows Live Mail and Outlook Express. You can back up server settings, but evidently not contacts. It also backs up any files you select.

MailBrowserBackup is a simple standalone (no install) program that detects and offers to back up Internet Explorer (Favorities ONLY), Mozilla Firefox (profile), Flock, Windows Mail, Windows Contacts (Win 7), Windows Live Mail, Mozilla Thunderbird, Opera (browser & mail), Apple Safari, Google Chrome, SRWare Iron, FileZilla FTP Client and Windows Live Messenger Plus.

In Windows 7 I found that you must be running as an Administrator in your own account or Mail Browser Backup will not back up Windows Contacts for your own account. You can open the backup archives with 7-Zip (and maybe other programs) and see exactly what's in them. Of course you could also extract them with 7-Zip.

Microsoft has a free backup program for Outlook that creates backup copies of your .PST files at regular intervals. For Outlook 2002 and later versions.

Yet more backup programs

Quick Selection Guide

MailStore Home
5
 
Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class!

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Backup all your email messages from multiple applications and accounts. Lightning-fast search, one-click backup, powerful export. Backup both POP3 and IMAP (including webmail services such as Gmail and Yahoo! Mail). MailStore Home is as easy-to-use as as it is powerful.
Requires Microsoft .Net, although that is included in Windows 7, and maybe Vista.
http://www.mailstore.com/en/
5.0
6 MB
Free for private use only
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7
KLS Mail Backup
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Backs up email for many of the popular email clients. It's a clean, straightforward backup tool. Uses standard ZIP files to archive email, so you have direct access to the backups.
KLS Mail Backup does not backup POP or IMAP accounts. That means you cannot use it to backup webmail accounts like Gmail or Hotmail directly.
1.9.7.8
2.5 MB
Free for private use only
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows 2000, XP, Vista and 7

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Comments

by Altnetcoza on 18. December 2012 - 20:53  (103736)

You mentioned Microsoft’s Personal Folders Backup utility, but in this category there’s also Safe PST Backup. From the vendor’s website:

Safe PST Backup – a free tool to auto backup Outlook PST files.
Personal Backup Outlook software. Backup Exchange folders* and PST files using Safe PST Backup. Back up Email, Contacts, Calendars or other folders. Create Microsoft Outlook PST backup email archive automatically.

by bobbys on 13. September 2013 - 14:39  (110690)

Many thanks, I downloaded Safe PST Backup and I highly recommend it. It was easy to setup and just works.

by DavidL (not verified) on 3. November 2012 - 10:35  (101787)

KLS Mail Backup is free for personal use. It says so on the site.

However, for those hoping to port Windows Mail back into Win7, this is not the tool to restore your email and settings. The latest version tells you it won't run on Win 7. An earlier version simply fails. And Windows Mail was running on Win 7, with all file locations the same. Umm.

by philip on 3. November 2012 - 14:29  (101795)

Perhaps you need to be running the new Windows Live Mail, not Live Mail. KLS Mail Backup works fine on Windows 7 for me, but I've been running Windows Live Mail. I expect those backups would not be compatible with Live Mail.

by Peter123 (not verified) on 25. June 2012 - 21:21  (95369)

Does Mailstore backup ALL account settings like signatures and fonts along with account passwords?

by philip on 25. June 2012 - 22:20  (95372)

Hello Peter123,
Mailstore does not back up account settings. You could recover your contacts by restoring all the messages, and then working from there, but that would not be simple. So it is best to back up settings and contacts from time-to-time in addition to backing up your messages.

by peter123 (not verified) on 25. June 2012 - 22:23  (95373)

Thanks so very much for the quick reply!

by Akash (not verified) on 31. May 2012 - 7:10  (94225)

You should also check out Dropmyemail.com.

We provide online backups of your email for free. You do not need to install any software or store your emails anywhere. Just sign up for free and start backing up any of your emails.

by MidnightCowboy on 31. May 2012 - 9:43  (94228)

With a forum containing nothing but posts advertising scam Pharmaceuticals, I wouldn't trust this lot with an empty envelope. :)

by Akash (not verified) on 11. June 2012 - 7:29  (94664)

We found a couple of users making random posts on the forum but we have not fixed it!

by - bill on 12. March 2012 - 22:01  (90300)

As of version 5 MailStore Home stopped supporting Win2K - which the MailStore Web description notes, whereas virtually all other sources and reviews of the program - including this one - do not. A not-too-old version 4 release that does support Win2K (though does not offer the option of installation as portable software) is available (found at http://wpthemes.info/downloads/visual+hindsight+home+edition/9.html); while the MailStore Web site does have an older-version download list, it includes only the Client and Server versions, not the free Home version.
[edit] Direct file link removed - not permitted.

by ian (not verified) on 13. March 2011 - 14:25  (67871)

So I tried EZMail and it failed with an error. Then I tried Mailstore Home and it fail with an error. Finally, KLS, which is now working beautfully, has a very nice interface (particularly the status display as the backup is running), and it seems fast.

by rKAnjEL on 29. July 2010 - 18:25  (55146)

MozBackup is worthless, it often creates corrupt backups.

