Google Takeout

If you are a Google user, you probably have a lot of information stored in your various Google accounts. All your emails, contacts, photos, Google drive files, and even your location data is all out there on the cloud.  Now there’s a simple interface for downloading all that data for back up or archiving.

Google Takeout is not new, but it has been redesigned to make the interface easier to use.

After opening the app, you see a list of all the different types of data you can archive. Just check the box next to the data you’d like to download.

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You can touch the arrow to the left of the check mark to see additional options. For items like contacts, bookmarks,  SMS messages or location data a file is created with all the data in it and there aren’t any options to configure. But in some cases you can be more selective about what exactly you back up.

For example, under Google Drive, you can choose to include everything you have uploaded to your online storage account, or select only specific files, folders or even only files of a certain type.

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Under Google Photos, you can also back up everything or select individual albums. I use Google+ for my online photo storage, so I happen to have a large number of albums (over 800 just in 2014) to back up.

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And if you’re downloading your gmail data, you can archive the entire account (complete with attachments) or extract only the folders that are important to you.

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Once you’ve decided what you want to archive,  you can choose your format and delivery method.

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Google will let you know when your archive is ready for download. I selected my entire account while I was creating this post, and I am still waiting a week later, so please be patient if you have selected a large amount of data.

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