In addition to the gmail.com website, there are also Gmail client applications for various platforms (iOS, Android) that connect to the Gmail service.
If you have experience backing up gmail accounts, please help expand this section!
- http://gmvault.org/ - open source, cross-platform
- https://www.goldenhillsoftware.com/cloudpull/ - Mac only
- Gmvault seems to be very simple and straight forward. It's on the command line, so it's scary for some users, but it does a good job of describing what it does. I ( Sebastiaan Andeweg at 2017-01-31) did the following on my Mac, and since I can't remember installing
pip, I think this works out of the box:
sudo pip install --upgrade pip
sudo pip install gmvault
gmvault sync firstname.lastname@example.org
- Gmvault prompts for OAuth, with a description. Press enter to open the browser, and you have to make sure you are logged in at that browser to the Gmail account.
- Do the OAuth in de browser and copy the key. Paste it in the Terminal
- Gmvault does things! I got 6351 mails out of an old account in 16m 14s. It creates a folder called 'gmvault-db' in your home folder, with (in /db/) folders for every month. In those folders are, per e-mail, an '[id].meta' and an '[id].eml.gz'. The .meta is a JSON with info from Gmail (labels/tags, subject) and the .eml.gz is a gzipped .eml, which is just the plain-text e-mail with all the headers.
Gmail is down occasionally, usually only briefly.
If you get a 500 error like this, try again in a few minutes:
Gmail seems to abandon browsers for no particularly good reason, given that email UIs have very simple layout / interaction needs.
- Note: This is Google's general browser support policy: support the current and previous major releases of the browser. 
- 2016-03-31 screenshot of Safari 6.1.6 (7537.78.2) with Gmail showing a warning:
This version of Safari is no longer supported. Please upgrade to a supported browser. Dismiss
Vague and generic updates explanations
Gmail's iOS app update release notes are often vague and generic.
Bug fixes and performance improvements.is neither informative, nor a very convincing reason to update.
Outside app developers can read email
Users can approve third-party apps that request access to your inbox. Reportedly, employees at those companies have read emails from hundreds of Gmail users.
Originally reported in the Wall Street Journal article: (paywall)
- 2018-07-02 : Tech’s ‘Dirty Secret’: The App Developers Sifting Through Your Gmail
- 2018-07-02 : Google reportedly allows outside app developers to read people's Gmails (archived)
"Mikael Berner, the CEO of Edison Software, a Gmail developer that offers a mobile app for organizing email, told The Journal that its employees had read emails from hundreds of Gmail users as part of an effort to build a new feature. An executive at another company said employees' reading of emails had become 'common practice.' Companies that spoke to The Journal confirmed that the practice was specified in their user agreements and said they had implemented strict rules for employees regarding the handling of email."