How-To Geek

How to Migrate from Facebook to Google+


If you have a lot of time and information invested in Facebook, it’s not easy moving to a new social network. Here are a few tips on moving your information from your Facebook account to your shiny new Google+ account.

Moving social networks isn’t the easiest thing to do, but luckily there are a few tools we can use to migrate pictures, videos, and friends. Wall posts and messages don’t make sense to migrate between networks so we are going to leave those out.

Export Facebook Information

Start by downloading all of your Facebook information. To do that, log into Facebook and go to account settings in the upper right corner.

On the settings tab click “learn more” next to “download your information.”

Enter your password and click continue; you will be sent an email once your download is ready.

Once you receive the email, click the link to download a zip of all of your files.

Extract the files and open the index.html file to verify all your information is there.

Import Photos

Google+ uses Picasa web albums to share pictures. To get started you need to download Picasa from the link below.

Once installed, open Picasa and add the Facebook photos folder you just downloaded to picasa.

Set Picasa to scan the folders once, and then let it do the import.

Once the pictures have finished importing into Picasa, find the albums and select Sync to Web on the right.

A pop-up window will open and ask you to sign in to web albums. Log in with your Google+ account and a second popup will ask you to verify your upload settings. Click change settings and modify the settings to you liking. Make sure you check the box to “use the above settings” otherwise you will be asked every time.

We’d recommend setting your new album visibility to private by default. You will be able to change the sharing settings from Google+ later, and this prevents you from making any embarrassing photos public.

Now go back to Picasa and click sync; your photos will be uploaded in the background.

Share Your Photos on Google+

After your pictures have uploaded, log into Google+ and click on photos in the top banner.

Navigate to your albums on the left.

Open the album you just uploaded and click share album at the top.

The share album button will automatically make your album public and post a link to it in your stream.

If you don’t want the album to be public, you can remove the Public circle and instead add some of your own. This will still make a post in your stream, but it will only be visible to those you have shared it with.

It is possible for someone you shared an album with to re-share that with the public so make sure you only share with people you know and trust.

If you don’t want the album posted to your stream, you can also click the edit button from the main album page which will change the sharing settings without posting the album in your stream.

Import Your Videos

Importing videos is a lot less automated than pictures. To import your Facebook videos browse to your Facebook export you downloaded earlier and there will be a videos folder.

Log into your Google+ account and click on your profile -> videos.

Click upload new videos on the right and drag the videos from your computer to your browser.

Once the videos are done uploading you can name, create, and share the album from Google+.

Import Your Facebook Friends

Go to and sign in with your Facebook account or a yahoo account if you already have one.

Confirm access and sign in with your facebook account and then go to Click tools and import from the dropdown.

Select Facebook from the provided options.

After you confirm access to your contacts, the import will happen automatically.

Next export your contacts to a .csv file with the tools menu.

Export your contacts to Microsoft Outlook, confirm the capcha and save the file.

Now login to Gmail, click contacts -> more actions -> import.

Browse to the .csv file you just downloaded and select it for importing.

Specify a new group to import the contacts into, if you chose that option, and the contacts should import without any problems.

Go back to Google+ and your newly imported contacts will show up under find and invite.

Add friends to circles and send invites to them if they aren’t already using Google+.

Download Picasa

Justin Garrison is a Linux and HTPC enthusiast who loves to try new projects. He isn't scared of bricking a cell phone in the name of freedom.

  • Published 07/12/11

Comments (81)

  1. ion

    good-bey Facebook! hello Google+!

  2. Asish

    Nice workaround! Bit lengthy a process but never mind.

  3. dhimas

    i wanna +1 this article :)

  4. thenonhacker

    I just registered for Google+.

    It’s like Facebook.

    I won’t move to it yet. Instead, I’ll watch what Mark Zuckerberg will do now for Facebook.

  5. thexwarrior

    Nice tutor. Migrate now! :D

  6. fireball87

    Group chat, video chat using a skype based plugin, and that terrible terrible new sidebar that instead of showing me who’s online in chat, or even who I’ve used chat with recently will ignore people who are online in chat that i chatted with yesterday and instead give me people i’ve never chatted with. An issue presented by the fact that they are either pulling the information from non chat interactions (which would be stupid because who I wall post is generally the people I can’t just pull into a chat whenever) or that they just haven’t built the information yet (which would be stupid just because, there’s no reason to not just leave the old chat in place and still collect the usage data for a spell, it’s not as if they’ve integrated all the features developed anyway).

