Got a ton of videos on Picasa Web? Loads of links to awesome website shared with Google Buzz? Make an archive of your data with Google Takeout!
Shutting down and deleting online accounts at sites like Facebook and Google can be a long, tedious task. The steps you need to take aren’t always all that clear — and sometimes it’s hard to even find the right page to get the deletion process started.
And what about all the data you might have posted to a site over the years? If you were once a regular Facebook user and have now decided to call it quits, you may have hundreds of photos and a pile of video uploads stored there that you’d like to back up before deleting your account. The same is true with a Google account — and it’s even trickier to deal with since Google’s services are spread out around the web.
Fortunately, the Big G’s Data Liberation Front is finally ready to lend a hand. The freshly-released Google Takeout has been designed to provide a single destination where Google users can create a backup of their data and download it to their computers for safe keeping. Right now, only a few of Google’s services are supported: Buzz, Contacts and Circles and Stream (part of the new Google Plus), Picasa Web Albums, and Google Profiles.
To get started, head over to Google Takeout and sign into your account (assuming you’re not already signed in to Gmail or another Google service). Once the page has loaded, you can simply click the Create Archive button on the main page to download all the data Takeout can currently access.
If you’re only concerned with certain bits of your data, click the Choose services button. A series of tiles will be displayed that show how much data you have stored in each service — and a click on the X in the top-right corner of any box will exclude it from your backup. When your archive is complete, a blue download button appears and you can click it to save the file to your computer. Picasa photos are delivered in folders that match your online setup, Contacts are saved as individual .VCF files (which can be imported by just about any email or contact management program), and other data is presented in standard formats like HTML, XML, and JSON.
Later on, other Google services — like Gmail, Google Docs, and YouTube — will be added. Once they are, it’ll be a good idea to head back and make yourself a new backup from time to time. While Google’s cloud services are generally very reliable, there’s no telling when a mishap could occur — so plan ahead and make sure you’ve always got an up-to-date copy of your data saved from Takeout.
Source: Data Liberation Blog