Can I save emails onto a hard drive?

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Carnationlilyrose
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#1
Report Thread starter 7 years ago
#1
Please bear with me. I don't know much.

I'm switching from BT to Virgin as internet provider after finally getting fed up of the broadband crashing all the time. It looks as if we will have to pay to retain the old BT email address in order to access old emails. BT Yahoo seems to be the only provider which charges for this service. I have emails from my kids and a couple of friends that I want to keep, but I'm not bothered about keeping the address going. Can I transfer the emails somehow onto a hard drive so I can keep them in some kind of readable format without keeping the email going with BT? I'm talking thousands of emails here. They go back to 2007 and I'm pretty chatty. It's not the cost, which is only £1.67 a month. It's the principle of the thing.

It's a Mac, btw.

All I have in return for any help is grateful thanks and my powerful +9 rep.
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Teh Smart One
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#2
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#2
Hey,

I'm not sure completely but how about just opening up notepad (or mac's equivalent) and just copy and pasting the contents of the emails onto it. The notepad file will be saved onto the hard-drive and you can open it up whenever you want with or without internet.

Sorry if that wasn't helpful XD
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Chlorophile
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#3
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(Original post by Carnationlilyrose)
Please bear with me. I don't know much.

I'm switching from BT to Virgin as internet provider after finally getting fed up of the broadband crashing all the time. It looks as if we will have to pay to retain the old BT email address in order to access old emails. BT Yahoo seems to be the only provider which charges for this service. I have emails from my kids and a couple of friends that I want to keep, but I'm not bothered about keeping the address going. Can I transfer the emails somehow onto a hard drive so I can keep them in some kind of readable format without keeping the email going with BT? I'm talking thousands of emails here. They go back to 2007 and I'm pretty chatty. It's not the cost, which is only £1.67 a month. It's the principle of the thing.

It's a Mac, btw.

All I have in return for any help is grateful thanks and my powerful +9 rep.
Not entirely sure, but does this article help? It seems that backing up emails from Outlook is a lot easier than backing it up from a web hosted server. Also found this, is this relevant?
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Carnationlilyrose
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#4
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(Original post by Chlorophile)
Not entirely sure, but does this article help? It seems that backing up emails from Outlook is a lot easier than backing it up from a web hosted server. Also found this, is this relevant?
I will read them carefully and try and make out what is being said! The thing is that everything seems to mention Outlook, and I don't use that. (I don't think so, anyway!) It's Yahoo to virginmedia, which seems to be a version of gmail.
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SnoochToTheBooch
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#5
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#5
No. That is an impossible feat in 2015.
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UUSee98
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#6
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#6
If you don't have MS Outlook, or it's not provided through University, you can download a program called Mozilla Thunderbird which is an email program similar to Outlook, but free.

Once installed, you want to get BT's POP3 email settings. Logging into BT and looking in the Help section will provide these. They even also provide step by step guides on setting up Thunderbird and all other email programs.

During the Thunderbird account wizard, there will be a setting for "Leave messages on server". If you want to download and remove all messages off BT completely, you want to untick this option.

All email messages will be downloaded off BT and stored in Thunderbird program for viewing offline. You can open Thunderbird anytime you want to read old emails.

If you want something portable and stored onto a USB memory stick, download Thunderbird from PortableApps.com. It is the same program but you can install onto a USB stick and all your emails will download to USB stick too.

Just remember to make backups in case your stick dies or is lost! Hope it helps!
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mikeyd85
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#7
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#7
(Original post by Carnationlilyrose)
I will read them carefully and try and make out what is being said! The thing is that everything seems to mention Outlook, and I don't use that. (I don't think so, anyway!) It's Yahoo to virginmedia, which seems to be a version of gmail.
The post above is excellent. This will do what you want very nicely.
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Carnationlilyrose
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#8
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#8
(Original post by UUSee98)
If you don't have MS Outlook, or it's not provided through University, you can download a program called Mozilla Thunderbird which is an email program similar to Outlook, but free.

Once installed, you want to get BT's POP3 email settings. Logging into BT and looking in the Help section will provide these.

During the Account wizard, there will be a setting for "Leave messages on server". If you want to download and remove all messages off BT completely, you want to untick this option.

All email messages will be downloaded off BT and stored in Thunderbird program for viewing offline. You can open Thunderbird anytime you want to read old emails.

