Use Outlook to create a backup of G a Suite mailbox

You may or may not need to update security settings prior to adding your account to Outlook. Skip the first section of this article to see how you go first. 

Allowing access by Outlook

I needed to change three security settings before Outlook could access my G Suite mailbox:

  1. Disable 2-factor authentication
  2. Enable IMAP
  3. Enable less secure apps access 

How to enable IMAP

Allow it at the organisation level (if needed)

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin Console
  2. Navigate to: Apps -> G Suite -> Gmail -> Advanced settings
  3. Ensure “Disable POP and IMAP access for all use” is not checked.

Then enable it at the user level

  1. Sign in to your Gmail
  2. Go to: Settings (Cog at top right of screen) -> Forwarding and POP/IMAP
  3. Enable IMAP, and save changes

How to enable less secure apps:

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin Console
  2. Navigate to: Security -> Basic settings -> Less secure apps
  3. Select: “Enforce access to less secure apps for all users (Not Recommended)”, and save.

Adding the account to Outlook

In Outlook:

  1. Go to: File -> Info, and select “+ Add Account”
  2. Simply enter your username and password, if you get blocked then refer to the above section about allowing access by Outlook.

If all went well your mailbox should be syncing in the background via IMAP. Wait for this to finish before you proceed to the next section. 

Exporting from Outlook

  • Open Outlook
  • Go to: File -> Open & Export -> Import/Export
  • Choose: “Export to a file” and select “Outlook Data File (.pst)”
  • Select your mailbox and then follow the prompts

Alternative method

Google provides a tool for exporting account data, be it by singular apps, like Gmail or Google Drive etc. or the entire account. Here’s a the starting point

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