Most people who use any of Google's services know that Google keeps a copy of your data at all times. This includes your search history, Gmail, YouTube history and just about everything else you can think of. Even though Google is a safe place to store your data it's always best to have a backup just in case something goes wrong. Especially a backup of Drive and Document files. If you’d like to download a copy of any or all of this data, the steps in this guide will show you how.
Although most people aren’t aware they can download this content from Google, it has been around for quite some time and can be done using a Google service called Google Takeout. Google Takeout is the official, fully featured way to download your Google data from any of the below-listed services.
+1s on Google+
Chrome data (Autofill, bookmarks, etc.)
Drive (All files)
Google+ Stream (all posts)
Hangouts on Air
Maps (your places)
YouTube (history, playlists, subs, videos)
The best part about using Google Takeouts is that you can pick and choose which parts you would like to download. For example, you can choose Chrome settings, calendars, as well as countless other micro manageable content.
How to Backup all Your Google Services Data Using Google Takeout.
To find Google Takeout, you can Google Search Google Takeout and select it from the list or if you’d prefer you can find the option from your Google account. Simply go to your account, select Manage your Google activity and scroll down to the Control your content section. Finally, you will need to select Create archive.
Once you are on the Takeouts page, assuming this is your first visit, there won’t be much listed on the page. However, as soon as you have made some backups, your archived downloads will be listed here. By default, all of Google Takeouts options are set to On, but there’s an option at the very top to select none if you only need to download a small segment of information. If you want to download everything, feel free to go with the default setting.
Next to most of the toggles, there is also a little drop-down arrow with an on/off toggle that will give you access to more options for that particular service. Again the settings you choose are completely up to you.
Note: There are quite a few different file types that your data will download as. Hangouts are JSON format, Keep are HTML, Calendar are iCal etc. For Google drive files there are numerous other file types to choose from, so keep this in mind when you are making changes.
Once you’ve made all the changes you need to and everything is ready click Next at the bottom of the screen.
This next step is where you will choose your file type, archive size and the format you want the file downloaded in. Zip files have a 2gb max size limit to adhere to. If you are going slightly larger than 2gb, you can use a zip64 file. (these may not be supported on older operating systems) Alternatively, you can still use zip and let Takeout divide the backup into 2gb segments. If your file is going to be huge, I would suggest using either tgz or tbz options, both of which default to 50GB archives.
After you have finished with file settings, you will need to choose a download method. You can choose to get a download link via email or add the file to a cloud storage service. Dropbox, Drive, and OneDrive are supported options. Once that's done, all you have to do is click Create Archive.
Now you will have to wait for the process to finish. Depending on how much data you are dealing with will affect the time you wait. The more data, the longer the wait. It’s quite possible to wait days if you are trying to acquire everything. Once it’s finished compiling, you will be notified by email. If you opted to get the download by email, you will have an attached download link. If you didn’t, you can get to the download by heading back over to your Takeout page and selecting Manage Archives
Note: Archives are only available to download for a week, after a week they will be removed.
Once the file has finished downloading you can extract it with your preferred unzip program, then view the contents. Inside the main folder, you will have a folder for each service you included in your archive, as well as a HTML file called index.html. This HTML file is a table of all the information you decided to include in your download.
You are probably wondering why you would bother downloading your data from Google. The answer is simple really, no matter how powerful and safe Google is, there is always a possibility something may go wrong and your data can be lost, hacked, or deleted. Putting it simply, it’s better to be safe than sorry.