How to Download Emails from Gmail [2024 Update]

There are many reasons why you might want to download all of your emails from Gmail. Maybe you’re losing a member of your team and need to create an archive of their email history. Or, perhaps you’re switching jobs and need to keep a record of old emails. Whatever the reason, it’s important to know […]

How to Download Emails from Gmail [2024 Update]

There are many reasons why you might want to download all of your emails from Gmail. Maybe you’re losing a member of your team and need to create an archive of their email history. Or, perhaps you’re switching jobs and need to keep a record of old emails.

Whatever the reason, it’s important to know that this is possible with Gmail – it’s very easy to do and doesn’t require much tech knowledge.

If you need to know how to download specific gmail emails in bulk then please go to the end of this article where we show you the 5 step process.

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How to Download your Emails from Gmail [6 Step Process]:

Step 1. Head over to Google Takeout by following this link.

Step 2. Deselect all in the top right-hand corner.

Step 3. Scroll down the page until you see Mail, and then check the box to select.

Step 4. Click on the All Mail Data included option.

Step 5. From there, you can choose whether to include all mail or specific labels.

Step 6. You’re then ready to move onto the delivery method and file type.

Choosing the Delivery Method for your Downloaded Emails

There are many options for the delivery method when downloading emails from Gmail.

  • Send download link via email
  • Add to Google Drive
  • Add to Dropbox
  • Add to Microsoft OneDrive
  • Add to Box

As you can see, all of the most popular methods are there, so you shouldn’t have a problem.

Here is a quick walkthrough for the 3 most popular delivery methods:

1. How to Send a Download Link via Email

Step 1. When you see the Delivery Method option, you need to select Send download link via email.

Step 2. Choose Create Export.

Step 3. You will now receive an email. Select Download archive.

Step 4. Follow the final few instructions, and you will now have your data.

2. Adding to your Google Drive

Step 1. When you see the Delivery Method option, you need to select Add to Drive.

Step 2. Choose Create Export.

Step 3. You should now receive an email. Select View in Drive, and you will now see a folder with all your data organized for you.

Step 4. Select Download to access all your data.

3. Adding to Dropbox

Step 1. When you see the Delivery Method option, you need to select Add to Dropbox.

Step 2. Choose Link accounts and create export.

Step 3. You should now get directed to Dropbox. Once you’re there, sign into your Dropbox account.

Step 4. When prompted, you should see a window for Google Download Your Data to access the apps folder within Dropbox. Choose Allow.

Step 5. You will then receive an email. Choose View in Dropbox. This will direct you to the Dropbox folder that houses your data.

Step 6. Simply follow the instructions there and download your data.

What Export Types Are There for Downloading Emails From Gmail?

One-time Export – this creates a single archive of the data you have selected. Typically, this is best if the account is not going to be used again. An example might be when you have an employee that leaves, or you change your email address.

Scheduled Export – with the scheduled option, you will automatically create an archive of your selected data every 2 months for an entire year. Just don’t forget to set it up again after a year.

What File Types Are There for Downloading Emails From Gmail?

Zip files – the best option as they can be opened on almost any computer.

Tgz files – be wary as you may need additional software to open these files.

And there you go – you have now created an export of your emails from Gmail.

How to Download Specific Gmail Labels In Bulk

Follow the procedure below to download email-specific Gmail labels

Step 1: Open the Google Takeout page for your Gmail account.

Step 2: Scroll down to the Mail section and make sure all Mail is enabled.

Step 3: Click all mail data included which will open the page below.

Step 4: Choose select labels. But before you do that, ensure that the labels you want to download are under the select labels icon.

Step 5: Click OK once done.

The next step is to pick a delivery method. We’ve discussed how to do that in the section above. Follow the steps for the method you’ve chosen.

Download Emails in Gmail FAQ:

How do I save emails from Gmail to my computer?

Downloading Gmail emails to your PC comes in handy when you’ve reached the 15 GB limit. This allows you to store your emails on secondary storage like your computer hard drive.

There are multiple methods on how you can do this. But in this guide, we’ll give you the most popular option.

Unfortunately, this method only allows you to save individual emails. But, it will preserve all your images and formatting as well as the attachments.

Here’s a brief process on how it works:

  1. Log into your email and choose the email you want to save. Click more.
  2. Click the download messageand save it on your computer.

How do I download Gmail emails to an external hard drive?

Downloading Gmail email to an external hard drive doesn’t have a unique process.

Typically, you’ll do that from the Google Takeout page as discussed above. The only difference is that you’re limited to only one delivery method – the “send a download link via email” option.

