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Guide to Organizing Digital Files

Exporting Various Filetypes from Google

Important: If you download your Google data, it doesn’t delete it from Google’s servers.

You can export and download your data for the Google products you use, for example:

  • Email
  • Documents
  • Calendar
  • Photos
  • YouTube videos
  • Registration and account activity

To keep your records or transfer your data to another service, you can create an archive.

Step 1: Select data to include in your download archive

  1. Log into your Google Account.
  2. Go to the Google Takeout page. Google products which you utilize and hold your data are automatically selected.
    • If you don’t want to download data from a product, uncheck the box beside it.
    • If you only want to download some of your data from a product, you may have the option to select a button like All data included List. Then, you can uncheck the box next to data you don’t want to include.
  3. Select Next step.

Important: Your data file may not include changes made to your data between when you request a download and when you create your archive.

Step 2: Customize your archive format delivery method

Google will email you a link to download your Google data archive.

  1. For "Delivery method," select Send download link via email.
  2. Select Create export.
  3. In the email that arrives, select Download archive.
  4. To download your Google data, follow the steps on the screen.

Google will upload your archive to Dropbox and email you a link to its location.

  1. For "Delivery method," select Add to Dropbox.
  2. Select Link accounts and create an export.
  3. You'll be directed to Dropbox. Sign in to your Dropbox account if prompted.
  4. In the Dropbox window that asks if Google Download Your Data can access its own "Apps" folder in your Dropbox, select Allow.
  5. To keep your data private, make sure you're not sharing this Dropbox folder with anyone else.
  6. In the email that arrives, select View in Dropbox. You'll be taken to the Dropbox folder with your archive.
  7. To download your data, follow Dropbox's process to download files.

These instructions were taken from Google's help page in April 2024.

Exporting Email from Microsoft Outlook

Back up your email

(Outlook for Microsoft 365, Outlook 2021, Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013)

If you're using email for work, you are most likely using an Exchange or IMAP account. Exchange and IMAP servers automatically archive your email so that you can access it anytime or anywhere. If you have an Exchange account, check with your admin about how to access your archived email.

If you want to back up the message folders locally (in addition to keeping them on the server), you can automatically move or delete older items with AutoArchive or export the items to a .pst file that you can restore later as needed and use by importing.

  1. Select File > Open & Export > Import/Export.

    File Export

  2. Select Export to a file, and then select Next.

    Export File

  3. Select Outlook Data File (.pst), and select Next.

    Export to data file

  4. Select the mail folder you want to back up and select Next.

    Email folders

  5. Choose a location and name for your backup file, and then select Finish.

    PST location

  6. If you want to ensure no one has access to your files, enter and confirm a password, and then select OK.

The messages that you keep in a .pst file are no different from other messages. You can forward, reply, or search through the stored messages as you do with other messages.

These instructions were taken from in April 2024.

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