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2,862 Tutorials

How to back up your webmail account

Avert disaster when bugs make your web-based email unavailable

It's hard enough to remember to back up your PC, your laptop, your smartphone, and your tablet, let alone your cloud-based email account, too. However, after a recent Gmail glitch left thousands of users unable to access their inboxes, anyone who relies too heavily on the cloud, would do well to back up their web-based email.


Unfortunately, no 'Hotmail Backup' exists for non-Gmail users. However, you can use a free application that's pretty easy to set up: MailStore Home. A Windows-only backup utility, MailStore Home lets you back up and restore both Web-based and desktop-based e-mail.

1. Download and install MailStore Home. Open MailStore Home and click Archive email.

2. Choose POP3 Mailbox, and enter your email address, the 'Host' (pop3.live.com), and your password. Set the 'Access via' drop-down menu to POP 3-SSL, and click Next.

3. On the next screen, you can choose how to archive - namely, whether to delete your messages from the host server once the program has downloaded them. The default setting is that messages are never deleted, and you should leave it that way (after all, you're backing up your mail, not moving it). You don't need to change anything here, so click through and start backing your mailbox up.

Sure, MailStore Home requires a little more setup than Gmail Backup's 'enter your password and go' approach (you have to set up a POP3 account), but it's a smooth and easy tool to use. Not only can you see your messages in the MailStore Home desktop client, but you can also back up your files to a CD, DVD, or USB drive.

MailStore Home keeps your folders and labels intact, and can also run in increments (it skips over messages that it has already archived).

Also, although I admittedly have fewer email messages on my Hotmail account than I do on my Gmail account, MailStore Home seems to be quicker than Gmail Backup (and, yes, you can use MailStore Home to back up Gmail as well).


  1. Access message even when webmail is unavailable
  2. Hotmail
  3. Yahoo

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