Once you’ve followed the exact steps we gave above, finish by exporting the data to an external hard drive.

But if you want a simpler option download emails as PDFs and save them on an external hard drive:

This option is more of a “DIY” method since your emails will end up looking like you printed them on a color printer. Also, note that you can only save one email at a time.

Here’s a step-by-step process.

1. First, log in to your Gmail account and select the email you want to save.

2. Inside the email, click on the print all icon at the top right side of the page.

3. The action will open a new tab requesting to print the email. On the destination icon, click the drop-down menu and change it to save as PDF.

4. Next, click Save. Then, navigate to where you want to save your emails. This saves the email with a . PDF extension.

5. Finally, export them into an external hard drive as PDF documents.

How to Download Gmail Emails With Attachments?

Most options for downloading emails don’t allow you to keep attachments. The only option we recommend is using a third-party email service.

Some services even allow you to set up automatic email forwarding, meaning your emails will be backed up on autopilot.

How can I save all my emails from Gmail before deleting them?

To save your conversations before deleting an email, put them into an archive. Follow the same process as discussed earlier since you’ll only be able to access it via a link. This means that you can also choose to save the archive on Dropbox, Google docs, and one drive.

Why is it recommended to download Gmail emails?

You might want to download Gmail emails for a couple of reasons.  For example, you might be changing jobs, stopping to use an email account entirely, or want to protect yourself from piracy issues.

Whatever the case, the process allows you to protect important emails by keeping them in a safe place.

Can I keep my labels or folders after downloading?

Yes, you can. But you have to do it individually. To do this, download the labels’ MBOX files and import them into distinct folders.

The Benefits Of Downloading Emails From Gmail

There are a lot of reasons you might want to download your emails from your Gmail account. Let’s take a look at some of the popular ones.

1. Changing Positions

If you’re moving positions or jobs to another company, then it’s a good idea to download your emails. It never hurts to have backup copies of your communications for legal, professional, and tracking reasons.

2. Cleaning Up Your Inbox

Achieving inbox zero and having a clutter-free Gmail account is highly valuable. You’ll be able to be more productive and get more things done.

Therefore, clearing out your Gmail by downloading your emails first before deleting them is a great habit to get into.

3. Leveraging Cloud Storage

Instead of filling up your Gmail, you can use cloud storage spaces like Drive or Dropbox. If that’s the case, then you should first download your emails so that you have a copy of them.

From here, you can shift them into the cloud. That way, you can continue to receive and send emails without paying for Gmail.

The Cons Of Downloading Your Emails From Gmail

There are a few potential drawbacks when downloading your emails from Gmail:

1. Time Consuming

It can take a long time to filter through the emails that you want to download and create copies of them.

2. Losing Sight Of Your Emails

You don’t want your emails to fall into the wrong hands. This is especially true if it contains any kind of private work information, banking information, or other sensitive data.

If you are going to download your emails, make sure you know exactly where they are and get them into a safe location quickly. You may even consider encrypting your downloaded emails.

3. Communications or Compliance

If you work in the health or financial field, you may not be allowed to store copies of your emails in other locations.

Furthermore, your company may have some sort of NDA or agreement that you’re not allowed to create copies of communications internally.

This could apply to emails as well. Make sure you’re in full compliance with any laws or regulations before you consider downloading your messages.


How To Download Emails From Gmail – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is there a way to download all emails from Gmail?

Yes, you can download your Gmail data in a few simple steps.

Go to to get to your data page, then choose the mail option, then choose the destination, frequency, and file type. After that, click create export and you can review your files.

How do I download all my Gmail’s emails to my hard drive?

Use the steps in the question above or in the article to simply download your data. From there, you can simply set your destination as your hard drive.

If you initially saved it somewhere else, no worries, you can always move them over.

How do I save a Gmail email as PDF?

If you want to save an email as a PDF, it’s not a problem. Follow the same steps as if you were downloading emails in another form. When it goes to the destination window, click save as PDF.

Can you save emails to a flash drive?

Yes. Saving emails to a flash drive works just like saving it to any other place. When it comes to selecting locations, select the third party flash drive instead of the hard drive, desktop, or other folder.

Can I save my emails to my Google Drive?

Yes. If you prefer to keep your emails in the cloud but out of Gmail so you can delete them, then you can take a few simple steps.

Click the ellipsis at the top of the email, then click print. From here, you’ll see a destination. You can select Google Drive as one of your destinations. It’ll store it in the drive account associated with your Gmail.

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David Campbell

David Campbell is the editor of the Right Inbox blog. He is passionate about email productivity and getting more done in less time.


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