I am a former thunderbird die hard and I just downloaded em to use with one of my gmail accounts. This account is associated with a short contract that I am working on. I was wondering if em will store a local copy (in my hard drive) of all the emails ; that is, when my gmail account becomes disabled, will I still have a local record of the emails in that account?
Short answer: No.
Longer answer: You can enable offline downloading in the account properties on the “Offline” tab or on per-folder basis in folder properties (right click on folder, select Properties and then Offline). The per-folder setting is recommended for Gmail because the special “All Mail” folder would otherwise cause all messages to be downloaded twice. Alternatively you can use the Archive feature in Settings to periodically move old messages to local archive folder that’s not stored on the server.