Archiving is global (no per-folder setting) and no option to delete rather than archive (aka save)

For the archiving feature, the user cannot specify where is the archive folder.  Since these can be very old messages, like over 5 years (typically when I want to move out old Sent messages), I don’t want them necessarily dumped in a user’s appdata folder for the program.  I keep an AppBackups folder on a different drive.  These are not image or file backups, but more like exported configurations or data for various programs.  This folder itself is included in the image backup: I don’t want to restore an entire drive image just to import the old settings for a program.  I’d like to have an AppBackups\em Client folder, too.  I already have em Client configured to use that folder for its backups, but is not the same as storing archives of really old messages since the backups for em Client eventually get deleted in only 5 weeks (the maximum store time).

Also, right-clicking on a folder has no Archive tab for the user to configure that folder’s archive settings.  For example, in Outlook, I archive 5-year old items in the Sent folder but I archive for only 7 days on the Junk folder and 2 months on the Deleted folder.  I don’t want to retain Junk e-mails for 5 years, but I do want them to linger for a short time in case they were false positives by the mail server’s spam filter.  I don’t need deleted items after 2 months.  But sent items should hang around and be immediately available inside the e-mail client for up to 5 years, but older than that can be moved into an archive.  em Client’s archiving also only saves old e-mails.  There is no option to change the action to Delete (so I can archive one folder but purge another).  Archiving in em Client comes nowhere close to the configurability of MS Outlook (the program, not their web site).  Without configurable archiving age (days, weeks, months) and a choice of action (save/archive or delete) on a per-folder basis, the archiving feature in em Client is way too crippled to bother using.

First, if you are not using eM Client’s own backup feature, you need to make sure eM Client is closed when the %appdata% folder is being backed up. If eM Client is open, you will end up with empty files that are of no use.

If using an external application, it is best to backup the whole \AppData\Roaming\eM Client, as it is not so easy to reintegrate selected items from the database into a new one. Often the database will be broken so of no use.

eM Client also offers an export option for settings only if that is more useful. Go to Menu > File > Export > Export settings to .xml file. You can export all settings, or just those you choose. 

I have many email accounts so I always backup just my accounts settings this way, then if I need to install eM Client, it is an easy solution.

You can configure eM Client to be backed up using Windows Task Scheduler. That will use eM Client’s own backup feature (so eM Client can be running) and this way you can bypass the auto-delete after x weeks. This is also handy if you want to set the time of the backup. 

There are two archive implementations.

  1. Using a service like GMail, the archive option will archive to the IMAP folders. This option will only be there if the server supports it.

  2. eM Client Auto-archive. This will archive to the Local Folders. The idea is that this removes messages from the server to save space. For this to work, you need to select a scope for that account. If you don’t, the archive option will not be available.

Another option, besides archiving or backups, is to use eM Client’s Save As feature. This is especially useful for historical data that you may want to keep but not have in your email client. This option allows you to save messages as .eml files, while maintaining a directory structure. Each message is saved as a separate file, so can be opened directly from Windows Explorer, either by eM Client or any other self-respecting email client.

em Client’s backup feature is very limited.  The maximum NUMBER of backups is 5.  How far out that stretches depends on the granularity of the backup (from 1 day to 6 months).  5 backups with each at a 6-month interval gets me to 5 years but with huge gaps of e-mail volume between each 6-month interval.  The granularity becomes excessively large to span a reasonable time. 

Saving multiple backups is not the same as archiving messages based on their age.  The backup will have all messages regarding of their age.  Archiving moves out old messages to merge into an archive database, or it deletes old messages that you don’t want to keep past an age threshold.  Sorry, but the backups are not really an archiving function.

Isn’t the point of backup programs that incorporate VSC (Volume Shadow Copy) to get at content of files that are locked or inuse?  When I had Outlook running 24x7, my backup software using VSC to create a shadow copy could include the .pst and .ost files in my image backups.  Why would a VSC-capable backup program not be able to read a shadow copy of %appdata% folder?

