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How to Process Exported Emails from Google Apps Vault


Google Apps Vault – Overview

In the current era with upgrading technology, Google has become a helping hand towards all the problems faced by the users. Google offers users with many web-based services like Gmail, Google Vault, and Google Takeout.

In 2012, Google brought Google Vault into existence. If we talk about Google Vault, it can be said that it is a paid add-on provided for the Google Applications.  Using Google Vault, the users can find, archive, import, export, and retain mails of a company.

Google Vault has a mesmerizing feature of eDiscovery, with which the users can search for specific words or mails.

In many cases, for using Business mails along with Outlook, the users need to export Google Vault to Outlook PST format.  Though, the process is relaxing but the thing that does Google Vault provides facility to export archived Mails to Outlook PST in direct manner ? The answer is No!

Henceforth, the users go to state of procrastination with a question continuously striking their mind: How to export Google Vault to PST?

User’s Concern

Before going to the main matter let’s first try to understand it by a simple user’s query.

“I have tried many applications that Google Offers like Gmail and Google Takeout. Few days back, I was reading somewhere regarding Google Vault. The paid-add on captured all my attention and I went crazy over it. Without delaying for a second I bought it and got stuck in a major problem. I want to know how I can process my mails from Google Apps Vault. If there is anyone who has an answer, please help me. All the leads shall be appreciated! Thanks In Advance!”

To resolve the query, we burned our mid-night oil and came across few best possible outcomes. All of them are captured below:

I reckon that few of us might know that Google Apps Vault exports mails as MBOX files. Additionally, Google Apps Vault, the unread, deleted message status information are stored as a separate XML file having a name ending with metadata.xml. If you are processing MBOX file from Google Apps Vault, make sure that the corresponding metadata.xml file is stored in the same folder.

Let’s Understand in a Simplified Manner – How Google Vault Export Works ?

Once Google Apps Vault has figured out where messages/ files you need are located, you can be prepared to export them for analyzing further. But, before that pull your socks and know Why Export Functionality of Google Vault is designed?

So, here we go:

  1. Provides with inclusive replicas of the data that completely matches your searching criteria
  2. Offers metadata that you need to link in exported data for individual user of your domain
  3. Gives theory of finding the information that is required to provide proof of exported data matching with stored data on Google Servers.

Now, let’s not get deviated and start with how Google Vault Export Works?

If you have found the mails, files related to your matter, you can export them as mentioned below:

  1. Select Export Results from the list of search results
  2. Provide Name for Export
  3. Click and Begin Export Process
  • After this is completed, download the exported mails by hitting on View Complete Files.
  • Opt for Download, provided next to the file which you need to be downloaded

CTM: Exported Files are available only for 15 days. After 15 days time is over it will get deleted permanently.

Now, as per the Need of Hour, a question arises: What are the Top Most Features Provided by Google Apps Vault?

To figure it out, let’s begin with the next stanza:

  1. It provides with Email and Chat Archiving Feature. Via this option, you can customize retention rules for controlling email messages and chats sustenance, before being completely removed from mailboxes of users.
  2. Offers Email Search: It is the most powerful function that can be used for email investigations. It enables the users with searching of particular mailing account, a keyword, or by a date. The best part is that it supports Gmail Specific, Wildcard operators, and Boolean Searches too.
  3. Renders with Drive File Search: This facility allows you to search all the Google Drive Results that includes non-Google file types i.e., PDF, JPG, DOCX and many more.
  4. Facilitates With Export Option: It is one of the most preferred solution to export desired or archived mails to a separate file.
  5. Gives Audit Report: This function can be used to view the Vault Audit Reports to find out the activities that Vault users may have done during a specific time.

After going through a brief analysis of What Google Takeout Does, let’s get aware about the Retention Period Served By Google Vault!

If user accidentally deletes the mails accidentally, it can be restored via Google Vault. The deleted data is recovered within 25 days of deletion, through Google Admin Console. But, if the retention period is over, then Gmail Messages covered by Retention rule can be downloaded back by Google Vault. Furthermore, the data can be viewed or opened by importing it to Gmail.

Now, the main concern that user faces is how to open and read the mails of Exported Files:

Through the Desktop Email Client:

MBOX file is a reliable file format. Its best part is its connectivity and compatibility with many mailing clients like:

  1. Mozilla Thunderbird
  2. Entourage
  3. Eudora
  4. Apple Mail
  5. PocoMail
  6. Spicebird
  7. The Bat!
  8. Netscape and many more

After gathering all the knowledge, we are still stuck to a point how to move MBOX to a Respective Mailing Account?

To solve this query we can go by two ways:

  1. Manual Way – Thunderbird Import/Export Add-on
  2. Automated Way – Thunderbird Import Wizard

This question creates hassle in mind Why to buy a tool if we have got a freeware for it?

So, it is a tough call to take but the thing is that every free utility is bound to some restrictions. Like, Thunderbird Import/Export Add-on does not maintain the folder structure while migrating the files. It is prone to corruption. Moreover, the built-in tool can delete the files if exported in bulk.

But, if we take the other side of coin i.e., Thunderbird Import Wizard, it can be claimed as best possible solution to resolve the problem. The software provides numerous advantages to users. Few of them are described in the paragraph below:

It imports MBOX files to Thunderbird in batch with attachments and provides the users with option to Add MBOX files through select File/Folder, date filters. The best thing that the tool offers is maintenance of Folder Structure and meta-properties. Additionally, the software is operable on Windows Operating Systems. It is not bound to any restrictions when it comes to import process. It also requires Thunderbird Account pre-installed.

  • Export Google Vault to Outlook PST:

This process can also be performed via two ways:

  1. Manual Method: Thunderbird to Gmail and then Outlook
  2. Recommended Solution: MBOX Converter

For performing the conversion process manually, first of all, configure your Gmail ID to Thunderbird and move all the MBOX files to it. Once you have completed it, delete the Gmail account configured in Mozilla Thunderbird. Finally, when all the MBOX files are collected in your Gmail Account, configure it in Outlook. From there you can get your message folders imported from MBOX to PST.

Though the things seems easy, when we read this. But, in actual it is completely different. First of all, it required Outlook installation and it is a paid service. It is more prone to corruption if internet connection is not available. Moreover, there is more probability of data loss, if anything goes wrong. It is vulnerable to data threats as Gmail is a cloud based application.

If we consider the other scenario i.e., MBOX Converter, the tool has many brilliant features that makes it A Face in the Crowd. So, jotted below are few best points that the software provides:

  1. Imports MBOX to PST files in bulk
  2. Outlook is not required for migration
  3. Previews MBOX mails with attachments
  4. Selective mail migration option provided
  5. Operable on all Windows Operating Systems

We all are aware that every good thing has some flaws. Same goes with Google Apps Vault. Despite of all the functionalities, it has some drawbacks like few errors.

So, in this section we will describe the Errors of Google Apps Vault

  1. Transient Error: In this case, the backend server is unable to retrieve mails/files. Items should be available to export if we search for it latter.
  2. Non-transient Error: This error occurs in message attachments/file has been deleted, cannot be converted to requested format, or is not supported to export.

Final Thoughts

The article solely declares that it serves users with best possible knowledge of Google Apps Vault, along with the details like how to export data from it, Retention Policies, how does it work, and so-on. One can remain in touch with the write-up to understand it thoroughly and implement it in near future.


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