Learn more about Google Takeout

Google Takeout is available to student, faculty, and staff for the exporting of Google Workspace Data. Google Takeout encompasses all of an individual’s data in Google. Visit Using Takeout to Export Google Workspace Data to learn how to use the tool.

Things to Know About Takeout

  • The process does not delete any data from your Google account.
  • Exports larger than your chosen .zip size will be split into multiple .zip files.
  • The download of your export may take a long time. Please keep the Google Takeout window open to ensure the downloads complete. If you minimize the window or work in another window, the downloads will fail after 15 minutes due to the need to authenticate.
  • The export must be downloaded within one week of completion. If you do not download the exported data, you will need to run the export again.
  • If you choose to restore Google Drive data by manually importing Takeout files, the sharing permissions of the files will not be retained. You will need to manually share the files with the collaborators.

Limitations of Takeout

  • Suspended users cannot download their data using Google Takeout.
  • Folders that have been shared with you in Drive cannot be exported using Google Takeout, even if the folder has files created by you. Only folders in your Drive will be exported.
  • Exports your entire Drive; you cannot select certain files.
  • The option to transfer your export to another service, such as OneDrive, will simply place the .zip files into that service. You will still need to download the files in order to extract them and then reupload the extracted files into the service. For this reason, OTS recommends that you choose the “Send download link via email” option.

Limitations of Takeout - Google Photos

  • Google Photos exports will be larger than expected.
    • Takeout will export edited pictures along with the unedited original.
    • You may have pictures that previously did not count towards your quota (ex. Pixel phone owners and pictures uploaded in “High Quality” before June 2021).
    • Pictures that have been shared with you and added to your library do not count against your quota until the original uploaded deletes the photos or stops sharing them with you.
    • Similar to Drive, only pictures that are in your Google Photos account can be exported. Visit

Use Google Takeout to Export Google Photos to learn how to export pictures that have been shared with you.

  • If you choose to export your albums and the auto-generated “Photos from [year]” albums, you will have duplicate pictures.
  • Google will separate the picture metadata from the picture file. This means an export of 5 pictures, will have 10 files. This separate, metadata .json file will contain the information about the camera, the GPS location of the picture (Geotag), lighting information etc.
    • To rejoin these two files, you have a couple options that are not supported by OTS or Google.
      • There is a third-party application (not created by Google or Ill) that rejoins the metadata to the picture files. This app is free for users that want to process up to 100 pictures. Users can submit a one-time payment for full access to the app to process more pictures at once. OTS once tested this application with an export of 38,000 images and the application worked as advertised.
        Learn more at: https://metadatafixer.com/
      • If you do not want to use an application, it is possible to create a custom script to rejoin the metadata to the respective pictures.
        Learn more at: https://github.com/TheLastGimbus/GooglePhotosTakeoutHelper

Possible Issues During Takeout Process

  • Files that are larger than your chosen export size:
    • will not be included in the .zip files created during Takeout and will instead have its own download link.
    • may fail to be included in the Takeout process and require a manual download from drive.google.com.
  • If your download of the export fails, try again and leave the Takeout website open. Make sure the webpage is the last window you have clicked on (the window is “in focus”), and then leave your computer be. If the window falls into the background (you click on another window), your session will timeout and you will need to log in again, breaking the current download progress.