What Is Google Takeout?

For an IT administrator, Google Takeout – or Google Takeaway – is a simple and effective tool for downloading data from all the Google Applications associated with an account.

Google Takeout allows users to export their data as downloadable ZIP files.

You can export and download your data from the Google products you use, like your Gmail, Drive, and Contacts.

In a few easy steps, you can create an archive for keeping records or using the data in another service.

Note: Downloading data using Google Takeout will not delete the data from Google’s servers.

Since these downloads tend to be time-consuming – depending on the type and size of data to be downloaded– Google sends you an email notification along with a link to the archive after the download is completed.

In case you are a G Suite administrator wanting to export your organization data, check out the Google Drive Backup Complete Guide for IT Administrators 2018.

Why Use Google Takeout?

A few things you can do using Google Takeout are:

  • Retaining the free version of Gmail while storing more data than what it allows
  • Creating space on your Google Drive by downloading and moving old files to a physical storage
  • Making copies of important files to store on other cloud services

What Can You Takeout?

Google Takeout lists 47 different kinds of data, ranging from Gmail, Contacts, Calendar, and Google Keep notes, to Photos, Hangouts, and Google Search history.

For the complete list of data types – and the number of applications or data linked to each product – sign in to your Google account, then visit your Google Dashboard.

If you are looking to download only the Gmail data, check out these methods.

How to access Google Takeout?

The process used to takeout Google data is simple.

For a quick access to Google Takeout, click on this link and continue from the 5th step in the following procedure.

How to use Google Takeout

1. Log in to Gmail with your account credentials.

2. Click on the “Google Apps” Icon next to the notifications icon as shown below and select the “Account” option.

1_My Account

3. Click on the “Control your content” option under the “Personal info & privacy” section on the webpage.

2_Control your content

4. Click on the “CREATE ARCHIVE” option.

3 Create archive

5. All the Google products are selected by default. To download data from a particular set of products, click on the “SELECT NONE” button.

4 Select none

6. To select the products for downloading data, click on the toggle bar next to the product names.

5 Toggle bar

Note: You can customize the data to be downloaded by clicking on the drop-down option next to the toggle bar.

7. After selecting the required applications, click on the “Next” button.

6 Next

8. In the next webpage that appears, select the following:

  1. Type of file for download under the “File type” option: .zip or .tgz
  2. The size of data archive under the “Archive size (max)” option: 1 GB. 2 GB, 4 GB, 10 GB, or 50 GB.
  3. The storage location under the “Delivery method” option: Send download link via email, Add to Drive, Add to Dropbox, Add to OneDrive, or Add to Box, and
  4. Click on the “CREATE ARCHIVE” button.

7_File type

Note: The default option downloads the archive as a zip file, with a  maximum size of 2 GB. If the size of your data archive is more than 2 GB, the archive will be broken down into as many 2 GB files as necessary. If you want to download all of your data as a single file, opt for the “tgz” format, which can download archive as a single zip file, with size up to 50 GB.

9. A progress bar will display the status of your download: percentage and data size. The time taken to create your archive will depend on the amount of data you’re trying to archive, i.e., the more the number of files, the longer the download. So, if you’re downloading everything in your account from its inception, it could literally take days to compile!

8 download progress

10. Once the archive is finished, you’ll receive an email notification. Otherwise, you can check the status in your Takeout page by selecting the “Manage Archives” option.

9 Manage archives

11. Click the “DOWNLOAD” button next to the created archive.

10 download

12. After the file is downloaded, open the folder and extract it. The root folder will have folders, based on the services you have archived for download. The folder will also have an “index.html” – The table of contents for your archive.

11 Index

Note: If you are wondering about how to use Google Takeout files, any good archiving program – like 7-Zip and WinRAR – will be able to extract these files.

13. Using this index page, you can view a specific file or a set of files. To view more details, click on the option you’d like to see more. Upon clicking an option, a brief description will be displayed at the bottom of the page, along with a link to open the file.

12 Archive

Note: The links will work only if you had extracted those files.

14. After the export process is completed, Google will retain the archived data for one week.

Limitations of Google Takeout

  • Google Takeout will not allow you to download files owned by someone else.
  • The folders that have been shared with you in Drive cannot be exported using Google Takeout, even if the folder has files created by you!
  • Google Takeout has a limit of 2 to 3 archives per day – Creating a Google Takeout archive for Gmail is limited to three attempts a day and up to seven total per week.
  • Google Takeout’s data export is not always reliable, as the data export process may fail anytime.
  • Even with a .tgz format, the maximum limit for an archive download is 50 GB/day
  • When the size of data is too big, you might end up with partial downloads – not all of your data would be downloaded.
  • You cannot create archives for multiple users at the same time.
  • Only the account owner can create a Takeout archive. If an administrator needs to archive and download, s/he should reset the password and log in to the particular user’s account to create the archive.
  • Sometimes, when an administrator tries to create an archive for users, their Google Takeout may get disabled.
  • If internet access is lost, the download progress would also be lost and cannot be resumed. You have to begin all over again!

Sounds complicated, doesn’t it?

This is why a backup solution like SysCloud would be a way better option for not just download and archiving, but also for restorations. To know more about why backing up data is important, check this out.

Hence, when you have a backup software, it will periodically back up all of your organization data and maintain a secondary copy for you to fall back on, in case of data loss incidents.

Try SysCloud’s Backup Solution

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