    So we have a feature G+ already has, only based on technology that I find inferior (skype for video). Another feature G+ already has.
    Both of which will be rolled out Soon ™

    And a added feature (the sidebar) which anyone who uses the chat feature (instead of using a client to keep logged into chat, like myself) will likely be be bothered by. At best it can be gotten around by learning how to find people online who aren’t listed, at worst you’re my mom and had trouble using the chat when it showed onlne people.

    I don’t have faith in facebooks ability to keep up with G+, they tend to release things rather slowly and too many of their releases have been either detrimental or poorly implimented.

    So yeah, I prefer G+ by a lot, a friends list system that is decent to use (still has issues), no apps (half of the messages i see on facebook are app posted, i don’t have a problem with social apps, i have a problem with social apps that have a free ticket to spam), and quite a few improvements all around. Mark during his recent lil keynote said that his company was at least 5 years ahead because unlike other companies they focused on one thing and if they needed something else brought something in. I laughed for so many reasons…

    One place facebook will still win out for awhile though, G+ doesn’t have any of the people I use facebook to communicate with, so I’d have a hard time ditching facebook just yet.

  7. Matt

    How do I plus 1 this? :-)

  8. aprlshwrs

    I don’t plan to move from Facebook entirely. It’s still a great networking tool and I really haven’t had any issues with it. Not to mention how heavily ingrained Facebook is in so many things already. I can’t imagine going away from it…I use it way too much.

    That being said, I really do like G+…a lot! I will go ahead and move things over but I’ll just maintain both accounts. I know I have friends who will not bother to move over because they already resisted joining a social network to begin with but they gave in to FB because it was being used everywhere. I can’t imagine them joining another one. So, I suppose I’ll see this as another networking tool and keep it going…just like I do with my Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook. Hopefully there will be a way to share across both networks without having to go to both Facebook and G+. That could get annoying after a while.

    On another note…there are a couple of features that Facebook has that G+ does not and I know I would miss them. I like the ‘Notes’ part of Facebook. I also enjoy being able to update a status from my profile page and not just from my News Feed (Stream). Those are just two things I noticed right away.

    We’ll have to see how things go with G+, I’m almost positive that it’s going to take off in a spectacular way…it already has with approaching almost to 8 million users in 12 days. I see good things ahead. Let’s see whatcha got, Google! Can’t wait!

  9. Ish

    Come on guys!! Move over to G+!! What’s facebook, after all, when compared to the mighty Google?

  10. Paul

    Why do people fall for this?

  11. Invest in Green Energy

    That is so true Ish Google+ is great loving the features right now.

  12. FR

    There is nothing compelling for joining Google + but novelty at this point. Who is really going to use group video chat on a regular basis? No one. It does have some neat things like friend circles but I don’t manage my friends now and I don’t want to bother with it. I don’t need anal retentive lists to manage everything which usually turns into unecessary make work. I like google for what it does well and I’m not interested in moving my thousands of pictures to it plus I’m not interested in bugging my friends to add me on yet another social service. Google would do better simply to provide better integration of its apps any social networking service. I know they want to rule the world but I don’t want to googlefy my life nor do I want to apple my life just as I didn’t have any desire to Microsoft live my life which is what this reminds me of.

  13. vaanaa

    importing contacts works form Skype too. Skype has that feature long ago and what you have to do is just simply export your contacts and follow the above tutorial. Thanks for the tips.

  14. trinity343

    man why does everyone have to come over to Google+ Facebook was ruined once it was opened to everyone and their grandmother to join. i’d rather google+ be something that can be more used professionally like Linked in is but hopefully better. i just hope that google doesn’t add all the stupid games to it and bogg it down even more

  15. jeanjean breu

    hello, welcome, goodbye

  16. Ciaran Phillips is another alternative which allows you to move any albums you can view on facebook across to google+, as well as photos you’re tagged in.

