Access Data Liberation from Google Plus Settings

With all the hype on Google+, little known to many users is Google Takeout that can backup our data on ALL Google Services including our shares/reshares on the stream! The 1-click-backup-all product is created by a team of engineers (aka Data Liberation Front) at Google. The whole idea is to make it easy for Google users to backup and port their data to other 3rd party services or applications. Within Google+, you can find it in Settings -> Data Liberation.

Google Takeout (Data Liberation) lets you easily take your data out of several Google products. Currently it supports Buzz (useless actually), Contacts, Google+ Circles, Picasa Web Albums, Profile and Google+ Stream. Not a lot of services/products at the moment, but we can expect more in the near future.

All the data are in portable and open formats, so you can import them into other 3rd party services. E.g exported contacts are in *.vcf. A format that can be imported into many addresses books.

You have the option of recovering “All of your data” or “Choose services” you preferred. After choosing the services, Google automatically calculates the size and number of files for each service. When it is ready, just click on the blue “Download” button. You will be prompted to login to Google again for security reasons before downloading the zip file.

Google Takeout Archive

Google services backup ready for download

I do not use all Google services, so I only have these folders after unzipping the downloaded file:

  • [plus_one folder] A HTML file with a list of URLs you have given +1 before.Folders inside Google Takeout zip file
  • [contacts folder] A list of *.vcf contacts organized into your Gmail groups.
  • [circles folder] A list of *.vcf contacts organized neatly and named after your Circles in Google+.
  • [docs folder] Copies of all the Google Docs
  •  [profile folder] Basic information you included in your Google+ Profile
  • [stream folder] HTML files containing links to entries that you shared or reshared.
  • [picasa folder] Contains photos categorized suitably into the relevant sub-folders:
    • Photos that you uploaded into Google Stream. Folders are named by date.
    • Instant Upload
    • Profile Photos
    • Scrapebook Photos
    • Picasa Photos
  • Other folders you can expect are: Buzz history, Knol, Voice, 3D Warehouse
By offering high data portability and ease of backup via Takeout, Google is moving in the right direction convincing more users to use it for their work, leisure and play. Most of important of all, this is an official product, so no worries of leaking our data to other 3rd party service provider. When was the last time you backup your data?



Lincoln is a fan of Apple products, loves red wine and traveling. He blogs on internet marketing, social media, wordpress tips & guides, and using technology to maximize efficiency. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook for regular updates.

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