How Can I Back Up My AOL Email?

Episode 1796 (13:00)

Kirk from Phoenix, AZ

Kirk is an AOL user with Microsoft Outlook, and he wants to know how he can back up his email. His email PST file is 13.9GB! AOL recently eliminated all of his 2020 emails and he wants to make sure he has a copy, just in case. Kirk is also concerned that his email doesn't appear on his iPad.  Leo says it's a good time to get out of AOL and try another service. Leo recommends Gmail. 

Leo says to get it out of all the disparate formats and back it up to a central backup. It's also best to get his emails out of a single PST file and export them into a TXT file.  There's a number of ways to do it. Back up to the iCloud account. The good news is that iCloud will automatically back it all up. Kirk will need to purchase more iCloud storage from Apple, but it's cheap.

Open up Outlook and export email into an MBox file. Tools->Message->Save->Export formats. That's an open-source, text-based standard file format. It'll save each email into a separate file and save it into a folder. Then, he can compress the file into a zip file and it will take up less room on the hard drive. From there, Leo recommends backing up to the cloud.

Should he go with Apple Mail instead of Outlook? Well, he can. But take it to the next level. Leo says that Apple wants Kirk to use Calendar and iCloud to sync up. They want to lock him into their ecosystem. The good news is that Google has those options as well. For Calendar, Contacts, and Gmail. Google stores it all into open source formats. And every calendar and address book app will work with it. And iOS on his iPhone has the way to sync to Google easily. Once he has it in Google, he can put it anywhere. And he can tell Gmail to go get AOL so he won't have to close it.