  17. Tony

    The missing piece of the puzzle is moving all your established FB connections over to Google+. Frankly, if Google+ can’t entice them, then it’s not worthwhile. FB captured users b/c people saw something better than Myspace offered. I don’t think that’s going to be a selling point for Google+, I mean, sure we can say “Google+ does this better” but for most people (the ones that don’t see a problem with adding every app, clicking, every link, posting anything and everything to everyone, aren’t going to see advantage in Google+

    My intended uses are
    Twitter for headline information
    Google+ for extending conversation about interesting topics
    Facebook for sharing and interacting with friends.

  18. Bessie Ball

    I paid $32.67 for a XBOX 360 and my mom got a 17 inch Toshiba laptop for $94.83 being delivered to our house tomorrow by FedEX. I will never again pay expensive retail prices at stores. I even sold a 46 inch HDTV to my boss for $650 and it only cost me $52.78 to get. Here is the website we using to get all this stuff, BidsGe

  19. Tonys inferno

    @tony, Im not sure about google+ either, but I think if they manage to integrate many of their existing services into google+, then it will explode in terms of usefulness.

    Google already have the users, how many people dont have google accounts? :P

  20. Ugo

    How do I get an invite to try g+ out?

  21. Kevin Kleint

    Yeah! How about all of us with no Google + invite?



    why would any one want to move from facebook to google+ ? google allready have information on many people, another way to get into you business.

  23. Justin Garrison

    Anyone needing an invite can fill out my form and I’ll send you one

  24. Kathy

    I don’t understand what has happened. What is the sudden migration from Facebook to Google 1+? If Google 1+ is like Facebook, why going through all the troubles moving everything from FB to Google 1+? In addition, most of my friends are still using Facebook. Why do we need to maintain two social networks?

  25. Allen

    MySpace users jumped to Facebook because it was MUCH cleaner, simpler, and easier to use. Users were willing to make that transition because it was *so* much better. At it’s peak, MySpace didn’t acquire nearly as many users as Facebook. Google+ isn’t all that different from Facebook – sure it has *some* cool things but I don’t think it’ll be enough. Facebook is already deeply ingrained in the populous, it won’t be swayed by a contender offering pretty much the same thing sans a few ribbons here or there.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Google+ because I like supporting Google as a company. It’ll probably be a little easier to use. But I doubt many people would be willing to make the transition.

  26. kahuku

    any idea why facebook would include my photo folder in the download? Everything else is there, but none of the photos I have online.

  27. alreadyasleep

    thank god

  28. ultravisitor

    Um, the instructions for exporting and importing pictures are ridiculous. Just use the move2picasa Chrome extension, and the entire process is automated after you click the start button.

  29. shreteh

    cure job thx

  30. Josh

    Great guide, thank you for this… never knew I could export from Facebook.

  31. Ugo

    @Justin Garrison – just left you my email. Thanks!

  32. Fatma

    i wanna +1 to this =)

  33. Alex

    I personally wont use this as I do not have facebook. However it is a really well done, clearly explained and professional. Keep up the good work!

  34. Daniel

    Thanks mate! I just left you my address for a gmail invite. Good tutorial, still not sure if I should stay or go.

  35. Craig

    Google +? more like Google Barf. Why would i switch over to a network filled all of my geeky friends, when I’m perfectly satisfied talking to people who actually have a social life on facebook. This is a waste of time, and its going to fail. Remember Google Wave?? Yeah, no one else does either…

  36. Onepursuit

    Once your contacts are in Yahoo, just use the import from yahoo feature… no need to do the export to csv.

  37. Justin Garrison

    @Onepursuit The Yahoo! import was having problems for me and others when I wrote this article so I took the extra steps and showed how to get the contacts imported when Google is having problems.

  38. MK

    Please send me the invitation

  39. zaegirs

    How about moving stuff from Facebook to Google+ if you’re a Mac user?

  40. Veren

    Thanks Justin. I followed your instructions, and all my newly imported 1000+ FB contacts are now visible in my newly created Google Contacts Group. But they don’t show up in my g+ “Find and invite” tab. At the moment, this tab shows 500 suggestions, but those are my g+ friends’ friends, plus my old/previous Google Contacts (they were shown in “Find and invite” tab already before I imported those new FB friends). Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

  41. Emily Sullivan

    I got an invite and signed up with Google+, but I still don’t get why people would want to migrate and use G+ when FB is so pervasive.

