How Aid4Mail 5 processes Gmail accounts and exports

Aid4Mail version 5 provides a wide range of support for Gmail accounts and Google Apps exports (Google Takeout and Google Vault). 

It can connect to Gmail/G-Suite accounts via IMAP or the Gmail API (with Google API credentials created) and it supports the Google Vault (MBOX export) and Google Takeout export formats.

Connecting to a Gmail account via IMAP:

 To connect with a Gmail account via IMAP,  select “IMAP” as your “Source” format and then select “Add” to enter your Gmail account credentials.

Inside the “IMAP Configuration Editor”, simply enter your “Email Address” and then select “Autocomplete”. After the Autocomplete has completed, you will just need to enter your password.

Please keep in mind that you may need to update some settings in your Gmail account when connecting via IMAP. You can find information on which settings here: How can I process a Gmail account

Advantage of connecting via IMAP:

-No need to configure Google API credentials

Disadvantage of connecting via IMAP:

-Native search filtering not available (Investigator and Enterprise licenses)

-Gmail account settings need updating

-Downloads duplicate emails when assigned multiple labels

Connecting to a Gmail account via the Google API:

To connect with a Gmail account via the Google API, you will first need to create the Google API credentials (client ID and client secret) and enter them in Aid4Mail 5 under “Options”>”Advanced”>”Google API Credentials”.

Instructions on how to create the Google API credentials can be found in the attached PDF file or in the Aid4Mail 5 Help File (“Help”>”View Help”) under the “Setting up Google API Credentials” section.

Once you have added the Google API Credentials, you can now select “Gmail (via Google API)” as your “Source” format.

Next you can click on “Add” to open up the Aid4Mail Authenticator and enter the Gmail email address and click “Start”. You will now be brought to your default web browser where you will select or enter the Gmail account you want to access in Aid4Mail 5.

You may get the message “Google hasn´t verified this app”. Please click on “Advanced” and then click on the “Go to…” link. You will now click “Allow” for the different permissions Aid4Mail needs. After that is finished, you will get the message “Authentication Successful”.

You can now process the Gmail account via the Google API. You also have the ability to use Google native search capabilities in Aid4Mail 5 under the “Filter” section.

For more information on the native filtering syntax for Gmail, check out the Aid4Mail 5 help file or see here:

Advantage of connecting via Google API:

-Native search filtering available (Investigator and Enterprise licenses)

-No downloading duplicate emails when assigned multiple labels

Disadvantage of connecting via Google API:

-Need to configure API credentials

Processing a Google Takeout export:

Google Apps Takeout export save emails in the mbox file format. These files are based on the generic mailbox format but use a proprietary format for message status information (unread, deleted, etc.). Aid4Mail 5 will recover emails, status information and is able to re-create the folder structure.

To process a Google Takeout export, select “Google Takeout” as the “Source” format and then select the location of where the Google Takeout export is located on your PC.

If you want to re-create the folder structure in your Target format, please make sure “Same as source folder structure” is selected under the “Folder Structure” option. Aid4Mail 5 will then use the Gmail labels to re-create the folder structure.

Advantage of processing Google Takeout export:

-Google Takeout is free for anyone to use

-All Metadata located in the MBOX file(s)

-One copy of each email

-Faster than using Google API or IMAP

Disadvantage of processing Google Takeout export: 

-Export has to be setup for each user individually (no bulk exporting of multiple accounts)

Processing a Google Vault export (mbox format):

Google Apps Vault export saves emails in the mbox file format but also has the option to have the export in PST files. Aid4Mail 5 supports Google Vault exports in the mbox file format. We highly recommend using the mbox format as the PST format option limits PST file sizes to a 1GB. If you have an email account with 50GB of data, you will have 50 PST files for one email account. Also all the labels and the status information for each email are lost with the PST format option.

Unlike Google Takeout, message status information (unread, deleted, etc.) is not stored in the mbox file and is instead stored in a separate XML file that has a name ending with “-metadata.xml”.

Before processing mbox files from Google Apps Vault, make sure you place the corresponding “-metadata.xml” and “.md5” files in the same folder as the main zipped file(s). If the corresponding XML file is missing, Aid4Mail won’t recover message status information.

You can find a full tutorial on processing Google Vault exports here: How to convert Google Vault Exports

When Aid4Mail 5 processes a Google Vault export, it is able to rebuild the entire folder structure and you do not need to unzip all of the files as Aid4Mail can access the Google Vault mbox files located in the zipped files in their native format.

Advantage of processing Google Vault export (mbox format):

-Bulk exporting of all email accounts

-One copy of each email

-Faster than using Google API or IMAP

-Compared to Takeout and IMAP, you can collect emails according to a search criteria at the server level

Disadvantage of processing Google Vault export (mbox format):

-You need a Google Workspace subscription to use Google Vault

For more information about Google Vault exports, see here:

Setting up Google API Credentials in Aid4Mail 5.

If you experience any issues, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

If you would like to buy an Aid4Mail license, please visit the Aid4Mail website.

About Fookes Software

Fookes Software Ltd
La Petite Fin 27
1637 Charmey (en Gruyère)

For over 25 years we have been developing award-winning tools and productivity software. We also have more than 20 years of expertise in the field of email processing and analysis.

Our clients include Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, law firms, universities, and professionals specializing in e-discovery and forensics from around the world.

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