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Backup Gmail Account Using Thunderbird Step-Wise Procedure

In today’s modern era, people are using different email applications to manage their email messages and for the exchange information. However, each email clients uses different file formats to store mailbox data. Among all such applications, Gmail is one of the popularly used email applications across the world developed by Google. As Gmail is a web-based email client so, it can access with the help of browser like Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, etc.

When a user extracts Gmail data on the local machine, it stores emails in MBOX format and ICAL format for calendar purpose. Now, to extract or download Gmail data on the local machine, Google provides Google Takeout utility. But what if a user wants to backup Gmail using Thunderbird. In this case, a user can simply configure Gmail id in Thunderbird and access it without any hassle. Now, the question is how to configure Gmail in Mozilla Thunderbird. This blog will let users know the same in a seamless manner.

Why Backup Gmail Using Thunderbird?

Everything has some other reason behind it and same is the case with Gmail data backup. As Gmail is a cloud-based application so, its data is not stored locally on the computer system. Sometimes in outrageous situations or server malfunction, a user is not able to send or receive their message. Therefore, keeping complete mailbox data on Google can be risky also. On the other hand, it can also be possible that a user has accidentally deleted some his or her important data at that time also backup will be helpful.

Apart from all this, to access the professional Thunderbird account and personal Gmail account at the same time to save time, a user needs to configure Gmail in Mozilla Thunderbird. Thus, to overcome all above scenarios it is important for a user to backup Gmail using Thunderbird and minimizes the risk of data loss. One can also try the quick solution to backup Gmail account locally in PST/MBOX/EML/EMLX/MSG file formats.

Manual Steps to Configure Gmail in Thunderbird

In order to set up Gmail account in Mozilla Thunderbird application, a user is advised to follow the stepwise procedure discussed below:

Step 1: Turn On POP in Gmail Settings

  1. To do so, sign in to your Gmail account by entering valid credentials
  2. After that, click on the Settings (Gear Icon) from the top-right corner
  3. Then, go to Forwarding and POP/ IMAP tab directly in the Settings
  4. Now, choose the Enable POP for all mail option in the POP Download option. Click on Save changes

Step 2: Download and Install Mozilla Thunderbird (Optional)

After that, if Thunderbird application is not installed on the local machine, download and install it first from the official website of Mozilla.

Step 3: Configure Thunderbird

When a user opens newly installed Mozilla Thunderbird application, a window will be prompted asking to enter a name, email address, and password. Enter all the required details and click on the Continue button.

After that, click on the Manual Configuration button and follow the steps below:

1. Enter the following Incoming details:

  • In the Incoming field, choose POP3 option
  • In the Incoming server hostname field, enter
  • In the Incoming port filed, enter 995

2. Enter the following Outgoing details:

  • In the Outgoing field, choose SMTP option
  • In the Outgoing server hostname, enter
  • In the Outgoing port filed, enter 465

3. Now, in the Username field, enter your Gmail address ([email protected])

4. Then, simply click on the Re-test button. When all information is confirmed, the Advanced Config button becomes enabled for use. After that, click on the Advanced Config button

5. Now, in the Server Settings, you need to uncheck the For at most __ days and Until I delete them boxes. But ensure that Leave messages on Server box must be checked. This option will make sure that emails are not deleted from the server if you delete emails from the backup

If Thunderbird is already installed, follow the steps below:

  1. Directly, open Mozilla Thunderbird email client on the local machine
  2. After that, go to Account Settings and click on View Settings for this account option
  3. Then, from bottom-left corner, click on the Account Actions option
  4. Now, choose Add Mail Account option from the drop-down list
  5. After that, follow the step mentioned in steps 3 for Manual Config above.

After following all above steps carefully, a user can easily open Thunderbird application anytime on the local machine and download Gmail email as a backup.


As data stored in the cloud is not always safe and secure different type of cybercrimes attack so, backing up data on the local machine is always beneficial. Therefore, how to backup Gmail using Thunderbird has become the most common search nowadays on the internet. Keeping such queries of users in mind, we have covered a complete stepwise procedure to backup Gmail emails to Thunderbird.

Written By

I am an independent blogger on cloud-related technologies. I am quite passionate about the great use of Office 365 to unlock business value. My main area of interest is Exchange Server, Azure, Office 365 & SharePoint.rn

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. rubina

    January 13, 2020 at 5:00 am

    Apart from all this, to access the professional Thunderbird account and personal Gmail account at the same time to save time, a user needs to configure Gmail in Mozilla Thunderbird.

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