If you want something portable and stored onto a USB memory stick, download Thunderbird from PortableApps.com. It is the same program but you can install onto a USB stick and all your emails will download to USB stick too.

Just remember to make backups in case your stick dies or is lost! Hope it helps!
Gosh, this sounds just the thing! I will go through it stage by stage very carefully! Ideally, I would like to do both, so I have a backup on a hard drive as well as access to them through Thunderbird. Is that possible? TBH I'm very scared about this as I am always willing to have a go but don't know quite enough to put things right if I mess up. How risky is it? Thanks enormously, btw!

PS It's a Mac. Does this still work?
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Carnationlilyrose
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#9
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#9
(Original post by Teh Smart One)
Hey,

I'm not sure completely but how about just opening up notepad (or mac's equivalent) and just copy and pasting the contents of the emails onto it. The notepad file will be saved onto the hard-drive and you can open it up whenever you want with or without internet.

Sorry if that wasn't helpful XD
Thanks for replying. I didn't get the notification so I've only just spotted this. I'm not sure if this is a practical solution as one folder alone has 7,877 emails in it! I doubt there's enough time left to do this before BT shut the account down after 30 days!

Thanks for replying, though.
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UUSee98
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#10
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#10
Hi

What I would suggest is - if you want to be safe, leave the tick in "Leave messages on server", so that way you can experiment with the settings. When you get it right and working, it will only download a copy of all your messages. Do this on your hard drive. You won't risk losing the originals, they're just a copy.

When you decide it's time to empty the account before migrating, you can untick "Leave messages on server" and it will download (and remove them) off BT for good.

When you are happy and you remove the tick, I'm not sure if this would cause Thunderbird to download a second duplicate copy of every email if it knows what it has downloaded already. If it downloads a duplicate and removes off BT, then great. If it doesn't, you can always log in to BT webmail and delete everything manually once you are happy you have everything downloaded in Thunderbird correctly.

Just as an aside, this may only download emails inside Inbox. If you want your Sent Items etc downloading, you will have to log in to BT Webmail and move everything from Sent Items into Inbox and then Thunderbird will treat your sent items as new and download them.

I'd recommend the portable version. When you run the program to install, it will suggest where to install to, but you can change the location of the installation to a folder of your choice on hard drive or USB, eg G:\Thunderbird if G: is your hard drive or USB. Because it is a portable version, you can then copy the Thunderbird folder to any other drive and it should work as intended, settings and all.

Hope it makes sense and hasn't confused you. Glad to help if you need any more info.
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UUSee98
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#11
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#11
Here's a link to BT's own guide to setting up Thunderbird: Step 9 shows you the "Leave messages on server" tick.

http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/d...with-windows-8

NB: The link to download Thunderbird isn't the portable version but it's one that is installed and can't be moved at a later stage onto another drive.

The version from PortableApps.com is a portable one, so even though it installs to the drive/folder of your choice, it is self contained and can be copied over to other drives or PCs while maintaining functionality.
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Carnationlilyrose
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#12
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#12
(Original post by UUSee98)
Hi

What I would suggest is - if you want to be safe, leave the tick in "Leave messages on server", so that way you can experiment with the settings. When you get it right and working, it will only download a copy of all your messages. Do this on your hard drive. You won't risk losing the originals, they're just a copy.

When you decide it's time to empty the account before migrating, you can untick "Leave messages on server" and it will download (and remove them) off BT for good.

When you are happy and you remove the tick, I'm not sure if this would cause Thunderbird to download a second duplicate copy of every email if it knows what it has downloaded already. If it downloads a duplicate and removes off BT, then great. If it doesn't, you can always log in to BT webmail and delete everything manually once you are happy you have everything downloaded in Thunderbird correctly.

Just as an aside, this may only download emails inside Inbox. If you want your Sent Items etc downloading, you will have to log in to BT Webmail and move everything from Sent Items into Inbox and then Thunderbird will treat your sent items as new and download them.

I'd recommend the portable version. When you run the program to install, it will suggest where to install to, but you can change the location of the installation to a folder of your choice on hard drive or USB, eg G:\Thunderbird if G: is your hard drive or USB. Because it is a portable version, you can then copy the Thunderbird folder to any other drive and it should work as intended, settings and all.

