Can I backup or sync my files using Gmail, Yahoo, or any other free email service?


Yes, if the service supports SMTP and POP3 or IMAP4. Many free email services do support these requirements, but do not enable their use by default. For example, with Gmail you must enable it:

  • Login to your Gmail account
  • Click Settings link in top-right
  • Go to Forwarding and POP tab in Settings
  • Enable Enable POP for all mail (even mail that's already been downloaded)
  • Change When messages are accessed with POP to keep Gmail's copy in the Inbox
  • Click Save Changes


The problem with Gmail is that it sometimes forgets these settings and so you may have the problem of SyncBackPro saying there are no emails. This is because the Gmail POP server is saying there aren't any emails because the Enable POP for all mail setting is sometimes "forgotten" by Gmail.  Also, sometimes Gmail doesn't appear to delete emails that SyncBackPro asks it to delete.


Important Notes

There are some important points to consider when using an email account as a backup location:
  • Backup to email should not be your primary backup location!
  • Use a dedicated email account to store your files. This allows SyncBackPro to delete any non-backup related emails, e.g. spam.
  • There can be a potentially long delay between sending an email and it being stored in your email inbox, so do not run the backup too frequently.
  • Email servers may have flood control to stop many emails from one address/server.
  • Most email servers have a limit on the size of attachments. This means you may not be able to backup large files. To get around this it is recommend you use single Zip compression with splitting (not spanning).
  • Use Deflate64 and maximum compression level. This reduces the amount of space used on your email server and also reduces the time it takes to send and receive files.
  • Use 256-bit AES encryption (with compression) if your files contain private/sensitive information.
  • If you use splitting with compression then note that a split Zip file cannot be updated. This means it will be a full backup every time.
  • If you have very large files you should use single Zip compression with splitting (set the split size as appropriate).
  • If you have many small files it is recommended you use multi-zip compression.
  • When using single zip, if the Make safe copies option is not enabled, then it will delete the existing Zip file(s) before uploading the new one(s).