How to Backup Google Drive and Gmail Online |Chromebook Mobile

Cloud Computing and Blogging w/ Chromebooks, Chrome, and the Google Chrome OS: ChromeBook.mobi - Simplify your life!

How to Backup Google Drive and Gmail Online

A Google Drive and Gmail (or other online services) cloud backup or sync is simple: why not make it automatic!


Ever worry about backing up your G-drive and Gmail? Well, if you're moving towards cloud computing or Google's Chrome OS, it might be unnerving (at first) not having your all your local hard-drives happily churning away with most of your data within your physical reach. We're going to discuss keeping your online data automatically backed-up and synchronized to another online or cloud storage source, but the big-G also has the simple to use Google Takeout as an option if you want a local copy of your G-data as well.

Artwork of a router with the earth behind it
Image Credit: via devcom
Of course, there are probably a million ways to backup your online Google data, but in this method we're taking the automatic and proven method of using CloudHQ as the interim service between your various online services and the cloud storage service of your choice. You'll have to deal with the initial setup (which is fairly simple), but after that, you can just go about your online business knowing your online services are automatically being backed up or synced between your various cloud services in real-time according to the scheme of your choosing.

Realistically, it will probably be a cold day in hell before Google loses your data because it's backed-up, many time over, across a global network that's proven its reliability again and again throughout the last decade and a half plus. Actually, even when you delete your data, it's still there, you've just marked it as inaccessible at some level and that brings us to the actual value of backing your data up to another online source. If you accidentally delete or corrupt your data, it's hacked, or a scorned lover or previously "trusted one" decides to wipe away your digital life with a couple of mouse clicks you'll come out of it as a survivor if you've planned ahead. If you're a hardcore survivor you've probably got backup drives stashed in your bomb-shelter for the day Google goes down, but we're not taking it to that level because you'll probably have much bigger worries on your mind if that day comes.

Google Drive & Gmail -> CloudHQ -> Box (or Dropbox)

For the purpose of this example, we're going to backup or sync or Google Drive and Gmail via CloudHQ to Box or Dropbox. It does not end there though, once you have CloudHQ hooked up to your Box or Dropbox (or even SkyDrive) cloud storage service, besides doing just G-drive and Gmail, you can also backup or sync (integrate) your EverNote, Basecamp, Basecamp Classic, OneNote, SugarSync, WebDAV, and a crap-load of other services as well while you're at it.

As far as expenses, after the 15-day free CloudHQ trial, the average user plan is going to be $10 a month, plus the cost of your secondary cloud storage service outside of Google Drive. For example, a Box.com 100GB account is $5 a month, so that make $15 a month total for the average users online (cloud) automatic sync backup configuration. These services have free plans also, but unless you're just playing around with a trinket of data, the free plans won't cut it. Of course, if you're running a business or otherwise have huge clusters of data it's going to run more.

So, in summary, you're already going to have your favorite programs like G-drive and Gmail (Evernote, OneNote, or what-have-you) that you've been using for years, and to that you'll need to add CloudHQ (our referral link for 30-day free premium vs the 15-day standard trial) as the "middleman" software, and then finally a cloud storage service of your choice. After some research, we recommend Box.com because it's generally agreed to have a more robust security set than most of the others, but DropBox is insanely popular and an excellent choice for your online backup drive as well. SkyDrive is good too, but in general we're freeing ourselves from Microsoft (until they up the ante) in our migration to cloud computing via Google, or more specifically, the Google Chrome OS and its online counterparts.

Basic online services backup (or real-time sync) routine:


  • CloudHQ makes it a breeze to set up your sync / backup pairings, and they'll walk you through every phase of your setup, so we're not going to try to rewrite or complicate their simple setup procedures by mulling over it here. Just sign-up for the trial and enjoy their walk-through.
  • Decide what online services (Gmail, G-drive, EverNote, etc.) you're going to backup.
  • If you don't have online cloud storage (often known as online sharing or online content management "CMS" services) outside of G-drive, sign up for Box or Dropbox and familiarize yourself with their site. Remember, you can sign up for these services for free so you can look around inside of them to see if they suit you.
  • Go back to CloudHQ to set up and activate your backup plan(s). It's close to real-time processing once your initial backup is complete, and you can set it to save the original copies of your files and their revisions (differential / incremental type backup) or you can mirror the backup or sync sets for an exact copy of your real-time data (uses less space but not as foolproof as a differential / incremental type BU set).
  • Now just go back to what you like to do and don't worry about losing your online data anymore, but check CloudHQ and your Box.com or Dropbox account every once in a while in the beginning to verify it works as planned so you're confident your worries are over, or, if nothing else, you're one step further ahead in building your rock solid cloud computing platform


Having a redundant real-time sync or backup of all our online services is something we wouldn't even consider doing without. Hopefully it's never needed, but things are far more stress-free knowing all your cloud computing data is now probably safer than with any backup scheme you've used in the past with your traditional Microsoft (Windows) or Apple based desktop computing. Real-time syncs on desktop software are notorious for slowing systems to a crawl, so much so that most people disable real-time syncs or backups on traditional desktop setups. On the other hand, when you're cloud computing via Chrome the real-time cloud sync or backup method described here runs seamlessly and continuously without slowing down the way you work.