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How to download your Google+ data



Google+ – Google's unsuccessful attempt at creating another social network – is shutting down soon. Originally slated to shut down last August, the service now disappears in April as a result, according to Google, of two separate data leaks.

Google has admitted that the network is not a raving success. However, there is still evidence of a loyal user base, and many users are now scrambling to figure out where to go next. A few Google+ communities have jump up to address this issue, search as Google+ mass migration. (Its description reads: "You do not have to go home, but you can not stay here.")

Whether you're a faithful user or you spent months (or years) ago, you may still want to

It's not a difficult task. It also works to make the process easier (as well as the open-source app Google+ Exporter), and the official tool, Google Takeout, works fairly well (though it can occasionally be glitchy). Here's what to do.

Make your choices

Once you've signed into your Google account, go to Takeout.


 List of Google services

The list of Google services with data to download may be longer than you expect.

The long list of Google services that you can download may have a bit overwhelming, but toggle to the right of each service let you select which sections you want to download. In fact, when you go to the page, they'll all be toggled on. You want to download everything that you want to download. [SelectNonewhichwilltogglethemalloff19659010] This is the left of some of the toggles. Those arrows indicate that you can select in which format you want your data to be downloaded. (It will vary depending on the type of data.) Click on the arrow to see what your choices are.

What should you download?

There are several services that you would like to read in your Google+ data.

  • Google+ + 1s on websites
    It's only available in HTML.
  • Google+ Circles
    Your contacts. Choose between vCard, JSON, CSV, and HTML.
  • Google+ Communities
    You can download it in either JSON or HTML, or you can choose to download all of your communities.
  • Google+ Stream [19659014] All of your Google+ posts. You can download the entire thing, or you can choose a specific type of data: ActivityLog, Collections, Events, Photos, or Posts. Available formats are JSON or HTML.
  • Profiles
    It's only available in JSON.

So Google wants to transition from Hangouts to the future, so as long as you're downloading, you may want to get the following info as well:

  • Hangouts
    Your messages. It's only available in JSON format.
  • Hangouts on Air
    If you've done any Hangouts Q & As, this is where they are. It's only available in CSV format.

Once you've chosen the formatted files you want to download, you still have to make some decisions. You can download your files in either the zip or tgz compression format. So you can choose the maximum size of your archival files. If the archive turns out to be larger, the data will be split into several files. The maximum file size is 50GB, but if you choose a size larger than 2GB, you will get a warning: "Zip files larger than 2GB will be compressed in zip64. Older operating systems may not be open to this file format. Download zip64 files.


 Google download info

When you follow the link that Google sends you, you'll want to download your data.

Finally , select where you want your data to go. You can download the files to your computer – in which case, Google wants to email you a link when the data is ready – or you can upload the info to one of several cloud storage services, including Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, or Box .

That's it.

Trying it out

I like to download the info to my computer. Once I hit the button, it took about 10 minutes for the email to arrive. (Admittedly, I was not responsible for the Google+ contributor.) Unfortunately, there were errors in the Google+ stream archive. I tried downloading the stream again, and it worked. Then I tried again with two separate zip files.

Where you go instead?

If you're still using Google+ and you're looking for somewhere else to go

Meanwhile, the most important task on hand is to make sure that all your conversations, photos and other data are currently in your Google+ account are safe when the service goes dark.

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