Download Google Content Using Google Takeout

Google Takeout

Google Takeout is available for Binghamton University Google Workspace users who would like to download their Google content either as a backup or to preserve content before losing access to a service. You can either download all of your Google content at once or select specific app content for the download. Google Takeout is commonly recommended for people when their affiliation changes and they will lose access to their account, a specific service or if Google is phasing out a service. To view a page with additional information about Google Takeout, please visit

How to begin a Google Takeout

Google Takeout can be access through the direct link or through your Google Account settings. Make sure you are logged into your Binghamton University Google account.

To access Google Takeout hrough your Google Account settings, start by logging into your Binghamton University email address at Click on the Binghamton University logo in the upper right corner of the screen and select "Manage your Google Account". From the menu on the left, select "Data & Privacy". Then scroll down to "Download or Delete your Data" and click on "Download your data. Make a copy of your data to back it up". This will bring you to the screen to begin the Google Takeout.

  1. Step One: Select Data to Include - You may see dozens of Google Services that you can select for downloading your data.  Everything is selected by default, so If you want to include everything, proceed to clicking the "Next Step" button. If you are looking for specific content such as Mail, Drive, Hangouts or Photos, you can click the option to "Deselect All" and then scroll down to click the checkbox to select the specific content you want to download. While you are selecting the service, you can click links to read about the format that will be used to export your content and any additional options. Note that the content might not be in the current format you are used to using from within the Google App. Once you have checked the box next to the content you want, click "Next Step" to proceed.
  2. Step Two: Choose file type & destination - This step gives you options for receiving your files. The default option is Zip files with a link sent to you via email and 2GB file size. There are other options which you can select if you prefer and if you accept that there may be additional requirements. Once you have verified the settings click "Create Export".
  3. Step Three: Export Progress You will see a confirmation that the Takeout has been requested and when it will begin: For example: Export 1 of 1 will start on September 25, 2022. Note that Google will schedule the takeout so it will not necessarily begin immediately. 

Download your files

You will receive an email message from Google Takeout when the export is ready. Here is a sample of what will be provided in the notification email::

Click the "Download your files" button which will take you to the links for the individual Zip files.

If you miss the email notification, you can also return to Google Takeout to view the exports in progress or access the downloads. Please note that you will only have access to the files for download for about a week. After that, the links will be removed.

Sometimes the Google Takeout export will fail. You should be notified via email if this happens so you can start the export again. Be sure to monitor the status of the export to make sure it completes before your lose access to the Google service.

Using the downloaded content

The content is provided to you in one or more files in Zip format. In order to access the content, the Zip files will need to be downloaded to your computer then extracted to folders on your computer. Windows and Mac computers should have built-in programs to extract the contents of Zip files so no additional program installation is necessary. You should make note of the storage requirements for the content you are downloading to make sure you have enough hard drive space to download and extract your files.

The content from Google will have been exported in a variety of formats. Some formats cannot be easily accessed by opening the exported content directly. The export will need to be imported into another program for access. Here are some examples of the formats for common exports:

Drive: Your Google Drive content is generally in the format you had uploaded it (Word, Excel, PDF, etc)

Email: Messages can be downloaded as MBOX or JSON format. In order to access the messages in a usable format, the exported mail should be imported into an email program.

Hangouts: Chat message content is provided as a JSON file which can be accessed using a text editor such as Notepad. Any attachments that were uploaded through Hangouts are exported in their original format.

Google Takeouts can be completed at any time or multiple times as as a routine backup for your content. You must still have access to the service from which you want to export data so be sure to leave enough time if you are exporting data prior to a deadline.

If you would like assistance, please feel free to contact the Binghamton University ITS Help Desk at 607-777-6420 or Submit a Request, and we'll be happy to help.

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Article ID: 811
Fri 9/23/22 11:25 AM
Fri 9/23/22 11:45 AM