Isn’t the point of using computers is to get them to automate tasks that users would otherwise need to do manually?  I like the feature of exporting my e-mails outside the e-mail client but I’m not really going to do that on a regular schedule.  Only when there is a rare need would I do that.  Plus, it exports the entire data set which either you would overwrite the previously exported one or save in a different location to keep multiple versions.  Archiving would update just one external file or database.  In addition, I wasn’t just looking to save old e-mails.  In some folders, I want to *delete* old e-mails, like in the Junk and Deleted folders, after an age the reflected the use of a folder.  I don’t want to be doing all this archiving and synchronization myself.  No one asking for an archiving feature or enhancements is asking to do it manually.

Exporting the app’s settings is irrelevant to how it archives.  I like the ability to export the app’s settings for a quicker reconfiguration later, like if having to install the app again.  But that’s nothing to do with the missing archive features.

I have a Gmail account.  I see no archiving function in that service.  You have to connect to their webmail client and click the Archive button in that webclient.  According a Google blog:

Archiving just means moving mail out of your inbox and storing it for safekeeping. Your messages will be waiting for you when you click All Mail or search for them.

Well, that is not archiving.  That is just hiding or moving.  You can do that without using their Archive button.  I already have a folder named Archive, but it could be named Keep, Hold, or some other name.  It is to where I move messages out of the Inbox into that holding folder or subfolders under it to organize the messages moved out of Inbox.  That lets me keep my Inbox clean rather than polluted with old messages.  I’ve seen some users that have THOUSANDS of old e-mails in their Inbox rather than move out just the important ones into other holding folders.  Having a folder where you keep messages out of the Inbox is not archiving.  In fact, with a decent auto-archive function, like in Outlook, I could set different expirations on those holding folders that would either archive old messages (move them into a different message store) or delete them, or specify a global archive but for the permanent holding folders I could disable archiving on them (i.e., messages moved into them will NEVER get archived as they remain permanent).

Is em Client targeting its competition at the less then 1% marketshare of e-mail clients of which Thunderbird would then be its largest competitor?  Or is it competing against the major e-mail client on desktops, which would be Outlook?  It can’t be competing against the e-mail apps on smartphones since those are so highly crippled that they are incomparable against Outlook, Thunderbird, and em Client, plus em Client doesn’t run on Android or iOS, anyway.  Seems the feature set in em Client is targeting Outlook as its competition, but it is falling far shorter than I expected.

Outlook is more oriented for business use.  Although I didn’t use Outlook for business use (despite that I paid for it), I like its many business-like features for my personal use of an e-mail client.  em Client seems to be a pale wannabe of Outlook and more of a competitor to Thunderbird (which is free with no payware version).  I’ve trialed Thunderbird many times.  The last was about 2 years ago where I managed to tolerate a full 6-month trial.  I dumped it to go back to Outlook.  I went from free to paid.  Being free is nice but not critical to my decision for an e-mail client.  I was willing to pay to go back to Outlook.  I hate to sound like a Microsoft fanboy.  I’m deciding on which e-mail client (with contacts and calendar sync) to move to in my new Windows 10 build (the included Mail, Calendar, and People apps SUCK).  Of my posts here after a new trial of em Client, you can see several features are missing that I consider either critical or very important.  em Client seems better than Thunderbird (from what I recall of Thunderbird) but still far short of Outlook.

I see announcements in the forum of some new features that might show up in v8 of em Client, so I might continue trialing it to see how much it improves in the next major version, but I won’t wait many months for v8 to get released while sacrificing features I could have in Outlook.

If you use Windows Task Scheduler to setup your backup using eM Client’s own DbBackup.exe, you can specify the frequency and time of the backup. This will NOT delete old backups, so you can keep them forever if that is required. It is the same as using the internal backup in that it has all the advantages like not having to close the application, but it is just handled externally so you have more control over the settings. You need to setup the backup in eM Client, then disable it, and continue the configuration in Task Scheduler. If you want to know more, please open a separate thread and I will respond with instructions with pictures. :wink:

Yes, a backup is not the same as an archive. For one thing, if you restore a backup, you will lose all newer data!

eM Client is a SQLite database. The internal backup will essentially close the write ahead logs and then backup the dat files. Most backups will not backup open files, so they will ignore the wal files and backup the empty dat files. For this reason, shadowing your database directory to the cloud or using an external backup app will not work if eM Client is running.

