How to Export Your Google Drive Files

how to export your Google Drive files

Google Drive is great for storing files, but what if you need to access them offline? Learn how to export your Google Drive files.

Google Drive is a useful cloud storage service that allows you to keep all of your Google documents stored in the cloud—it even allows you to collaborate on them with other people. The downside of all types of cloud storage is that if you’re offline, you may not be able to access your files. You might also decide that you’re not that keen on Google having access to all of your files and want to leave the service.

The good news is that you can export all of your data out of Google Drive if you so wish. This won’t delete your files in Google Drive. It simply exports a copy of them that you can store wherever you wish.

If you want to get your Google Drive documents out of the cloud, learn how to export your Google Drive files below.

Why Export Your Google Drive Files?

Google Drive is a great way to store your files in the cloud. You can access your files from anywhere that you have internet access. However, there are a couple of reasons why you might want to export your Google Drive files.

Firstly, you may want to use your files even when you don’t have an internet connection. It is possible to use your Google Drive files offline, but you need to make your file available offline before you can do so. If you have no internet connection and haven’t already made a file available offline, then you won’t be able to open it.

Exporting your Google Drive files means you can access them from your hard drive even if you have no internet connection. Secondly, if you have important files, then saving them in only one location can be a risk.

If something goes wrong and the files somehow get deleted from Google Drive, you may not be able to recover them. Having a copy of your files saved offline ensures that even if you lose your cloud files, your documents aren’t lost.

How to Export Your Google Drive Files

Exporting your Google Drive files is fairly simple to do, thanks to Google Takeout. This is a project created by the Google Data Liberation Front, an engineering team at Google, with the goal of making it easier for people who use Google products to move their data in and out of Google should they wish to.

Google Takeout was the Google Data Liberation Front’s first product. You can use it to download data from a wide range of Google products.

To export your Google Drive Files using Google Takeout:

  1. Navigate to the Google Takeout website and sign in to your Google account.
  2. By default, the selection includes almost all Google products, including many products you may not use.
  3. If you only want to export your Google Drive files, click Deselect All first.
    google takeout deselect
  4. Scroll down to Drive and check the box.
    google takeout check google drive
  5. Three additional options will appear.
  6. Click Multiple Formats to choose the formats that the export will use for various types of documents.
    google takeout multiple formats
  7. To change a format, click on the Documents drop-down.
    google takeout file format
  8. Select one of the options from the menu.
    google takeout format options
  9. Click OK to save your changes.
  10. Next, click Advanced Settings to access additional takeout advanced settings
  11. Check Include Named, Published, and Uploaded Versions if you have saved some named revisions of your documents that you also want to download.
    google takeout include named versions
  12. Check Include Additional Info For Files and Folders to download extra files that contain additional information about your files and folders. This isn’t recommended unless you really need it, as it adds a ton of unnecessary files to your download.
    google takeout include additional data
  13. Click All Drive Data Included if you only want to include specific folders in your download.
    google takeout all data
  14. Uncheck Include All Files and Folders in Drive and select the folders you want to include.
    google takeout include all files and folders
  15. When you’re happy with our selections, scroll down to the very bottom of the page and click Next Step.
    google takeout next
  16. The default setting is to receive the download via email. If you would prefer that it uploads to a cloud storage service, click the Transfer To drop-down.
    google takeout transfer to drop-down
  17. Select the cloud storage service you want to use. The export will be uploaded to that service, and you’ll be emailed a link to its location.
    google takeout cloud storage options
  18. You can also choose whether to export your files once or to automatically export them every two months for a year.
    google takeout export once
  19. Select the type of file you want the export to create. The default is .zip, but you can click the drop-down and change this to .tgz if you wish.
    google takeout export type
  20. Finally, decide the maximum file size for your export. If your data is larger than the file size you select, it splits into multiple files.
  21. Click the drop-down to choose a size from 1GB up to 50GB.
    google takeout export size
  22. When you’re ready, click Create Export.
  23. Google will create a copy of your files. This could take a significant amount of time; you will receive an email when the process is complete. You can opt to cancel the export if you wish.
    google takeout export progress
  24. If you selected the default email option, you’ll receive an email at your Gmail account with a link to download your files.
    google takeout email
  25. If you selected a cloud storage service, the files will be uploaded to your chosen service. You’ll receive an email with a link to the files in that cloud service.

Exporting Your Google Drive Files

Learning how to export your Google Drive files allows you to keep offline copies of your files. It can also come in very useful if you decide you don’t want to use Google Drive anymore. If you’re happy to keep using Google Apps, there are some more useful tricks it’s worth knowing.

When your Google Drive is getting full, you can learn how to empty the trash in Google Drive. If you use Google Slides for your presentations, it’s worth knowing how to save an image from a Google Slides presentation. And if you’re getting your spreadsheet on, you can learn how to merge sheets in Google Sheets.

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