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As a person with multiple GMAIL accounts, or a Google Apps Admin needing to merge the email of a departed person into another account, you have many options and products (here are a few):
Gmail Backup (www.gmail-backup.com)
Backupify (www.backupify.com)
ShuttleCloud (www.shuttlecloud.com)
Got Your Back Gmail Backup / GYB (code.google.com/p/got-your-back/)

I am going to focus on GYB, as it is a nice FREE option, and share some usage tips I’ve learned.

“Got Your Back – Gmail Backup”
http://code.google.com/p/got-your-back/wiki/GettingStarted
(read it through, as there are some note for Google Apps users at the very bottom of file)

Notes:
If you are using 2-factor or SSO, your sign-in may not work or require an application specific password.
As an individual wishing to use this, you will need the email address and password of each account.
As a Google Apps Admin you can use your domain OAuth Consumer Key and OAuth consumer secret and not need your users passwords.

=======================================================
Usage for Google Apps Admin:
1) An admin PC with sufficient freespace for at least 1x the size of the Gmail mailbox you wish to extract
2) Download Got You Back from the link at the top of the page here:

http://code.google.com/p/got-your-back/wiki/GettingStarted

3) Extract the file to C:\GYB (location is your choice)
4) Commands: to backup mailbox source_user@mydomain.com (per the Getting Started Doc)
C:\gyb>gyb –email source_user@mydomain.com –two-legged two-legged-key.txt

NOTE: The first time run on this PC, you will be prompted to enter the OAuth Consumer Key and OAuth Consumer Secret. They can be found in the CPANEL, under Advanced Tools–Manage OAuth Key and Secret for this domain
DO NOT SHARE those keys as they are GOD keys for the Google Domain

5) When restoring emails, use the “–resume” option, and be aware that the restored email will go back to their original locations and labels (unless you specify an additional label for all restored emails)
Commands to restore the account from source_user@mydomain.com to viewing_gmail_account@mydomain.com (ie restore the backup to a different mailbox):
C:\gyb>gyb –email viewing_gmail_account@mydomain.com –restore –folder “c:\gyb\GYB-GMail-Backup-source_user@mydomain.com” –two-legged two-legged-key.txt –resume

or to put an additional label on all restored email:

C:\gyb>gyb –email viewing_gmail_account@mydomain.com –restore –folder “c:\gyb\GYB-GMail-Backup-source_user@mydomain.com” –two-legged two-legged-key.txt –resume –label-restored “RESTORED-ACCOUNT”

Note: If the restore does not complete all emails, re-run it…that is why we use the “resume” option!
=======================================================
Usage for Gmail Users:
1) A PC with sufficient freespace for at least 1x the size of the Gmail mailbox you wish to extract
2) Download Got You Back from the link at the top of the page here:

http://code.google.com/p/got-your-back/wiki/GettingStarted

3) Extract the file to C:\GYB (location is your choice)
4) Commands: to backup mailbox source_user@gmail.com (per the Getting Started Doc)
C:\gyb>gyb –email source_user@gmail.com

5) When restoring emails, use the “–resume” option, and be aware that restored email will go back to their original locations and labels (unless you specify an additional label for all restored emails)
Commands to restore the account from source_user@gmail.com to viewing_gmail_account@gmail.com (ie restore the backup to a different mailbox):
C:\gyb>gyb –email viewing_gmail_account@gmail.com –restore –folder “c:\gyb\GYB-GMail-Backup-source_user@gmail.com” –resume

or to put an additional label on all restored email:

C:\gyb>gyb –email viewing_gmail_account@gmail.com –restore –folder “c:\gyb\GYB-GMail-Backup-source_user@gmail.com” –resume –label-restored “RESTORED-ACCOUNT”

Note: If the restore does not complete all emails, re-run it…that is why we use the “resume” option!
======================================================
You should now have successfully restored your email…

6) Log into mailbox viewing_gmail_account and view/search the email
(DO NOT DELETE the admin directory off your PC until you are ready, that is a copy of the mailbox sans calendar)

Good Luck!

6 Responses to Tech Tip: Got Your Back (GYB) Gmail Backup – restoring gmail to another account

  1. Good to know this..
    Here I would like to share another simple tool called Beyond Inbox to Backup, Archive, Organize, Transfer and Restore your Emails.
    It runs on all the OS including Windows, Linux and Mac.

    Reply
  2. Andrea Bridges-Smith says:

    Spanning Backup is another option – you can restore email to another account in your domain, and you can either restore one email, an entire folder or the whole account.

    Reply
    • Good point Andrea, there are other companies out there with Gmail backup products…I have only heard good things about Spanning (though I have not used all their products to write about yet.)

      Reply
  3. Do you have an updated command that works for “restore the backup to a different mailbox” once the initial backup is done?

    Reply
  4. Hi there,
    Have you performed a restore to group? If yes, could you please share the steps, as i am getting authentication errors.
    Best regards,
    Greg

    Reply
    • Justin Gale says:

      Greg,

      I’ve never done a restore to a group, if it is possible, did you get all the new authorizations done correctly?

      -Justin

      Reply

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