Q. I have decided to leave Google and move to another mail and file-storage service. How do I get my mail, photos and other files stored in my Google account?
A. Google has a download page you can use to grab copies of your Gmail messages, uploaded pictures on Google Photos, calendars, contacts, Google Keep notes and more. To use it, log into your Google account and go to your Takeout page; if you use Gmail and Google’s other “G Suite” corporate services through your employer, talk to your company’s system administrator about moving your data.
On the Takeout page, you can select the Google apps and services you use, and add your personal content from each one to an archive file. The pictures you download from Google Photos will be exported in the format you used when you uploaded the images. As you move down the list of apps and services, click the downward-pointing menu arrow to get more information about exporting the data from that particular Google product.
Once you have made your selections, click the Next button at the bottom of the page to choose the format for your archive — the .zip format is probably the most universal here, as most computers can automatically open .zip archives. You can also select your delivery method, including getting a mail message with a link for downloading the archive, or copying the archive file to Microsoft OneDrive or a Dropbox folder.
Keep in mind that downloading all your data does not remove it from the company’s servers. It also does not remove your Google-based web activity or delete your Google account. After you make sure your archive has what you need, log into your Google account and, in the account preferences area, click the “Delete your account or services” link and follow the steps on the screen.
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