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I've always used gMail the usual way, through their web interface, and used Outlook for my other account. Lately I find myself often working offline (I moved, and haven't gotten my ADSL line yet, and it will be some time before it comes), so I'd like to have an offline copy of my gMail account. In Outlook.

I've looked, and for that there are two options, through POP and IMAP. If I figured correctly, I need to use IMAP settings in Outlook, along with SMTP, and it will download all my mail in Outlook, and later if I delete one in gMail, or one in Outlook it will reflect on the other. Am I right ?

What else do I need to be careful of, if I wish to have an offline copy in Outlook (same directories: Inbox, Send, Drafts, Archive ... and labels <-- can they also be transferred ?) so to have it syncronized between gMail and Outlook ? Change in one reflects in the other.

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Using IMAP to synchronise the server and your local email client is not suitable as a backup, unless you actually make a backup of those local copies. So, though the title of the question probably does not mean you mainly want to use Outlook as a backup: see How to back up Gmail to my computer? if applicable.

When using IMAP otherwise, be very sure to understand how the Gmail Trash works, and how to use its SMTP server. When in doubt, see for example some more details at the almost duplicate How should I configure Mail.App and Google Mail? (Only a few details in that question are specific to the Mac.)

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Yes, of course. The title should have read something like "how to keep a local copy of gmail" or something like that. The "backup" being the wrong word. – Thomas Geritzma Sep 13 '09 at 22:25
Well, the title can be changed...! – Arjan Sep 16 '09 at 11:28

IMAP is a permament connection to the server, and only stores the headers of your e-mail for local reading by default. Although you can choose to download all. It will however by default try and keep both in sync at all times.

POP3 allows you to download a complete copy locally, and as long as you disabled the setting to delete e-mail from the server once downloaded, you will have a copy on both.

However when using G-Mail it normally keeps a copy in your account either way.

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IMAP works well offline in most clients as well. POP does not support folders, and it does not sync your actions with the server. It also does not save Sent Items on the server. When one wants to use both the Gmail web site and some email client, then one should use IMAP, not POP. – Arjan Sep 13 '09 at 19:25

Read everything Google has on GMail IMAP protocols. I believe Outlook 2007 has the option to download all mails as well as just headers, like it does for Exchange, but I don't have it in front of me right now. This lets you read everything offline.

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