Email backup


As part of my plan to move away from Gmail (Google Takeout seems to work okay), I also need to download an IMAP email account from another provider.

Can anyone recommend a software or service that backs up an entire email account to an archive file? Preferably in a format like MBOX?

I was hoping for a simple Linux command line utility that could take care of this matter.
I found an open source Linux program called archivemail. However, it has not been updated in many years and could not connect when there’s an “@“ in the username — i.e. the username is your email address. This could have been such a good solution.

When searching for solutions, it appears like almost everyone is using either Gmail or Outlook today. Most of the posts relating to Linux are old and mostly outdated.


I don’t use Linux so I don’t have any first hand experience with this, but according to this article there’s a tool called ImportExportTools for Thunderbird with which you can export all folders in one step and save everything in the mbox format


@julian Thanks, I will look into this. What stopped me so far from using a desktop email client is the large size of the mailbox. It can be a problem with desktop clients.

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Fastmail has a service for this. Worked well for me when I dumped Gmail, and it doesn’t involve a desktop transfer. Their webmail client is excellent, in my opinion: I don’t use a desktop client any more, privately or professionally. Protonmail offers (even) better security but their webmail is a bit primitive and there’s no calendar.


Didn’t know about this, thanks for sharing.


You can migrate from Gmail to Runbox directly.