Backing Up Email to USB Thumb Drive?

K-9 Mail 5.806
Chromebook 3 / ChromeOS Version 94.0.4606.124 (Official Build) (64-bit)

I didn’t see anything in the documentation. Is there any way to backup emails in K-9 on a Chromebook to an external USB thumb drive? I would like to be able to back up a lot of emails without having to take up room on the device, which has a finite amount of storage. Occasionally I get some perfectly legitimate messages with very large attachments, taking up a lot of storage space.


K-9 doesn’t have an option for exporting messages.

You can save attachments to device storage and then delete the message, if that’s a reasonable option.

If your mail account is IMAP the messages are stored on the server, so you should be able to delete things from your Chromebook.

Thank you for responding. For some large attachments, such as PDFs, I have saved them, as you suggest. My email usage is rather complicated, so I won’t go into long details. My primary account, which I use with K-9, is POP3. I have a way to export and then delete emails completely apart from K-9, but it is a little tedious. That is why I was hoping that K-9 would have a way for exporting messages. I think it may be possible to convert my POP3 account to IMAP on this server, but I am an older person, not up on all the latest bells, whistles, and gongs, and POP3 is about all I know.

Ask someone in your neighborhood for help, bite the bullet and switch. :slight_smile: IMAP has many great advantages over POP3.

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Such as? I freely admit that I am completely ignorant about IMAP, I don’t know how it works, and I have no idea how it would give me an advantage over POP3. I have been using POP3 for years, and it works perfectly well for me. I have K-9 set so that it does not delete emails from the server, because I sometimes access them from different devices (including K-9 on my Android capable Chromebook 3), and I have an alternate, if tedious, way to backup emails outside K-9. (Incidentally, if I were to try to switch to IMAP, I would have to reconfigure at least three devices, and I don’t know how to do that.)

  • Supports real-time notifications
  • Supports synchronizing folders (email sent on the phone appears on the desktop’s “sent” folder, etc)
  • Messages are stored on the server, so when you lose your phone, the messages are still there
  • All devices have a consistent view of the inbox state (instead of possibly running into situations where one device knows a message and the others don’t)
  • If you mark a message as read on one device, it is also marked on all other devices

In general, POP3 is an ancient protocol and (if you ask me) should no longer be used at all - especially if you access your mail from multiple devices.

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Actually, while IMAP came second (in response to POP’s deficiencies) the timing of the origins and development of the two protocols are fairly close.

In general, POP3 is an ancient protocol

Unfortunately, for reasons that I have never fully understood (though potentially server disk and bandwidth costs in the initial days - late '80s/early '90s), some people and institutions seemed to prefer POP so it got an unfortunate foothold.