It’s weird how much of my life is digital. My entire life’s worth of accomplishments can be measured in 0s and 1s. That’s what went through my mind today when I backed up my entire Google mail account. I did it because I read an article recently that Google was deleting old accounts: http://www.ubergizmo.com/2015/07/google-deleting-old-unused-accounts/. Reading stuff like that makes me naturally paranoid. I’m the type of person who has everything archived since high school. I literally have book reports from high school I can bring up from my personal archives if I ever need to. At home I have about 6TB worth of hard drives that mostly store videos, but a good chunk has been used to archive my personal data as well. I even went a step forward and subscribed to the Google Drive program so that I could store my essentials in the cloud.
Since Google is getting money from me I doubt they will actually delete my account. But just in case that happens, going through the backup process is pretty easy. Google has a service called “Takeout” that lets you download all of your Google data onto a local drive: https://www.google.com/settings/takeout. Here’s how it works:
- Go to the takeout URL above
- Choose which Google services you want to back up
- You will eventually get an email (couple hours to a couple days) that will allow you to download an entire archive of your data. This download link will only last a couple days
- That’s it!
I have my entire google mail archive stored in 4GB .mbox file. This is my first time dealing with this kind of file, but it looks to be a standard. When I have time I’ll actually open it up and verify that there are no issues. Nothing worse than having a backup solution that doesn’t work when you need it to.