Hope it makes sense and hasn't confused you. Glad to help if you need any more info.
Thanks so much for your time and trouble. I really appreciate it. I'm doing what I can at the moment to get it up and running. The key thing was to move everything from the folders I have them in into the inbox, which is going to take absolutely ages, since there are thousands and thousands of them. It's obviously going to be a long term project. I unticked the box before I read this latest post - I am now going to fret about this, I'm afraid! I had no luck with downloading a portable version - they all seemed to require Windows as far as I can see, but I have probably missed something.

I will see how I get on with the first folder and may be back with some horror story or three! Thanks once again!
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UUSee98
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#13
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#13
No, you're right, my apologies as Thunderbird might be Windows only, having also spotted your comment about Mac! My mistake. However, regardless of which program you use, the method is the same about setting up email program to use POP3 mail (not IMAP) and the bit about leaving messages on server until you're ready to cut the chord.
As for the ideal email program for Mac, I can't say as I'm not a Mac user.
There may be a Mac user who can advise on the Mac equivalent of Thunderbird. I know Mac OS Mail app is POP3 compatible so you could use that. It just may not be capable of running off a portable USB stick.
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Carnationlilyrose
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#14
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#14
(Original post by UUSee98)
No, you're right, my apologies as Thunderbird might be Windows only, having also spotted your comment about Mac! My mistake. However, regardless of which program you use, the method is the same about setting up email program to use POP3 mail (not IMAP) and the bit about leaving messages on server until you're ready to cut the chord.
As for the ideal email program for Mac, I can't say as I'm not a Mac user.
There may be a Mac user who can advise on the Mac equivalent of Thunderbird. I know Mac OS Mail app is POP3 compatible so you could use that. It just may not be capable of running off a portable USB stick.
Thunderbird seems to be doing the trick at the moment, so it does work on a Mac. At the moment I am at the stage of having transferred 1200 emails into folders on Thunderbird and they have disappeared from the folders on BT. The box about leaving messages on the server is unchecked, so that is presumably right?
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UUSee98
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#15
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#15
If you have unchecked it, then yes, they will disappear from BT's webmail as they are downloaded to your computer. Might have been handy to leave a copy until you were ready for them to close the account, having said that, at least you don't have to delete everything manually off BT!

Once downloaded, that will be the only copy of your emails, so take backups or burn the mailbox files to DVD.
If you look in the Thunderbird menu for Settings, there will be a screen that tells you the file locations of where on the Mac it stores mailbox files. Do backups and backups of backups as BT probably won't be interested in getting them back for you!
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Carnationlilyrose
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#16
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#16
(Original post by UUSee98)
If you have unchecked it, then yes, they will disappear from BT's webmail as they are downloaded to your computer. Might have been handy to leave a copy until you were ready for them to close the account, having said that, at least you don't have to delete everything manually off BT!

Once downloaded, that will be the only copy of your emails, so take backups or burn the mailbox files to DVD.
If you look in the Thunderbird menu for Settings, there will be a screen that tells you the file locations of where on the Mac it stores mailbox files. Do backups and backups of backups as BT probably won't be interested in getting them back for you!
Is it too late to tick the box now? Before I do the rest of them?

Is the term mailbox files definitely the one used? Or could it be called something else?
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UUSee98
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#17
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You could stop the download, tick it and then do a Send/Receive. It shoud then download copies of the ones you haven't download yet...
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UUSee98
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#18
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Here's the info about where your download files are stored by Thunderbird. There is a section for where to look on Mac OS and a description of all the folders and files. There will be several folders and files in your profile. They won't be files that you can just click and open freely, they'll be a compressed 'database' of your emails.
You can still view and print them via Thunderbird.
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Carnationlilyrose
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#19
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#19
(Original post by UUSee98)
You could stop the download, tick it and then do a Send/Receive. It shoud then download copies of the ones you haven't download yet...
I've checked the box now. I guess I will have to move the folder contents back to the inbox on Tbird and pretend they have just arrived again? Is that what you mean by send/receive? (I wish I knew what I was talking about!)

I can't find where the mailbox files are and I guess that as you aren't a mac user, you won't be sure of the terminology used. I'm new to macs myself, so it's the blind leading the blind...
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Carnationlilyrose
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#20
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#20
(Original post by UUSee98)
Here's the info about where your download files are stored by Thunderbird. There is a section for where to look on Mac OS and a description of all the folders and files. There will be several folders and files in your profile. They won't be files that you can just click and open freely, they'll be a compressed 'database' of your emails.
You can still view and print them via Thunderbird.
Oookkaaayyy.... that sounds like Finder. I'll have to investigate that after the emails have stopped downloading.
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