from quite some time I am using Apple Mail signed in with my Gmail Account. I have almost 20K emails and I need to clean up my Gmail account, make separate folders and categorize them. But before that, I want to backup all the email database that I have in my Apple Mail. I am using the export function but it's taking too long and I am not a big fan of TIme Machine as it backs up all the other things as well along with your database folder consuming too much space, so I disabled it long time back. Is there any solution with which I can backup my Apple Mail Gmail account automatically at regular intervals to an external hard drive?

Looking for real helpful answers. Thanks

2 Answers 2


As you are thinking of backing up your Gmail account, there are multiple applications available online (paid) to backup Gmail Account as well as Apple Mail. One I found interesting was: http://www.mailbackupx.com/how-to-scenerios/how-to-backup-apple-mac-mail-mails-on-mac.html

However, you can always set your Time Machine to backup only your mail folders as Apple Mail makes an automatic backup of all the incoming and offline emails as well. You will have to exclude all the other folders and set the Time Machine to Backup this folder only: /Users/username/Library/Mail and /Users/username/Library/Mail Downloads

Also, you can direct the storage location to an external storage in Time Machine only and your backup will happen automatically.


Why not trim down time machine and exclude all the things you don’t want to back up? It is the free, supported, designed way to do precisely what you need. If you want to pay for another backup solution, super duper and carbon copy clones are the way to go.

Also, before you spend any money or evaluate ongoing backup - do a one time export to a fast external SSD or wait a little longer for one clean export to Hard drive. Then you can clean up down to the thousand or two mails you really need / intend to keep. There might be no issues with export or time machine at that point.

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