How To Use Google Takeout

For Google users who have important information stored in their account, knowing how to use Google Takeout can be a helpful tool.

In this post we will talk about Google’s data backup tool, Google Takeout, and how to use it.

What is Google Takeout?

Google Takeout allows for information stored in a Google account to be downloaded as an archive. This also applies to YouTube accounts, which are a part of Google accounts.

This can be used to backup certain data, or to transfer it to a different account. Google does not have any option to merge accounts, so if swapping Google accounts, this can be a very useful tool.

This backup function can be accessed by searching for “Google Takeout”, by clicking on the link above, or by finding it under “Data & Privacy” in Manage Your Google Account, after clicking on your initial or picture.

Locate the section for Download Your Data and step through the process.

How it Works

Some of the main types of data that can be archived are:

  • Email
  • Documents
  • Calendar
  • Photos
  • YouTube videos
  • Data about registration and account activity

Users are not limited to just this data though. Almost every Google app has some form of downloadable content. Any type of data that can be downloaded will show in a list of takeout options.

The check boxes to the right of each app allows users to decide whether or not they want that information to be included into the “archive” that is being created. Blue check means include this information in the download.

In some apps users will have the option to choose file formats, as well as other app specific options to include all or parts of the data.

Each app will have its own buttons to customize what is or isn’t backed up. It is also important to note it does not back up shared drives or any documents that have been shared with you. In order to back up shared drives users will need to pay for Google Vault, or do the backup themselves manually.

Takeout app selection screen with app option bubbles

Downloading and Scheduled Backups

Users can use Google Takeout to schedule frequent automatic backups. This is especially important for businesses, and individuals who rely heavily on Google.

Export everything once, or schedule exports automatically once every 2 months for 1 year.

Data can be downloaded/archived physically to a device, or it can be stored in multiple other cloud storage options such as OneDrive, or Dropbox etc.

Downloads will be compressed. Google offers either .zip files or .tgz files. It is recommended users choose .zip files, as they are accessible on most types of computers.

Deleting Account Data

If users decide to delete their data entirely, this is also easily accessible through Googles account management options.

After selecting the Data & Privacy tab, scroll down to “More options”. Here you can delete the entire Google account. Note that this may look slightly different if the account is a managed google account.

If you have specific questions about how to use Google Takeout, or if our terminology isn’t clear, please use our contact form to send us a message. Thank you!

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