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I started to download them all a few days ago - they were starting to be downloaded in chunks of 250ish or 500ish - which is fine, don't expect everything to be done in one lump.
However, the past 48 hours or so it's been severely restricted to 10 messages per go - at this rate it's going to take a week, rather than another day or so.
any ideas? is there a limit?
I got round by doing a few searches within the date ranges of emails i had already downloaded - e.g. 1/1/2006 to get 12/31/2004 through to 12/31/2006(ish).
Then I deleted all of the messages which were within the time range.
Then changed gmail to download all messages, even ones already downloaded - as it will skip trash.
once all emails were downloaded up to date, i changed email to only emails from now on, and restored the deleted emails back to inbox.
fiddly, but not too much hassle for half a million emails.