Export Data from Google Mail to an MBOX File with Google Takeout


A common format for exporting mail messages is the .mbox format (MBOX stands for MailBox). You can export and download your data from the Google products you use, and in a few easy steps, create an archive to keep for your records or to import into your UMD email account. If there is a very large number of folders to export into UMD email from a personal gmail account, it is best to do this by grouping or chunking amounts of data. 

This article works with the Thunderbird version 91.10.0 (64-bit).

NOTE: Downloading your data does not delete it from Google's servers. 

Create an archive of your data

Sign into your Google account. 

  1. Open the Download your data page. 
    NOTE: All apps come pre-selected. If you only wish to export your mail you must deselect all other options by clicking on them one time.
  2. Choose which Google products to remove from your download. To see more details and options for a product, select the Down-arrow (e.g., only download certain mail folders but not all email).
  3. Click Next.
  4. The Download your data window will open. Choose your archive's File type (recommended .zip) and Delivery method (recommended email).
  5. Click Create archive
    NOTE the Download your data: archives window will open and the archive of the selection you made will begin. Mail archives may take a long time (possibly days) to create. Once the archive is completed an email will be sent with a link to the archive. 

When your archive is created, an email will be sent to you that includes a link to the archive location. Depending on the amount of information in your account, this process could take a few minutes or several hours. Most people get the link to their archive the same day that they request it.

Open the mbox file

  1.  Log into your UMD Google account and find the data file email.
    email notification that data archive is  ready
  2. Open the email and click the Download archive button.
    google email
  3. The Download your data: archives window will open. Click the down-arrow and select all Mail or individual filters then click DOWNLOAD.
    download your data archives
  4. Go to your browser's downloads and double-click the folder listed to open it.
    NOTE: Each browser will download the file differently. If it downloads a .zip file you need to unzip the file once it is downloaded.
    download folder
  5. The downloaded mail folder will be called Takeout. Open the folder and a Mail folder will show. Inside the Mail folder the downloaded file will show with a filename of nameoffile.mbox. Your data is now ready for storage or to be imported into your UMD email account.
    mail folder

Ensure that Thunderbird is configured for your email account.
Import the mailbox file(s) into your email account.

For further information, contact the Service Desk.

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