Google Drive on a smartphone and computer
Nopparat Khokthong/Shutterstock

Google Drive is one of the most trusted services for storing and organizing your data on the cloud. But accidents happen, so it’s important to have your files and documents backed up locally. With Google’s data export tool, Takeout, you can do that in minutes.

Visit Google Takeout’s website and sign in with your Google account to get started. By default, this tool exports your data from all of Google services. Click “Deselect All” to only extract an archive of your cloud drive.

Visit Google Takeout

Scroll down until you reach “Drive” and check the box next to it.

Export Google Drive data

There are a few more options underneath it you may find handy. You can pick which folders to back up with the “All Drive data included” option.

Select Google Drive folders to export

The “Multiple Formats” button lets you choose in which format the files will be archived, and with “Advanced Settings,” you can ask Google to also include a bunch of additional information.

Edit file formats for Google Drive data export

Once you’re done, click the “Next Step” button present at the bottom of the page.

Click the "Next Step" button on Google Takeout

On the following screen, Google allows you to customize the export. You have the option to specify whether you’d like Google to email you the archive or directly upload it to another cloud storage provider, configure automatic exports, and define the archive’s file type and size.

Customize Google Drive data export

Hit “Create Export” to proceed to confirm the export.

Extract a copy of your Google Drive data

Google will now begin backing up the folders you have selected. This can take hours or even days, depending on the data. If you change your mind or want to edit the export, you can cancel it with the “Cancel Export” option.

Cancel Google Drive data export

When this process is over, you should get an email titled “Your Google data is ready to download.” Inside that message, click the “Download Your Files” button. Sign in again with your Google credentials for authentication.

Download Google Drive data archive

You’ll be redirected to the “Manage Your Exports” page where your archive will begin downloading. In case it doesn’t automatically, you can manually grab it with the “Download” button next to the Drive export entry in the list.

Manually download Google Drive data export

In the downloaded archive, “archive_browser.html” lets you browse the content from a custom web app, and from the “Drive” folder, you can view and open these files individually.

Other than Google Drive, you can also export data from other Google services like Gmail and Keep.

Shubham Agarwal Shubham Agarwal
Shubham is a freelance technology journalist from Ahmedabad, India. He has been covering technology for over four years for publications such as Digital Trends, HuffPost, Lifehacker, and more. When he's not writing about whatever's trending in the world of technology, you will find him either exploring a new city with his camera, binge-reading non-fiction books, and novels or playing the latest game on his PlayStation.
Read Full Bio »

The above article may contain affiliate links, which help support How-To Geek.