Time to take your email archive offline?


Valued Member
I'm just curious: Does anyone download their email to their own computer and delete it from the server anymore?

I do it for privacy reasons. I don't want my entire email archive available to anyone with Internet access who may be able to crack my password), and I don't need access to any email older than a month or so from every device I own.

Having the bulk of my email offline also means I can switch email providers quickly, because I don't have thousands of messages to migrate.

Backup is as a simple as zipping the Thunderbird folder in %APPDATA% and copy the zip file to two external hard drives, one of which I always carry around with me, and one I keep at home.

Am I the freak here? :)



Valued Member
Hi, Peviha

Not a freak. But perhaps more tech-savvy than the average user and more aware of privacy issues, etc..

In my case, I only have a desktop computer and I'm not interested in spending money on additional hard drives (or flash drives or whatever) to back up email or documents, etc. But I certainly do understand why others would want to do so.

In the particular case of email, I do have some emails that are very important to me (like irreplaceable ones from a friend who suddenly passed away last year), so I simply save them at several good, reputable email providers (Runbox, EuMX, FastMail) as well as on my computer (in Outlook 2007).

I am not overly concerned about removing emails from servers to keep the gov't from seeing them. I figure, with gov't snooping being what it apparently is these days, there is as much a chance that they can (or will soon be able to) intercept the emails in transit at least as easily as trying to get them -- legally or otherwise -- while resting on a provider's servers.

But if I were concerned enough to maintain strict privacy as much as I could, I would undoubtedly go your route: download them locally to an email client, remove them from the servers, and make multiple back ups on external media (and keep those multiple copies in different locations). :)


EQ Forum Admin
Staff member
The trash button is my most clicked feature :)

I read and delete and rarely save any emails.

I'm just one of those types that likes to keep my inbox tidy.

I do not archive my personal email to my computer.

I do save much more of my work email.

That's mostly for maintaining information and knowledge to pass along as needed.