Google data recovery: how to download your personal Google data using Google Takeout

You probably know that websites, including Google, tracks and stores your data. This data includes your documents, websites you’ve visited, places you’ve been to and much more. You can request Google to download this information for free. Because why not? After all, this is your data, and you can do this by using Google Takeout by Google Data Liberation Front.

Also Read: Google Photos Locked Folder feature rolling out to all users: here’s how to lock your photos and videos in Google Photos

You can use Google Takeout to filter your data and even download it in a zip format. It allows you to import and export your data from Google’s long list of services. Meaning, you can download your images, videos, spreadsheets, and other forms of data stored with Google. Head over to Google Takeout’s website and follow the instructions below to start with the process.

Google Takeout: what is it, and how does it work?

Download data with Google Takeout

Google Takeout was released in 2011 as a Google Data Liberation Front project. The project was Google’s answer to the most requested questions – ‘How to download a copy of everything Google knows about you.’ Since users became aware of how data works on the internet, several netizens began searching for this information on Google. The American multi-domain company finally came up with the solution to let users download their data. 

Now, Google users can simply visit Google Takeout to download their data. It even allows you to customise how you want to extract data. For example, you can download all the documents you’ve created on Google Docs and leave all the other data. Similarly, you can download your notes, contacts, Chrome bookmarks, Google Maps, and everything Google knows about you. Here is a quick walkthrough to download your data using Google Takeout.

Google Takeout: how to download your Google data 

With Google Takeout, there is a learning curve that you have to pass. Though it sounds simple in words, the actual execution is a little tricky. For example, there are 50 separate services whose data you can access or download. Since all the data won’t be necessary, you have to filter out the information you actually want. Once you learn the basics of Google Takeout, you can customise how you want to download your data. From changing the dates to filtering out certain apps, Google Takeout allows you to customise data before downloading.

Here is a quick look at selecting, filtering, and downloading your Google data using Google Takeout.

Step 1: Access data with Google Takeout

Google Takeout



The first step is to access your data on Google Takeout. Here are some quick steps you need to take to access your data on Google. 

  • Open Google Chrome or any other web browser currently installed on your computer
  • Log in to your Google account and visit Google Takeout
  • You can also click here to visit Google Takeout directly
  • Once you’re on the website, click on Select data
  • Choose the data you want to download (by default, all data is selected)
  • Once you’ve selected the data, click on the ‘Next Step’ button (available at the bottom)
  • On the next screen, select the file type, data, frequency, and finally select the destination for the data 

Step 2: delivery method

Google Takeout delivery method

Now that your basics are clear about Google Takeout let’s check out some delivery methods to download your Google data. 

  • There are multiple ways to download your data with Google Takeout
  • You can choose to get a download link delivered to your email ID or opt for a cloud storage service
  • To use this feature, click on the ‘Delivery Method’ option to reveal the drop-down menu
  • The available options include a direct download link delivered to your email, Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and Box
  • Based on the service you want to opt for, click on the Frequency option and select ‘Create Export’

Step 3: data frequency 

Google Takeout data frequency (2)


The data frequency allows you to automate downloading your Google data. The feature will enable you to choose the frequency to download the data. Here is a quick look at how data frequency works. 

  • On the delivery method screen, click on the frequency option
  • Now, you can choose to opt for a one-time download or other two-month downloads over the period of one year
  • This method will create six separate exports every two months for over a year
  • The data frequency method will help you save space on your computer by splitting the data over one year

Step 4: maximum archive size

Google Takeout achieve size

You can set the maximum archive size to make the download process more efficient. The process allows you to download your data in partitions. Here is a quick look at how it works

  • On the Delivery Method page, select the zip file or a tgz file extension (by using these extensions, your data will be downloaded in a compressed file format)
  • Now, using the drop-down menu, choose the maximum archive size
  • You can choose between 1GB, 2GB, 4G, 10GB, and 50GB (by default 2GB is selected)
  • Once you have selected the file size, click on ‘Create Export’

Step 5: Download your data

Google Takeout download your data

As the final step, you have to download your data on your computer. As mentioned above, there are multiple methods to download data. Here is a quick look at the process to download your data using Google Takeout.

  • Click on the ‘Create Export’ button
  • Depending on your archive size, the export can take up to a few minutes, hours to days
  • Once the data is ready, you’ll receive a link to download it on your email address (if selected the email option)
  • If you’ve selected any other options, Google will share a confirmation link to the same email address stating, “You’re all set!” 
  • Click on the download link and enter your Google login credentials to authenticate the process
  • Follow the on-screen instructions from there and download your data on your computer

Google Takeout: frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Is there a limit to Google Takeout?

Yes, there is some limitation to how and when you download your data. According to the terms and conditions, Google Takeout has limited to 2-3 archives per day. Meaning you cannot download your data from Google more than three times a day.

What data can I download from Google Takeout?

Google Takeout allows you to download your data from various Google services. By using Google Takeout, you can download data from services such as Google Play, Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Calendar, and over 45 Google services you use daily.

Ashish Khaitan

Ashish Khaitan is a Delhi University graduate with 2+ years of experience in tech writing. He has written troubleshooting guides for hardware and software products, and has previously worked for publications like AnimeIndia and OTAKUSMART. Ashish covers deals, gaming and features on Pricebaba. He enjoys reading comics and is a big fan of Japanese anime.