Exporting User Data From Google Apps

August 10, 2018. Written by Tristan Hough.


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There are two main methods which allow you to export user data from Google Apps: an automated Google archive, or a manual IMAP email export.

This is useful if you want to move to a different system from emails/calendar/documents/etc. Additionally, if a staff member is no longer with your company and you want to delete this account to free up their license, you can use this guide to back up their data before deleting their account.


Automated: Backup all Google Apps Data

This method is automatic and allows you to backup all user data including Gmail, Calendars, Contacts, Drive Documents, Hangouts, Google+ Profile, YouTube Data, etc.

  1. Go to www.google.com/settings/takeout and log in with the account you want to backup
  2. Select the services you want to backup (by default all are ticked)
  3. Click the EDIT button next to each service to review the options associated with the backup such as what to backup from each service and what file type to export the data as (if applicable)
  4. Click CREATE ARCHIVE to start the backup process
  5. The backup can take many hours or even days (for very large accounts) to create the backup – you will get an email (to the logged in account) when the backup is finished. You can also monitor the progress of the backup here: www.google.com/settings/takeout/downloads
  6. Once the backup is complete you can download the file(s) from the link in step 5 or the email you receive advising that the backup is complete.


Manual: Backup Emails Only

This method allows you to back up the user’s emails (only) from their account. It requires you to connect the user’s profile to Outlook, download the whole profile and then export the profile to PST file from outlook.

Only change the settings as listed below. For all other settings, leave as default.

  1. Open Outlook – you can perform this process on your own profile
  2. File > Info > Add Account – this will open a new window
  3. Select Manually Configure Server Settings or Additional Server Types
  4. Click NEXT
  5. Choose Internet E-mail
  6. Click NEXT
  7. Fill out all fields on screen as follows:
    Your Name: User’s name
    E-mail Address: User’s email address
    Account Type: IMAP
    Incoming mail server: imap.gmail.com
    Outgoing mail server: smtp.gmail.com
    User Name: User’s email address
    Password: User’s email password
  8. Click MORE SETTINGS – a new window will open
  9. Click OUTGOING SERVER (tab)
  10. Check the My outgoing server requires authentication check box
  11. Click ADVANCED (tab)
  12. Change the top drop-down to SSL

    12.1 This should also change the Incoming server port to 993 — if not change it manually

  13. Change the bottom drop-down to TLS
  14. Change the Outgoing server (SMTP) port from 25 to 587
  15. Click OK to close the window
  16. Click NEXT
  17. A window should pop up testing the inbound and outbound settings. if you get any errors here go back and re-verify all your settings are correct as per the steps above and try step 16 again.
  18. Click FINISH
  19. Let the account fully sync – this may take a few hours or more so it’s recommended you leave Outlook open overnight to fully sync
  20. File > Options > Advanced > EXPORT
  21. Select Export to a file
  22. Click NEXT
  23. Select Outlook Data File (.pst)
  24. Click NEXT
  25. Select the top level of the account and ensure Include Subfolders is ticked
  26. Click NEXT
  27. Choose where you want to save the file and select your duplicate items policy (if you aren’t sure, leave it as is)
  28. Click FINISH
  29. You will be prompted to create a password for the new PST file you’re about to create – leave the fields blank and click OK
  30. Outlook will now export the whole account

    30.1 Note: you cannot use outlook while the export is running and may take up to an hour