Google Photos keeps your pictures and videos backed up online. But to save your moments in case of an accident or to free up cloud space, you should still periodically back up your Google Photos library locally. Here’s how to do that with Google’s export tool, Takeout.
Visit the Google Takeout website and sign in to your Google account. Click the “Deselect All” button to export only your media from Google Photos and exclude your information from the rest of the Google services.
Scroll down to find “Google Photos” and tick the box next to it.
With the “All Photo Albums Included” option, you can choose which albums you want to extract a copy of. By default, Takeout backs up all your photo albums.
The “Multiple Formats” button tells you in which format your photos and videos will be exported.
Hit the “Next Step” button at the bottom of the page.
Here, Google lets you personalize a handful of aspects of the backup process. You can pick whether you want Google to save your archive to your preferred cloud storage or send it to you via email, ask Google to automatically export your Photos data every two months, and set the archive file’s type and size.
Click the “Create Export” once you’ve customized the export.
Google will begin creating a copy of your Photos library. Depending on how many photos and videos you have in the albums you’ve selected, this can take hours or even days. You can cancel it with the “Cancel Export” button.
When it’s done, Google will send you an email titled “Your Google data is ready to download.” Click the “Download Your Files” button present inside this email to go to the download page of your archive file. Sign in again with your Google account for confirmation.
The file should start downloading as soon as you land on the following “Manage Your Exports” page. If it doesn’t, select “Download” next to the Photos export entry in the list to manually request it. Do note that this download link will expire in a week.
There are two ways you can explore the downloaded archive. You can either open the “archive_browser.html” document to browse the library from a custom web app in a browser or view each photo or video file separately from the “Google Photos” folder.
In addition to Photos, Google Takeout allows you to extract copies of data from other Google services like Gmail.