A few times per year, I backup all my Gmail data with https://takeout.google.com:

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It creates one big file named "All mail Including Spam and Trash.mbox".

It does contain all emails I have, even those which are "Archived", or those which have been moved to labels.

But does it contain the labels information?

I have spent a lot of time organizing/sorting my emails and labelling them.

Question: Are we sure the labelling applied to each email is kept in this backup archive "All mail Including Spam and Trash.mbox"?

I've opened this file with mboxview.exe freeware and it seems that the answer is No!

How to backup the labelling too?

PS: There's the option to backup specific labels too in https://takeout.google.com:

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But if we check the checkboxes for labels too, won't the email data be save twice? i.e. once in the label backup, and once in the Include all messages in Mail?

1 Answer 1


While reading the .mbox with a text editor (supporting multiple GB files!), it seems that there are lines like this:

X-Gmail-Labels: Sent,Opened,todo
X-Gmail-Labels: Sent,Opened,done
X-Gmail-Labels: Sent,Opened,mylabel726

I still wonder if it's easily possible to reimport these emails and keep these labels in another Gmail account (in the case there would be a problem with my main Gmail account), or in another IMAP mail system (in the case I would migrate to another provider than Gmail one day).
Comments about this are welcome!

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