Using Google Takeout to Migrate G Suite data


If you're working migrate data to or from any type of cloud or on-premises location, let us help! Google incentivizes us to help organizations of all shapes and sizes - often at no cost to your organization!

What is Google Takeout?

The Google Takeout service allows you to export and download your data from the Google products you use, like your email, calendar, and photos. In a few easy steps, create an archive to keep for your records or use the data in another service.

In short, it creates a copy of your data … which you can do anything you’d like with. Google Takeout is a free service available to any type of Google Account. For security reasons, it can be disabled by G Suite Administrators.


Using Google Takeout to migrate data?

No. Don’t do it. In short, this is not what Google Takeout is for … there are several critical shortcomings.

  • Takeout is only a snapshot in time … you do not capture any changes to the source account after the download. During a migration, you want employees to continue working without any disruptions.

  • Takeout converts Google file formats into other locally available formats - Gmail data becomes a PST or MBOX file, Google Docs become Word, Google Sheets become Excel.

  • All metadata is lost - a brand new copy of the data is created. You lose original creation date information, last modified information, sharing information, etc.

  • Importing data back into G Suite accounts or other services is extremely manual in nature as each type of content for each individual User must be migrated individually.

  • Given the time of downloading content and the time required to import content, you’ll have a big hole in your data and/or completely unnecessary downtime


How should you migrate?

There are many dedicated migration services depending on your objectives, sources and destinations, data size, etc. G Suite Enterprise, Business, Standard, Education and Nonprofit all have additional API capabilities that enable extremely smooth transitions to and from the G Suite platform. Google Takeout is intended to be used by individual consumers with relatively straightforward requirements to download a copy of their data.