  42. Mauricio

    hey, nice work, now make a tutorial “how to put a +1 button on your site” and put here!! lol, +1

  43. Barbara

    @ Justin Garrison…just filled out your form with my email for an invite. Your instructions here are easy and exact. Bravo for the help.Thanks so much!

  44. Jaym

    Yeah, problem I face with Google+ is same as Facebook, and why I prefer Twitter.

    On Twitter, you can easily see what complete strangers are discussing and follow them without their permission (they can block you, but that’s besides the point.) You can easily make #hashtags to discuss anything and everything. This makes Twitter, for people like me with anxiety disorder and extreme shyness, the only way to meet people online.

    Facebook requires you to “bug” someone to add as a friend. I despise this. I won’t even ask high school friends to add me, because I figure I’m bugging them. After all, they would have asked first if they wanted to be Facebook friends, right? That’s my thinking. On Facebook, there’s almost no way to find strangers talking. Perhaps a comment from a friend of a friend- for those who have friends (not all of us do!)

    That means I have 60 Facebook friends, 2 of which talk to me once a month. Google+ seems to be the same thing, there are no #hashtags- there are no conversations of strangers going on to follow and meet people. You have to add people you already know, which means I’m staring at Google+ with 7 people in my “circles” and no one to add… and I don’t want to bug anyone by presuming to ask them to be in a circle, because if they wanted me in theirs they’d ask me first.

    It strikes me as a better system than Facebook because of the inclusion of the other Google properties… but it’s still a far cry from the superiority of Twitter.

  45. ChristopherH

    @Jaym – I would have thought the best solution in FB is to think of a topic that interests you and search for and join a group that are interested in that topic. You can follow the threads and comment yourself and you may thereby strike up a relationship with some of the members and become friends..
    Not sure yet if you can do something similar in Google+..

  46. Niraj

    Google+ needs to work on its interface design and interaction design, personally i feel there is alot of white spaces and many more…………………………..any wayz nice tut

  47. SG Venkat

    You can use or

    These applications give you more control over which photos you want to migrate and also help you copy your tagged photos and also photos from your friends albums.

    You have the option to migrate from other online applications like Snapfish, Kodak, Photobucket etc.,

    Primadesk has an iPhone application too.

  48. Khaled

    Google+ is not that special to make me migrate from facebook to it … even if I did, my friends won’t so it will be very useless move.

  49. Beth

    I wish I could +1 this. Ha!

  50. findrockhudson

    Fantastic article!! Thanks for the walkthrough, it’s made it so simple for me to start using Google+ as it should be used… with LOTS of people! :-D

  51. @ Khaled

    Thats what everyone on Myspace said when Facebook came to town.

  52. thomas

    Does this Google+ Project helps for business people ? In what ways do they help ?

  53. Kristy Moon

    I would love to transfer from Facebook to Google + I’m so tired of Facebook and all it’s crap. Plus I’m a pretty big Google fan. I cant wait for my invite.

  54. BogBeast 13

    No matter that it has a few areas where it might arguably suck compared to Google+, Facebook is where it’s at for a long time to come. I don’t expect all of my friends to ever switch to G+ without some massive impetus to move. And the procedure above would certainly not seem ‘quick’ or ‘worthwhile’ to the majority of them. Frankly without these friends G+ would suck majorly. Just sayin like… :)

  55. Lu Yi

    I want to try to use google plus.
    But , I could not.
    Pls tell me how to start.

  56. Neil

    @Jaym you wrote ” if they wanted me in theirs they’d ask me first.” – this works the other way round too. suppose the people you know weren’t asking you because they were thinking exactly the same, that they were thinking that if you really wanted them as FB friends you’d ask them first? Then you’d both miss out. As difficult as it may be for you, just ask them.

  57. DirkJan

    Thanks, great How To!

  58. Leigh Ann

    One of my friends in my circle imported all her FB stuff over to Google+. Now when I click on photos there’s an option that says “photos from my circles.” It has all her pictures and I guess I’ll eventually end up with every photo any friends uploads in that folder. And I don’t want all my photos showing up on everyone else “photos from my circles.” Can anything be done about any of that? Did what I say even make sense? I want my photos on my page and no one elses and I don’t want my photos in everyone else’s account.