The export feature is selective, so you can choose which folders to export. Or, you can simply select the messages in eM Client and choose Save As. But really, a better way of managing older data is definitely required. 

I though you said that you keep exported configuration, that is why I mentioned the settings export. Please ignore that if it is not relevant.

GMail and eM Client have different ideas about archiving. I am not a GMail user, but you may have to initially configure the archiving option on the web interface. That particular function is not available with most other providers. Maybe someone will comment about that. 

As far as I know, eM Client is marketed as an Outlook alternative. That does not mean an Outlook clone, just an alternative. It really comes into its own as a business tool when used with an Exchange server, or if using the re-branded eM Client with IceWarp. But if that doesn’t work for you, fortunately there are many applications to choose from so hopefully there will be a near perfect match somewhere. :wink:

My perfect match is Evolution. But I mostly use Windows so that is not an option. ;-(

I think that version 8 will be something to look out for. There have been many promises from the team, but let’s wait and see. There is no release date.

Gmail’s concept of “archiving” is to hit an Archive labelled button in their webmail client for the currently selected message.    Although Gmail tries to emulate IMAP (but not completely correct, and why I call it gIMAP and the same for their gPOP because they rely on server-side options that override what the client might send for commands), they really use tags (aka labels) which they pretend are folders to an IMAP client.  That’s why they have their All Mail “folder”: it is their repository for all messages in an account, and tags on them specifying in which “folder” they will appear.  That’s why you can have a single message appear in multiple folders by having multiple tags on the message.

From what I can by Gmail’s help pages (many of which point to forum threads instead of actual articles written by someone at Google), all the Archive button does is remove the label(s) from a message.  It no longer appears in the pseudo folders because it has no tag on it anymore.  To get at it later, you go into the All Mail pseudo folder (which is the entire repository of all messages regardless of whether they have labels or not).  The All Mail folder is not just for “archived” (unlabelled) messages.  It is for ALL messages regardless of their label(s).

Gmail started as a webmail only client.  There was no POP or IMAP access.  They later adapted their labels scheme to pretend to IMAP clients there were folders by those labels.  Users are accustomed to folders.  Only some Gmail users are proficient at using labels, but which others users haven’t a clue why they are needed (some think they are equivalent to categories).  The “Archive” button should more accurately be named “Remove all labels”.

Since VSC doesn’t work to get usable shadow copies of the SQLite database file, does your DbBackup.exe program quiesce the database so it can read what would be its current contents even while em Client is still running?  I don’t want to have to remember to exit em Client at the end of the day, so a later scheduled event can succeed.  I prefer leaving an e-mail client running 24x7.  I am up at various times of the day; i.e., I don’t have a regular sleeping schedule.  I can look at using Task Scheduler with DbBackup, but that’s still not really an archive function which not only moves old e-mails out (and keeps new e-mails in) but also has a Delete action for getting rid of old e-mails altogether but only for some folders.

I don’t how long I will trial em Client (free or paid) versus returning to Outlook (paid).  I suspect after 2-3 months, I’ll decide to bite the bullet and pay for Outlook.  From their release history at

7.0.26687.0 Wednesday, July 27, 2016
6.0.19106.0 Thursday, October 31, 2013
5.0.18661.0 Wednesday, September 11, 2013
4.0.15145.0 Friday, June 15, 2012
3.0.9422.0 Tuesday, February 22, 2011
2.0.5036.0 Monday, July 13, 2009

The time span between major versions varied from 1 month to 3 years.  Cannot go by their past release history to estimate when v8.0 will appear, but it’s been 3 years since their last major release.  Seems they’re due.

For em Client, I figure it is very good for a large number of users.  I installed it on my old PC build that will go to my aunt, and I suspect she will never notice the lack of features that I’m used to.  Hell, she’s one of those that regularly use’s webmail client instead of a local client, but she doesn’t get alerts when there are new e-mails, so you have to wait for her to remember to use their webmail client to see that urgent message you sent.  For me, I’m finding it disappointing to downgrade from paid Outlook to free em Client (or free anything else).

Yes, the DbBackup application can make a complete copy of the database irrespective of whether eM Client is running or not. That is it’s purpose.