Microsoft's backup also isn't reliable, it screwed it my PST somehow and I got shafted since I lost all my emails.

by tja23 (not verified) on 20. December 2011 - 3:15  (85337)

@rKAnjEL
RE: MozBackup.
I have found MozBackup to be reliable for several restores and for moving emails from one computer to another for Thunderbird. A couple of my friends have also used it and found it to be reliable. We have not had any problems with corrupt backups.

by Anonymous on 11. June 2010 - 13:40  (51901)

This the worst software category off all the gizmo subject areas. Mailstore Home can not really be used as a backup option as it has no restore feature(s). And the other program listed is basically in beta... never been released as a stable program?

Wish I could find a REAL and reliable backup/restore option?????????

by TallMuch (not verified) on 9. February 2011 - 3:44  (66067)

Strange enough to read about not working restore feature of MailStore Home. It does restore whatever you want in any desirable form. That is, if, for instance, your main mail agent is Thunderbird, you may restore your messages to Thunderbird. Or you may save any of the stored messages as a single eml-file. Moreover, I could not find any analogs of MailStore Home. This software is really the best in this category!!

by philip on 9. February 2011 - 13:33  (66087)

Thanks for the validation of MailStore TallMuch. It's always come through for me too when I've needed an email that I can no longer find in my account.

by rKAnjEL on 29. July 2010 - 18:22  (55145)

I suggest you try Comodo Backup, it's free and it seems to get the job done (it can backup much more than emails).

by philip on 3. August 2010 - 16:13  (55399)

Comodo Backup supports Thunderbird, Eudora, Microsoft Outlook 2003, Microsoft Outlook 2007, Windows Live Mail and Outlook Express. You can back up settings as well as messages. Don't know about contacts.

by philip on 11. June 2010 - 21:24  (51929)

MailStore Home is derived from an enterprise caliber program. You can export the Mailstore backup to a number of email clients and accounts -- Microsoft Outlook, Exchange Mailbox, Mozilla Thunderbird, Mozilla SeaMonkey, Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail.

You can also restore your email to an IMAP mailbox, or any generic email address via SMTP.

MailStore makes easy it search your backup to find and read individual messages (quicker and easier than many email clients). You can also open any archived email message directly in Windows Live Mail, Thunderbird or your default email client, and reply to it or forward it.

Maybe not perfect, but I'm sure most users would be grateful to have a MailStore backup if they lost a key message, their email account or their local files. I know I have been.

by ergertgerg (not verified) on 1. August 2010 - 17:50  (55312)

I disagree. I don't care what is "derived" from.

An email backup utility MUST be able to take reliable backups and make successful restores when required, if it can't achieve those 2 basic/simple functions then it fails its purpose.

by rik on 11. June 2010 - 18:27  (51917)

This article is taking shape, hopefully a more polished version will appear shortly. Until such time as industrial strength backup and restore solutions reach us, you stick with yours and I'll stick with mine.

Rik - Category Editor, Best Free Windows 7 / Vista 64 bit Software
Site Technical Support Manager

by Anupam on 11. June 2010 - 13:56  (51903)

This is a community site, where editors volunteer to write reviews. They give their time and energy, asking nothing in return. So, please appreciate the efforts in writing the article. Calling it as the worst software category... is not a good remark to make. Don't blame us if we delete such comments in the future. If you have a complaint to make, or a request, please do in a respectful manner.

by Sarfraz on 2. June 2010 - 12:38  (50878)

dear sir now iam ready to learn more about this site and work
in this site possitive
so plz help me and tell me now what can i do and how will i work in this site what work i will do for ur this site eadting

thanx regards from sarfraz

by MidnightCowboy on 2. June 2010 - 13:03  (50884)

Please use the form linked from this page if you would like to apply to become an editor.

http://www.techsupportalert.com/become-a-reviewer.htm

by Anonymous on 9. December 2009 - 14:36  (38139)

Alternative to KLS Mail Backup

http://alancla.110mb.com/mailbrowserbackup/

by Jim Peak (not verified) on 7. August 2012 - 18:45  (97355)

### NOTE ###
The link above (...alancla.110mb.co...mailbrowserbackup/) seems to be a dead-end, as of today (7-August-2012).

There is a page with some old posts from what appears to be the author of MailBrowserBackup, but no downloads.

Just posting this to save others the time that *I* lost in finding out this info.

by Anonymous on 7. October 2009 - 21:12  (34114)

There is a regular backup program I have seen but not used yet called Backup To Email. It doesn't backup up your e-mail but rather let's you use the space in your email account to backup whatever you want from your PC. Might be worth taking a look at.

TestForEcho78

by MidnightCowboy on 7. October 2009 - 22:49  (34120)

I too know nothing about this software. What I do know is that they operate a support forum via Google Groups but it only lists 8 members and 3 posts, two dating back to April.
I would need to see some real user experience accounts and much more information before making this a consideration.

by Anonymous on 28. August 2009 - 9:04  (31717)

For mozilla applications ,not outlook ,Mozback-up is an alternative.It back ups browser setings also.
Reliability is the most important in an program like this,and personally i only restored once and it worked.Anyone who is dispossed to give the program a few tests would be great
http://mozbackup.jasnapaka.com/

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