How To Export Google Mail (gmail)

Last week the question was asked by one of our clients if he could forward pertinent Google emails in a case to us.

Immediate answer:  Noooooooo!

It is VERY important in understanding how to handle email data so that you don't create evidentiary problems with the data.  

After backing away from the ledge, I explained how to properly export Google emails so that we could import into a review platform.

Here's how it is done:

  1. Go to
  2. Uncheck DESELECT ALL
  3. Scroll down to Mail and check the box
  4. Scroll to the bottom and click on NEXT STEP button
  5. At the CREATE A NEW EXPORT screen, you can keep the default options
  6. Click on CREATE EXPORT button
  7. You will receive a message that "Google is creating a copy of files from Mail" and it could take hours or days to complete.  (When I did my own it took a couple of hours)
  8. When you receive the email, click on the button to DOWNLOAD YOUR FILES
  9. A .zip file will be downloaded to your computer
  10. Browse to the location of the download and drill down to the .mbox
  11. The .mbox file will need to be provided to your Litigation Technology Specialist to import into an applicable review platform for you.
Here's the official link for instructions from Google:  Export your data from Gmail - Gmail Help (

Also remember that you should never import these emails into your own mailbox to do a "quick review" of the data as a way to speed up the process.  You risk altering the metadata which is data you don't see in the background of the data.  Always consult with your litigation support professional for advice on how to review email data.


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