Google Apps for Education is a great productivity resource. Combining email, calendar, word processor, spreadsheet, presentation and many other resources. However, I feel that everyone should have a tool available to create a backup of your data. Google has answered that need with Google Takeout. Google takeout is an app available to Google Apps for Education and Business (or G Suite). With a few simple clicks, you can create a compressed archive of your valuable data.
* Before you start the Google Takeout app, take a few minutes to perform this general "digital housecleaning" procedure. You should go in and empty the "Trash" and "Spam" folders in your email, as well as deleting any emails not needed. You should also go through your documents in Google Drive and the Google Drive Trash folder. The same procedure for Google Photos and Google Keep.
* If you have files you want to delete BUT you want a backup first, then perform a Google Takeout procedure BEFORE deleting these files, transfer your backup archives to a DVD, then delete the unused files and perform another Google Takeout procedure. I find, that quite often, we clutter our workplace with files we really don't need. We hang onto them just in case. So, it's a good idea to have them on a DVD in the event that you do eventually need them, but they are not cluttering up your work space. At the very minimum, empty any "Trash" folders before beginning.
The following blog article will step through the Google Takeout process.
Open Google Chrome. If you are not signed in to your google account, do so now.
In the address bar, type the following URL:
Your browser then should go to the Google Takeout main page. You should see a page that looks like this:
On the main page, you will see a selection of all approved apps for your google domain. By default, all of the apps are selected. You really don't want to save the content for every app. Besides, that would be a huge backup. I would suggest you consider the data that you really need backing up, such as: Drive, Mail, Photos, Keep, Contacts & Calendar. Of course, if you are a blogger and have a lot of blogs, I would back that up too.
So, to start the process, you need to click on the "Select None" button.
At this point, you can select only the items you want to backup. Keep in mind, depending on how much content you have in your Drive or Mail, your backup could be very big. However, google chops the files up in to 2Gig blocks (zip files) so they are very manageable. When you select an app to backup, it will look like this:
It's important to note that all files in Google Drive will be converted to the appropriate Microsoft Office file format.
Make sure you select your Mail to be backed up. Actually, Mail and Drive are the two most important apps that needs to be backed up.
Google Takeout will backup all of your mail as one big mbox file. This file can be opened in any mbox reader or in an email application such as Thunderbird.Hopefully you won't have to open your email this way, however it is good to know just in case.
Once you have selected all of the apps that you want backed up, you click next to continue. On the next screen you will see the following:
On the overview page, you will see the final settings for the archive. By default, your archive files will be created as a zip file format. You will also be sent an email with download links of your archive files. All that is left to do is click on the "Create archive" button at the bottom of the page.
The following video will quickly run through a Google Takeout session.
If everything goes as planned, you should get an email with links to download your backup files. I recommend you download them onto your local hard drive. preferably to a local that gets backed up. You should also make a copy of the backup onto a DVD and store it away for safe keeping.
When you create an archive, Google Takeout saves the archive configuration for eight days. You can go under archive manager and see your recent active archives, or your archive history.
During those eight days, you can download the archive. After the eight days are over, you should create a new archive. Good practice would be to create a Google Takeout archive one a month.
That's it for Google Takeout. An easy, important feature of G Suite!
As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact me.