Automatically Backup Emails as PDF to Dropbox and Google Drive

Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo, whatever the email service you are using, you would always want to keep a backup of your important emails. This assures  that you never lose your past emails even if you fail to retain the access of your email account.
So many tools are out there to backup the emails. One such tool is the Microsoft Outlook, which requires a quick setting to get your inbox backed up at your local computer. But here with this tutorial, you can backup your emails to Dropbox, Google drive or any cloud service as PDF file format. The interesting thing with the technique which I am going to introduce is it does not take any extra time to covert your emails into PDF file. What you need to concentrate on is how you do you automate the process and send the converted files at your cloud accounts.
Well, to automate the whole process we’ll take the help of some useful IFTTT Recipes.

The Mechanism Behind Converting the Emails into PDF Format

There is a free service, which converts your emails to PDF format into a second or two. It does not need any type of installation or sign-up. All you need to do is sending your content to the email address and it will send it back in PDF format.
We’ll make use of that awesome service to automatically convert all the incoming emails at your inbox. You can do it in all modern email services like Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail etc. by using an IFTTT recipe. In this tutorial, we’ll take Gmail as an example and I’m sure you will be able to set this up for other email services without any extra headache.

How to Automatically Convert Emails into PDF Format

Sign into your Gmail account . Now, open IFTTT into a new browser tab and create a new account. If you are already an IFTTT user, just sign in with your existing account.
Now, create a new IFTTT recipe to forward the new emails to Here, we shall use an email filter to prevent the redundancy which I have discussed later.

Creating IFTTT recipe to forward emails

Click the ‘Create’ link from the home page and then click ‘this’.
Create IFTTT Recipe
Choose ‘Gmail as the ‘Trigger channel’.
Choose Trigger Channel
Select ‘New starred email’ as ‘Trigger’.
Choose Trigger
and click the ‘Create Trigger’ button.
Create Trigger Button
The above settings create the if condition for you. Now, you have to configure the ‘then’ attributes. So, click the ‘that’ link
Then action in IFTTT
and choose ‘Gmail’ again as the ‘Action channel’.
This time you will get a single option, ‘Send an Email‘ for the ‘Action’. Choose it.
Choose an Action
The 6th step of the configuration needs you to complete the ‘Action Fields’. Put “” (without quotes) at the ‘To address’ field and keep the rest as it is and finally click the ‘Create Action’ button.
Complete Action Fields
At the last step of the above task, you need to complete the setup by clicking the ‘Create Recipe’ button.
Create Recipe button
So, you have created a recipe which will forward every email, marked with star sign to the given address. As soon as the emails are forwarded to that address, the service will convert the email body into PDF format and reply back with the PDF file as email attachment. Every reply from the converter holds “Converted” as subject name.

Automatically Backup the Emails as PDF to Dropbox

Well, now we’ll create another IFTTT recipe which will send all those PDF attachments to your Dropbox account.

Using IFTTT Recipe to Send Attachments to Dropbox

You can create another new recipe from your IFTTT account or use this ready-made recipe. Now, put the label name as “PDF_Backup” (without quotes) at the ‘Label’ field for the trigger. Also modify the Dropbox path for action as your need.
Trigger and Action for Dropbox
Once done, click the ‘Update’ button. Make sure that you have connected your Gmail and Dropbox account with this recipe. If you are already logged in from the same browser, it will detect automatically. If not, click the corresponding service icon and log-in with your account credentials.
After configuring the IFTTT successfully, you will have to create two filters in your Gmail account. Before that, create a new label ‘PDF_Backup’ in your account. Get into you Gmail account and go to Settings and flip to the ‘Label’ tab, then create a new label named as ‘PDF_Backup’.

Creating the Filter to Mark all Incoming Mails as Stared

Now, head to the ‘Filters’ tab and click the ‘Create a new Filter’ link from bottom of the page. Put “Converted” (without quotes) at the ‘Doesn’t have’ field and click the “Create filter with this search”.
Create Filter Stared Email
In the next step, check the box ‘Start it’ and click the ‘Create filter’ button.
Note: You need to create this filter to ignore the emails which are sent from the PDF converter service. Otherwise, every emails from that service will be sent back again and again, resulting a redundancy.

Creating the Filter to Automatically Backup the PDF Attachments to Dropbox

Create another filter for all incoming mails from the Put “” at the ‘From’ field, click the link ‘Create filter with this search’ and check the box ‘Apply the label: ‘. Select the label that you created earlier from the drop-down and click the ‘Create Filter’ button.
That’s it. From now, any email that reachs your inbox will be converted into PDF format and backed up automatically to your Dropbox.
The same thing can you done with your Google Drive account. Just use the IFTTT recipe for Google drive to backup the PDF files at Google Drive.


  1. You say that I can do it in “all modern email services like Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.” but then you choose Gmail.. Well, I can’t find wheter Hotmail nor Yahoo! as ‘Trigger channels’inside IFTTT. 🙁 How am I supposed to do that? Thanks.


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