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A friend uses Gmail with her own domain. All her emails are stored with Gmail.

However, she's not too satisfied with Gmail. Should we decide to let her to move back to a dedicated client or another webmail app hosted on her domain, is there a way to move the actual email data (contacts, folders, emails, etc. etc.) out from Gmail and into the new system?

I am a developer, so I am not afraid to have to code something ad-hoc for the transfer.

My question is twofold:

  • Is there a way to export all the raw data held by Gmail?
  • Is it easy to do or do tools already exist to move away from Gmail, or I'll have to code things for myself?
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'not too satisfied with gmail' - WHAT??? – Danny Nimmo Aug 28 '10 at 7:48
+1 for "They are getting so numerous that sometimes it's getting difficult to know where to post each question" – thunderror Aug 28 '10 at 13:46
up vote 6 down vote accepted

The Data Liberation Front is a quasi-independent effort at Google to help you free your data if you desire.

It's easy to use a different email reading program with Gmail using either IMAP or POP, or to get all your mail out to take to a different provider. Go to the Settings page (link at top right of Gmail page), Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.

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You can use an email client (e.g. Thunderbird) to download all your messages via POP - this will leave them online, but you will also have a local copy. This local copy can be backed up, which I do, or can be uploaded to another account. At least this worked for moving TO gmail, not sure if it will work for using a different provider.

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