A couple of discussions  recently about Gmail prompted me to write and share this with you today.

First of all, let’s talk about how Gmail works. This also applies to Yahoo mail and the multiple Microsoft based versions of hotmail they keep coming out with.

All of these emails are cloud based services, before they were called cloud computing.  The email is not stored on your computer, it is stored on servers that are owned or leased by your email provider.

Every once in awhile we hear about someone losing emails.  They are just missing from their Gmail account.  My friend Kevin Mullett was talking about this on Facebook the other day and reminded us to back up our Gmail.  Since it had been awhile and several computers ago since I had done that, I thought it would be a good time to do it again.

You can save your Gmail, and any cloud based email on your computer with a free program like Thunderbird.  Install Thunderbird on your computer and then follow these instructions. I had 15,000 emails going back about 5 years.  Thunderbird would import them at the rate of 300 to 500 at a time.  Now I update once a week.

Then last week I was reading about how Google is combining the storage limits of some of their various services and a few tips on how to manage those limits.

One more tip, Back up your stuff to an external hard drive.  I bought one about 5 years ago for around 100 bucks that has enough storage to last me 10 to 20 years.  Prices stay steady while the capacity increases.  Get one for around 100 or less and back up your computers regularly.