  59. Chelsea

    Picasa wont add my pictures and when I try looking for them in the picasa drop down I cant find them. I can find them on my desktop though. Ehh..I’m not intelligent enough to do this……

  60. Anthony

    Great post. Thank you.

    Is there any way to get your FaceBook contacts into Google+ without using Gmail? I have multiple Google accounts and the email I used to create for Google+ is not my Gmail account. Now I can not add my Gmail account to Google+.

  61. Kannan Ranjit

    Thanx Justin, You made my life easier.. I am sick n tired of bragging posted on my friends… let me bit serious about what I am doing in the name of social networking.. facebook is for kids.. let them enjoy it..

    bye facebook. Google has integrated apps very well.. I don’t even need a spreadsheet running on my system to open an excel attachment on an email. Google is open.. Let me hangout in G+.

    When do I change my windows to another o/s?. I am still waiting.. I use open office org, Google Chrome, Thuderbird, Avira Home edition.. I am waiting for Google O/S.

    Almost all of my friends are on G+ now.. rest if they miss me, will join g+
    Great Guide Justin,

    Thanx again.. Rgds.. Kannan Ranjit

  62. Hakuna


  63. bluenose

    well ive finaly sused it out after two days all my fots are in my face book contacts made new friends just as easy drinking a larger peace of ……… BY BY FACE BOOK G+ YOU GOT ME

  64. Shai Shamir

    Amazing post, worked like a charm. 4 hours to transfer the data to Goolge+, now need to work on circles.thanks!

  65. Laura

    Well i’m sold on circles alone – the biggest selling point as far as I can see. I use social networking for communication, not games. My fb account has become virtually unusable now, since it would be rude to not add certain people on invite (ie. bosses, colleagues, older friends, parents, aunts and uncles etc.) but now that they’re on there, I can no longer talk freely with closer friends – as a professional you just can’t take the risk of saying anything on FB anymore. If G+ maintains the privacy, and brings in some more useful features it looks like it could become the grown-up version of FB. And without the annoying farm games!

  66. Leatrix

    Wow, that’s a really clever way of tnhinkig about it!

  67. Valérie


    Can someone please send me a google+ invitation?

    THANKS A LOT!!!!!


  68. mike

    The Yahoo thing is great if you already have an account I you are starting a new account, which I did, you have a 14 day waiting period before you can export your contacts back out of Yahoo. Not very handy!

  69. papapa

    Google + is the best. I can live without Facebook, but I can leave without Google +! Get a life!

  70. Ashwin

    When using a new yahoo account it wont allow you to export the contacts for 14 days. But it allows you to print. That comes up on a web page. Copy the content on the web page and past it in Excel. Remove the names and apply quotes around the email ids. Save it as csv. It should look like this


    Now go and import it in the Google +

  71. uesnyc

    I use chromeos, not windows, so no outlook.. sucks for me.

  72. Jonathan

    This is a great post and handy for people who want to make the switch or who want to use both!

  73. David

    yahoo doesnt work anymore. they specifically state in there FAQ’s that facebook contacts will not be exported.

  74. again


  75. Mila

    That just makes it even more of a goal. Will move to G+ today.

  76. mirza

    BLAH! Yahoo wont let me export my contacts!!

    this is what i get!



    I despise facebook.


  77. Tanner

    I am getting str_cont_export_restriction as well!!

    WTF! I saw that it is facebook blocking the export to dissuade people from migrating to google+

    What is the deal?

  78. khunjohn

    For people getting the str_cont_export_restriction you can try sending an email to your gmail account from your yahoo account and BCC everyone in your contact list. This way you can then add everyone in the bcc. It’s not the easiest but the only way I can think of getting past all of facebook’s crap.

  79. Jenleigh

    I believe this restriction code is Yahoo’s doing. Apparently you have to have your Yahoo account for 14 days before you can export your contacts. So all you people who made a Yahoo account just to move your Facebook contacts, like me lol, you gotta wait 14 days. Which is lame as hell. Anyone have another way?

  80. trill

    how to get on facebook at school

  81. Mike

    I cannot get my contacts from yahoo to export to a Yahoo! CSV file. I mean technically it does, but my contact do not work with it. It is just a empty file. What am I doing wrong. IS the Outlook part needed to import to google+?

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