Can I Export My Data from Google Apps?

A common concern for businesses thinking about cloud software is the prospect of moving data from the office server to the cloud. What if you want to download all your documents, all your emails or all your contacts back again? Can you export all your data from the cloud? 

Some companies don’t make it easy to leave their cloud software, others make it a priority. If you want to export your data from Google Apps, the answer is yes you can. 

Google inherently believes you own your data – it is a belief displayed in all its products. Google provides five ways to access and export your data from Google Apps for Business. 

1. Google Takeout 

Google Takeout https://www.google.com/takeout/ is an interface that allows you to view and access personal data that Google keeps on its servers about you. You can easily view and download any data you wish. 

2. Gmail and Calendar export options 

Users also have the ability to export certain data from their contacts and calendar. You can download an ICS file with all the events in your calendar. Export options for contacts include vCard and CSV; you can download documents in Google Docs in Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, PDF, plain text and HTML formats. If the document was uploaded to Google Docs but not converted into a Google format you can download it in its original format. 

3. Google Vault 

Google Vault is an archiving service that provides copies of all company email in the case of legal action (often referred to as e-discovery). Google Vault lets you search and access user email data across all inboxes in Google Apps and can export these searches in a downloadable format. 

4. Third-party tools 

Google has made it easy for third-party tools to export data from Google Apps. Flashpanel (www.flashpanel.com/) or Google Apps Manager (code.google.com/p/google-apps-manager) let you access reports on your data. With the latter you can export all email from a Google Apps account into the popular MBOX format. Many businesses do this as a backup procedure for ex-employees’ email inboxes for legislative or business reasons, while avoiding the need to keep paying for a software licence. 

5. Migration Tools 

Google provides several migration tools to migrate your mail, contacts and calendar from Google Apps. 

Google Apps Migration for Exchange can be used to migrate your mail data from Google to another Google Apps account. There are also third party tools such as Cloud Migrator Tool http://www.cloudsolutions.co.uk/resources/migration-tool/ that allows you to migrate Google Apps data 

including, mail, contacts, calendar, documents and webpages from Google Sites to another Google Apps account.