Emergency email transfer?
April 14, 2014 1:57 PM   Subscribe

I'm in an emergency email situation. I need to transfer all of my gmail (but company based) emails (100,000 maybe?) to somewhere separate and secure. Quickly, and cost doesn't matter.

I will soon be shut out of my company email, which is company name.com but on gmail. I need these elsewhere to access. How do I do this? Cost doesn't matter. Huge, huge thanks.
posted by meerkatty to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Turn on POP, set up a computer that can grab POP (or use an email service that will grab POP from an external account), and transfer them using POP.
posted by straw at 2:03 PM on April 14, 2014

followup on straw's response, here's some tips: https://support.google.com/mail/troubleshooter/1668960?hl=en
posted by jangie at 2:03 PM on April 14, 2014

Best answer: Enable POP on your email. Install a regular mail client like Mozilla Thunderbird at home. Sync all your mail via POP.

NOTE: Don't set POP to delete email that's been downloaded. Just have it copy over.

IMAP is better to use in general but POP will force all the message bodies to download.

Alternatively, if you know how to configure Thunderbird to force-download message bodies immediately over IMAP you could use that too.
posted by GuyZero at 2:04 PM on April 14, 2014

Would it work to just download it? While logged into Gmail, click on the little circle in the upper right hand corner to get into your account.
posted by teremala at 2:04 PM on April 14, 2014

You can download it all with Google Takeout, and then there are a few options for opening it again somewhere else:


I believe it's possible that your administrators could have turned off access to this service, but you can try.
posted by brainmouse at 2:04 PM on April 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

FYI, this is usually against corporate policy and could be illegal. Think long and hard about the implications of what you're doing and what happens if/when you're discovered.

(something where you use used company email for personal stuff and you're just transferring personal emails probably is less bad than if you're exporting actual business emails)
posted by jpeacock at 2:26 PM on April 14, 2014 [15 favorites]

When I transferred my gmail messages to a new gmail account via POP it took an extraordinarily long time (several days for half as many messages.) If it's equally slow to download with takeout or a third-party email client it might be worth specifically forwarding to another account the most important of your emails if that's feasible. (Do this after starting your bulk download.)
posted by sevenless at 2:29 PM on April 14, 2014

Other selections are correct, except POP is good, but IMAP is better (you can stop and resume connections, it maintains a constant connection across messages and the protocol is better). I did this a while back, using thunderbird (mozilla's mail app).
posted by bensherman at 3:43 PM on April 14, 2014

It is possible your company has disabled POP and IMAP, however. This is a Google Apps setting (one of the ways a company/org email account is different from a gmail.com account, where you are always allowed POP/IMAP/Takeout).

In that case I don't know of a solution offhand, you would need something that pretended to be a web client or something.
posted by wildcrdj at 4:45 PM on April 14, 2014

You can also use GMvault
posted by youknowwhatpart at 5:56 PM on April 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

After your account is shut out, it will be very obvious to the administrator of the company account that you did this, btw. They can log in to your old email account and access your files and see what you've deleted and so on. You may be better off copying your contact file and forwarding what you really need, and then trying to burn with fire but Google keeps backups for 30-60 days. A pissed off corporate admin could request them. I routinely do this with employees who have left, going through their mailboxes to clear them out before a new staff member takes that mailbox (we have job-definition email accounts) and it's pretty obvious who's been forwarding, downloading and deleting etc.
posted by viggorlijah at 6:17 PM on April 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

Yup, Gmvault is what you want. It's very fast, efficient, and simple to use.
posted by waldo at 6:51 PM on April 14, 2014

You can also sign up for another gmail account, then set up a filter that matches all email (or email from whomever), and have it forward all email matching that criteria to the new email address. This will continue to work indefinitely even if they change your password, until they remove the forward or disable the account.

I had to do this with a critically bad boss once too, for my own protection. There were lots of promises and inappropriate comments in those emails, and I needed them.
posted by TomMelee at 8:40 AM on April 15, 2014

If the gmail account is being shut down by company and migrated over to different account? If thats the case, admin keep a backup which you can access.

However, if you are planning to leave the company or being terminated, huge bandwidth on one gmail account if very obvious and will raise lots of questions.
posted by radsqd at 8:42 AM on April 15, 2014

You should consult competent legal counsel before doing this. You could get screwed.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:22 PM on April 16, 2014

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