How hard is it to export your Google data? It’s not very hard, but it’s not a piece of cake either – mainly it’s just inconvenient and can be time-consuming (depending on which services you need to export). If you’re familiar with the Google Data Liberation Front, then you know that Google has worked hard to make it easier for its users to move their data in and out of Google.
Unfortunately, up until now users have had to do this individually – service by service. That is until Google recently announced their new service Takeout, on their Data Liberation Blog. Google Takeout lets users archive and download data from all of their Google data services in a single click.
Takeout currently supports the following services: Google Buzz, Contacts and Circles, Picasa Web Albums, Profile, and Stream; more services will be added in the future. Seeing how it can be kind of a pain to find exactly where the export option is on some Google services, Takeout is surprisingly easy to find and even easier to use.
What is Google Takeout?
Google does a great job of explaining just what Takeout is and how it differs from the old way of exporting data. Just watch the short, ingenious video below which uses the analogy of an actual takeout service to explain what Google Takeout can do.
Head on over to the Google Takeout page to get started. Once you sign in you’ll see the “All of your data” section.
This section shows you all of the data that Google currently has of you. Depending on the services you use, you may see something slightly different here.
You can easily start your archive by clicking on the “Create Archive” button. The time it takes to archive your data will, of course, depend on the amount of files and size of the file for each service. You can see my info below; it literally took around 30 – 45 seconds to create my backup.
Once your archive is created, you can download it in .zip format. After that, you can login any time to download your archive because it will be saved under the “Downloads” section.
It’s not clear how many downloads are saved here, but I did create 2 other archives and all 3 now appear under the “Downloads” section. So it looks like you’ll have access to quite a few previous archives.
If you don’t want to automatically archive all of your services, you can click on “Choose Services” in the top navigation to choose specific services. Just click on the services that you do want to archive and then click on the “Create Archive” button.
Here you can also see the estimated number of files you have in that account and the estimated total size of the file before creating the archive, unlike the quicker method above.
That’s really all there is to Takeout: just one click and within under a minute you can have all of your data in a single folder. Google meant for Takeout to be super quick and easy, and that it is.
I really prefer exporting all of my data in a single click and from a single location, rather than having to go to each individual service to do it; so Google Takeout is definitely a link that I’ll keep handy.
How about you? What do you think of this new service? Will you use Google Takeout?