What is the best way to back-up eM Client?

The only way I’ve found produces a *.zip file but when unzipped by WinZip, the files are unreadable. Someone responded earlier saying the only way to see these zipped files in eM Client but they didn’t say how exactly! Please advise.


If you used MENU > BACKUP or setup an automatic backup thru the SETTINGS, then you are using the correct method of eMC Backup.

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The files inside the backup zip file are a SQL database. Unless you restore them, they are not readable without a compatible SQL viewer.

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Hi Gary,

Thanks for your reply! I’m not familiar with an SQL Viewer but I did download Aryson MS SQL MDF Viewer & attempted to add my eM Client zipped file & all I got was “file not recognized”! If there is something I’m not doing, please advise. As I told Al from eM Client response, all I really want is to see a backup of my email files in their format!


That is not possible from the backup zip file. You could extract a dat file from that backup and view it with a SQL viewer, but it is probably not in a format that would be useful to you. This is because the backup does not save individual messages, it saves the complete database within which message are not saved as individual files.

If you want to save your messages in a format viewable without eM Client, you will need to export them.


But to answer the question posed in the subject of this thread, the best way to backup eM Client is as Al explained.

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Well, I’m not sure what happened but I did a “restore from previous version” & I probably shouldn’t have because I appear to have lost everything - all emails, calendar, & contacts! Unfortunately, I did not see your “Export” instructions at the bottom of your email until it was too late! I still have the original download of eM Client v. 8.1.876.0 from 7 Dec 2020 but the MailClient application file is only 278 KB but the MailClient.dll app ext is 22,649 KB. However, double-clicking on it does nothing. I have to assume that the 22,649 KB file must contain what I need but am at a loss to proceed without doing more damage & I need to recover all these data! It appears that I’ve had to create a “new account” so any suggestions as to how to restore my eM Client to either 7 Dec 2020 or possibly 19 Dec 2020? Your attention to this problem is greatly appreciated! Thanka!


@jwhelbron If you have done a backup successfully via Menu / Backup to a .zip as per @sunriseal advised above, as long as you restore with the right version of Emclient (that you backed up with) everything will come back ok. I personally have restored many times this way & works fine.

You can go to the EMC release history page to get any version you need if you don’t have the original EMC version you backed up with. https://www.emclient.com/release-history

If your .zip file which is SQL based as @Gary advised (is corrupted) then you are out of luck unless EMC automatic checking on EMC startup can fix it.

If you have an IMAP or Exchange account, then you can just re-add your account to EMC and everything will normally come back including any email folders connected to that account.

To make my BACKUP of emClient, I wrote a file “Batch file”.
Just copy the attached commands in the “notepad” software and save it with the “.bat” extension

XCOPY “C:\Users\j_bou_5\AppData\Roaming\eM Client*." "D:\eM Client*.” /D /S /E /C /F /H /R /K /Y/J
echo fin du BACKUP

You’ll need to change “j_bou_5” by your username and change the reader (in this case it’s D:")

That will not work unless eM Client is closed.

You will need to add a command to shutdown the application, wait some time, and then check that all processes of the application are completely closed before executing the xcopy command. We have seen what happens with some users when eM Client is not properly closed, so you need to check that all processes in the task manager are closed before running your xcopy command.

When eM Client performs a backup it also writes the wal data back to the dat files. Using your command that does not happen and you could end up with corrupt or empty data files. It may be possible on doing a restore that eM Client will do a database check and reconstitute the data, but that is a risk as it is not always possible.

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Hi Bill,
I use the export to eml files backup since 2007 with various email clients, did niot loose one single mail since then.
See the answer of Gary for the “how to…”; make a directory Archive or Saved Mail, whatever, make 2 subdirectories Sent and In, in that way you keep your archived mail clean and easy to search & find. You can use any EML Reader software for your Search (and Rescue) tasks. GL!

Hi, I simply backup the whole eMClient folder (while eMclient is not running) using winrar. In case of database corruption, it happened once, I just erase the folder and replace it with the .rar archive content. The default forder is
c:\users<username>\AppData\Roaming\eMClient I think (to be verified). Anyway, I moved the data onto another drive with more space available.
I perform a backup every week or so and keep the last of each month.

That is part of what eM Client’s own backup does. The difference other than that it is scheduled to run automatically, is that the internal backup can create the zip file while eM Client is running. It also writes the wal files back to the dat files where manually creating the zip file will not do that if eM Client was not shut down properly before you archive the folder.

The internal backup is less risky overall.

I backup automatically every second day, and keep all backups for 2 months.

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And if you are wondering how I can do that because that is not offered as an option in eM Client’s settings, I can write a how-to. :wink:

I’d be interested in a serving of “how-to” :grinning:

Thanks for the info ! I used to rely on auto backup a while ago but found Winrar to be real fast, just a few minutes to backup eveything. With V7 at least… Might try again the internal backup…
Regards !

How to setup an eM Client backup to run every two days, and preserve the last two month’s copies.

  1. The first thing to do is setup the eM Client Backup in Menu > Settings > Backup. When you are done, click on OK and wait for a backup to take place, which it should do within a few minutes.


  1. Once the first backup is complete, disable backups in eM Client’s settings.

  1. In Windows go to the Start Menu > Windows Administrative Tools and select Task Scheduler.

  1. Click on Task Scheduler Library and find the eM Client backup in the list of tasks. Double click on the task to edit it.

  1. Go to the Triggers tab and select Edit. Here you can change the time the backup will run, and how often. When you are finished, click OK.

  1. Now click on the Actions tab and select New.

  1. Here we are going to create a new action to delete backup zip files older than 60 days. We will specify a program to run and an argument to delete files older than 60 days.
    For the Program/script, paste in ForFiles.exe
    For the argument, paste in /p "D:\Backups" /s /d -60 /c "cmd /c del @file"
    Substitute whatever path you set in your eM Client Backup settings in step 1.

  1. Click OK, You now have a task that will run every 2 days, first making a backup and then deleting the backup zip files older than 60 days.

  1. The final step is to make sure the task is enabled. Right-click on the task and choose Enable.


Thank you @Gary!

Enjoy your holiday!

Thank you, @Gary!
Much smoother than the buggy cron jobs I used to write on my linux server moons ago… :slight_smile:

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Hi !
Just a simple question. Should eMClient refuse to load the database because of corruption (for instance due to an unexpected Windows reboot, this happened once), if the restore command from the menu is not available, is it OK to unzip the content of the backup into eMClient data folder ?
Thanks !
Merry Xmas BTW !

Yes, you can replace the contents of the database directory with the extracted zip.

Or, just delete the database directory, start eM Client and go to Menu > File > Restore.

Whatever works best for you.