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I've backup from my Gmail account at Outlook 2010 beta. I see a pst file which is equal file size with my Gmail used storage. I want to zip it and burn it for a yearly backup.

Is this file enough to protect my mails or do I need additional files or whatever? I'm not a regular outlook user. I've read this but I don't think I'm using "Signatures, Templates, Stationery etc."...

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I guess the answer also depends on whether you're storing that PST file by itself, or are keeping Outlook synchronised with Gmail. In the latter case: it matters if you're using POP or IMAP. So: what is your set up? – Arjan Apr 22 '10 at 15:19
(And hence I feel you accepted an answer far too soon...) – Arjan Apr 22 '10 at 15:26
@Arjan: I'm using IMAP to sync my mails and I just wanted to backup my Gmail. Not planning to use Outlook... – Hasan Gürsoy Apr 22 '10 at 15:26
And what do you do with that PST file? – Arjan Apr 22 '10 at 15:28
@Arjan: Just zip it and burn it for a yearly backup. – Hasan Gürsoy Apr 22 '10 at 17:06
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Short answer: it should be.

Long answer: Outlook isn't exactly the best backing storage. It works, but unfortunately, it tends to keep running in the background, which locks some of the files so they can't be backed up easily.

If you're just looking for a way to back up GMail, ie. if you aren't using Outlook for other purposes, the best solution I've found is to use a standard POP3 mailer. Thunderbird is the obvious choice, though others work, as well. There are a few good free backup utilities for Thunderbird to automate that, too.

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Using POP for backup gives you all messages, which will sit there in one big inbox even if you delete them, or label them, in Gmail. That's fine to restore a few messages, but will be an administrative nightmare if you need to restore your full account. – Arjan Apr 22 '10 at 15:27

I don't like the idea of using pst for backup, they sometimes get corrupt with use

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Any suggestions for backup my Gmail? – Hasan Gürsoy Apr 22 '10 at 15:16
@Hasan, that's a totally different question, and a duplicate of for example How to back up gmail to my computer? and Backing up Gmail. In your (this) question, let's stick to the Outlook option only. – Arjan Apr 22 '10 at 15:23 which the mention that they might get corrupted with use isn't an answer. – DevSolar Apr 23 '10 at 8:18

A .pst file holds mails, only. For the mails it holds, you don't need any additional files.

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When using IMAP and only keeping a yearly copy, then you're not covering the risk that somehow all your mail is lost from either Gmail or Outlook, and then after the first IMAP synchronisation (thus: as soon as you start Outlook) will be forever lost in both places.

(Hence: no, it's not sufficient to keep only a yearly backup.)

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You're right but I'm doing this in case my account is hacked or gmail goes down or someday I decide not to use gmail anymore or just to clean up my mail :). And I'm going to use my backup offline if needed... It is only a backup – Hasan Gürsoy Apr 22 '10 at 17:49
@Hasan, but you're only saving the backup outside of Outlook once a year, while running Outlook like, for example, daily? My point about synchronisation: if your account is hacked, then ensure you shut down your internet connection before starting Outlook, for otherwise that local copy (in Outlook) is synchronised before you can actually restore any messages... Or: let's hope you actually know Gmail has a problem before you start Outlook... – Arjan Apr 24 '10 at 20:05

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