Using Google Takeout and Google Transfer

Beginning  July 24, 2024 all alumni Google accounts will be limited to 5 GB of total storage including Gmail, Google Drive, Photos, etc. Read the announcement about the changes to Berkeley’s Alumni Email Service

Transfer ownership of files to someone at UC Berkeley

Before migrating any content, you need to identify files that should be transferred to researchers or departments where you worked as a former student or employee. Follow the steps outlined on the "Prevent loss of data or files!" guide to ensure continued access and protection.

  • Identify content that might need to be transferred to someone at UC Berkeley.

  • Consult these Google instructions to learn how to make someone else the owner of your file.

  • Ask if your researcher or department has a Google Shared Drive where you could move content and easily transfer ownership.

Self-service options

  • Google Takeout
    • Best for content less than 50 GB
    • Choose which content to copy
    • Content is copied to your personal computer
  • Google Transfer
    • All content is copied for each Google service you choose
    • Content is copied to another Google account
    • Files will stay organized in folders you transfer

Google Takeout

Consult Google's detailed instructions for how to download your Google data before you get started. 

Step 1: Select data to include

  • Go to the Google Takeout page while using Chrome (recommended browser).
  • Google products (e.g. Gmail, Drive) are automatically selected for export, but it is best to export your data for each product separately.
  • Choose Deselect all and then select one product to export.

Google Takeout Deselect All

  • If you only want to download some of your data from a product, you may have the option to click a button like "all data included". Then you can uncheck the box next to any data you don’t want to include.

Google Takeout Drive Selection

  • For Drive, choose All Drive data included and then choose the folder/files you want for the download archive.
  • It's best to download your data in smaller chunks given the Google Takeout 50 GB maximum archive size (see below).

Google Takeout Drive Folder Selection

  • For Mail, Click All Mail data included. The tool will display all mail labels in your Gmail. You can keep the Include all messages in Mail box checked or uncheck it and select the specific labels you’d prefer to export.
  • Click OK.

Google Takeout Mail Content

  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Next step.

Step 2: Customize your download archive format

Delivery method

  • Choose Option 1 to have Google sent you an email with a link to download your Google data archive.
  • Choose Option 2 to have your archive downloaded directly into another storage system.
  • Google has detailed instructions on moving your content to other cloud services.
    • Note that selecting Drive is not recommended because this will add your download to your UC Berkeley Drive, adding to your current storage usage.

Export type

  • Choose Export once.

File type

  • Google offers .zip and Tgz options. In most cases, .zip will be best since .tgz might require additional software.

Archive size

  • Choose the maximum size archive you want to create (50 GB is the largest option)

Note: If the data you’re downloading is larger than this size, multiple archives will be created.

Google Takeout Select Export Size

Step 3: Retrieve your Google data archive

  • Google will email you a link to your archive’s location.

Note: This process could take from a few minutes to a few days, depending on the amount of information in your account and what you chose to export.

Step 4: Open, save and check your Google data archive 

  • Download your archive to your computer or an external drive and then open your archive to access the files.

Tip: We recommend you check several folders to confirm they are complete and several files to confirm they are intact. Spot check your email as well.

Note: Google Takeout provides email in the .MBOX format. The .MBOX format is a simple text format that can be read by any text editor or word processor (like Microsoft Word). This can be useful if you only need to keep your email for archival purposes. You can also import the .MBOX files into any third-party mail client that supports the format or special purpose programs for transferring email between accounts.

Step 5: Delete files from your @berkeley Google account

  • Once you have confirmed the data you want to keep has been transferred successfully, delete it from your Berkeley Google account.
  • Manually empty your Trash since Google takes 30 days to empty it automatically.

Google Transfer

You can use Google Transfer to copy all of your Berkeley Google mail and/or Google Drive content to another Google account, e.g. a personal @gmail account. Consult Google's detailed instructions for using Transfer before you get started.

Things to Consider:

  • You can only copy all of your email or Drive content, not a sub-selection (unlike Takeout).
  • You must ensure you have enough storage in the destination account or the transfer will fail.
  • The copy process can take up to a week, If you have a lot of content and/or a slow internet connection.
  • You cannot halt a transfer once it starts and have no way to monitor it's progress.
  • Copied files or email might appear in batches on your Google account during the copy process.
  • Google Transfer only supports email and Drive transfers.

Step 1: Create an account

Alert: Transfers will fail if your personal account does not have enough storage.  You should purchase a Google One storage plan large enough to support your data transfer to ensure success.

Step 2: Prepare your files

Info: You can only transfer files that you own within your My Drive. For more information, review My Drive vs. Shared Drives vs. Shared with me.

  • To transfer content that you do NOT own, you must first make a copy. Be sure you have a right to this content outside of your Berkeley role.

Step 3: Start the copy process

Tip: Login to your Google account in a separage Google Chrome profile from your personal Google account to avoid conflicts and error messages during your transfer.

  1. Login to your Berkeley account and go to Transfer your content
  2. Enter the email address of the destination Google Account where you want your content to go.
  3. Select Get code.
  4. In a separate Google Chrome profile, login to your non-Berkeley Google Account, check your Gmail inbox for a confirmation email from Google. In the email, select Get confirmation code. A new tab will open with a code.
  5. On your Google account, go back to the Transfer your content page. Enter the code, then choose Verify.
  6. Choose the content you'd like to copy (Email and/or Drive content), then select Start transfer.

Step 4: Check your copied files

  • When your files or emails are finished copying, you'll receive an email.
  • Check your files before deleting them from your Berkeley account. Occasionally this process is imperfect.