An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

Send your tips to gostips@gmail.com.

June 29, 2008

Export Data from Google's Services

Google mentioned in many occasions that it doesn't want to trap users' data and some of its services have started to provide import/export options. Here are some of the ways to export your data from Google's services:

* iGoogle lets you download the list of gadgets, feeds, themes and their corresponding options if you go to the settings page and scroll down to the "Export / Import" section. The resulting XML file can be imported to another Google account and those who are familiar with XSLT could covert iGoogle's data file to OPML, so you can subscribe to the feeds in Google Reader or any other feed reader.

* Google Calendar has options to export your calendars one by one as iCal files, but it's much easier to export all the calendar you created by going to: http://www.google.com/calendar/exporticalzip.

* Google Docs lets you export your documents as an archive of HTML files and images. To export your files, restrict the Docs list to documents, select all the files and choose "Save as HTML (zipped)" from "More actions". Zoho can already import your documents and there's a Greasemonkey script that helps you download all the files from Google Docs, not just the documents.

* Blogger added in the experimental version available at draft.blogger.com an option to export the posts and comments from your blogs as an Atom feed. Hopefully, developers will write scripts that convert Blogger's feeds to the formats accepted by other blogging services.

* Google Bookmarks can be exported as a HTML file, but for some reason browsers can no longer import the bookmarks. The web history or search history can be exported as a RSS feed: http://www.google.com/history/lookup?q=&output=rss&num=1000 (replace 1000 with the number of items you want to export).

* Gmail lets you export your contacts as CSV or vCard, but Google automatically adds all the people you send a reply in the list of contacts.

It would be nice to export all your data from a single page, so you can delete a Google account or switch to a competing service without losing your data.

15 comments:

  1. What about Google Notebook?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Being able to download your Google Talk chat history would be helpful too...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Reader lets you export your subscriptions in OPML, too.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Last I checked the max number of bookmarks you can get from the rss feed is 1000. If you want more than that you need to make multiple calls, changing &start=0 to something else like &start=1000

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Pazu
    To download your GMAIL, set up POP or IMAP (recommended) access in your GMail account(s). Then use an email client such as Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird (recommended) to download all your mail. Mac users can use Apple's Mail which is built in. After downloading all your mail, you can use your chosen client to export it to whatever format you wish.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm waiting to be able to export my Custom Search Engine list. There are many times when I wish to review the list, but Google's display options are not adequate.

    ReplyDelete
  7. FYI: Firefox 3 imports Google Bookmarks just fine. It just uses folders instead of tags.

    ReplyDelete
  8. importing gmail is not perfect, like, you couldn't download chat, and i've already tried everything,sending chat to inbox, marking as unread, marking as specified label, etc

    otherr thing we MUST need is export to google analyticis

    ReplyDelete
  9. I use Google Docs since it was Writely. I always wanted to have a webdav like environment to manage my docs from any computer.

    This way, it could really be portable, using offline suites like OpenOffice or MS Office to edit and manage documents and folders hosted on Google servers.

    ReplyDelete
  10. @ign
    I just finished up a greasemonkey script for exporting notebooks to atom or html in the same sort of way you do it for google docs.
    http://1st-soft.net/gnd/

    ReplyDelete
  11. People who want to download “Google/gmail chat history” can have a look at “How to do that”, without use of any software
    http://digivorous.blogspot.com/2010/11/how-to-download-and-backup-your.html

    ReplyDelete
  12. The link referenced by CandorZ is ok, but the exports do not include dates and in my case has some strange characters included as well. This lack of a clean export utility by google is annoying. I need chat history for my fiance visa application and google chat is the worse choice.

    Yahoo, MSN, skype, these were all very easy to get by comparison.

    ReplyDelete
  13. or you can use this - https://snapshottool.com

    ReplyDelete