A reader asked us the following question: “I have two email accounts, one is Outlook (Microsoft) and the other is Gmail. After archiving my e-mails and deleting unimportant messages, I like to download the rest into annual folders on my laptop or external hard drive. What is the best way to do that? »
Generally, at ZDNet, when we’re asked how to do something, we’re looking for the easiest solution to guide you. But this time, “Please don’t do that. »
Use your email archives
It’s not really necessary to download your emails to create local copies. Instead, we recommend using your email service’s Archives folder, where you can view and search your messages at any time.
If you need to remember a particular archived email, you can always copy, print, reply or forward it as needed.
In fact, you don’t need local copies of these messages stored on your computer.
For those rare, very important messages that deserve their own copy, such as a hotel reservation confirmation or a digital invoice you’ll need in the future, use the “Print” function to save the message as a PDF file.
Free and paid storage
As a reminder, your Outlook.com account is stored for free Mail up to 15 GB. If you have a paid Microsoft 365 business account, it includes 50 GB of storage. Your free Gmail account also comes with 15 GB of storage. Note that this allowance includes everything you have stored on Google Photos and Google Drive, except for your emails.
If your archives look great, the costs of increasing your mailbox storage capacity will be relatively low and well worth it.
Of course, you can always sync your copy of the archive folder with the local store in an application like Outlook. If you are concerned about Microsoft or Google not being accessible when you need an old email message, you can use this option. So, you can do whatever you want without accumulating local archives of messages.
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