I’ve been using Gmail from the day it appeared. Naturally, over the years, some of my work email related to several projects wound up on my private email, which I’m referring to here.

I’ve tagged all emails relating to specific projects with a project nametag, for 40 or so projects.

I would like to download those emails offline using Outlook, Outlook Express or Thunderbird, but in such a way that they retain some relationship to the nametag. Perhaps I could download all emails under a certain nametag in one folder, then another nametag in another folder, and so on. The important thing to me is that they don’t get all mixed up, but that I can separate them according to project.

There are about 50-100 mails per project with various attachments, which I would like to keep with the emails.

Could anyone advise me what would be a good way to go about this, and maybe offer their experiences if they were in a similar situation? I imagine it is not an unusual situation, and so am hoping somebody must’ve had a similar problem before.


When you tag something in gmail, it creates an imap folder. create a personal folder for the emails to be archived then drag and drop the tagged folder using the right mouse button into a subfolder within the personal folder. Create a folder first as for some reason you cannot drag/drop into the root folder structure. Make sure that when you use the right mouse button to drag and drop, you select copy when you let go of the mouse button on the extra menu that appears under the mouse. Be patient with tagged folders over 500 as these will take a while, and outlook will appear to hang. Eventually you will get a progress meter.

The key thing to remember is by default outlook moves when you drag and drop, and if anything goes wrong during this you can lose emails. If you copy, this won't happen.

  • You also need to remember the archive function of outlook. It usually moves the mails from a folder to a special archive folder. This would remove the mails from the server. – masgo Apr 22 '14 at 9:41

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