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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Should I back up PST files linked to Gmail?

    On my principal PC, I use Outlook 2010 to manage emails linked to four distinct Gmail accounts.

    But, since Gmail is an IMAP service, I have specifically excluded the four PST files from my regular backup schedule - on the basis that these PST files are very large and will significantly increase backup time. A further assumption being that, if I did ever have to rebuild my environment, then once I had recreated the Gmail accounts, the content would be downloaded from Google's servers.

    Can someone confirm that my assumptions are correct?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Yes, the contents of your Google Gmail account will remain on the server.

    It might be just me, but I'd ALSO like to have a backup copy of the contents of those accounts regardless of what is stored on Google's servers,
    especially if you are dealing with a significant amount of emails that are important to you.
    The server is a good backup in itself, but it is not impeccable.

    You decide in the end.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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  4. #3
    WS Lounge VIP
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    Yes, IMAP effectively duplicates the content on your PC so not backing up those PST files may not be necessary. I would want to test to be sure.
    My backup is done in the background so I don't consider time to be an issue.

    cheers, Paul

  5. #4
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    In addition to your Gmail data, your PST files contains emails you may have installed in your Personal Folders as well as your Contacts, Calendars, and Tasks folders. These are separate and not kept on the Google servers. If you have anything in these folders, you need to back up your PST file.

    Jerry

  6. #5
    New Lounger
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    Thanks to all for replying.

    My summary would be:
    * For the four Gmail accounts, it all depends on whether I want a local backup of the files on Google's servers.
    * I should backup ~\Documents\Outlook Files\ to ensure that my contacts are backed up.

    Dave

  7. #6
    5 Star Lounger Lugh's Avatar
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    dc69, in my Outlook 2010 days, I used to have about half a dozen Gmail accounts [plus a couple of other non-Gmail accounts] coming into the one Outlook inbox. I had it setup for all Gmail email to be left on the Gmail server, and I used my Outlook as the main control center--eg various rules to direct incoming mail to different folders, delete Inbox stuff I didn't want, move Inbox stuff I wanted into a Keep folder, maintain Contacts, etc.

    This meant my Gmail accounts were mostly useless for anything beyond a very handy automatic emergency backup in case I deleted the wrong folder, or something equally dumb. The only backup worth anything useful was that of my local PST, which had all the valuable stuff managed and sorted.

    I used to keep an ongoing backup of my PST, and then annually archive various topic-specific PSTs [eg Work, Home]. My backup PSTs are mostly 300-500MB, largest 1GB, so not a storage problem.

    If you work differently, this probably won't help. But I've always found it the most efficient way to operate email, so hopefully it'll be useful for some people.

  8. #7
    New Lounger Niamh's Avatar
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    To answer your question, yes, your emails will be downloaded again if you set it up on another PC with MS Outlook. However, Gmail is NOT an IMAP service only. You can use POP3 as well. The difference is that with IMAP, each action you do in MS Outlook like for example if you delete an email, it will automatically be deleted in your Gmail as well. So in case if you want to rebuild your PC environment again, do not ever delete your emails in your Outlook!

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