Collaborators and cloud users have benefitted from Google Drive, which stores all kinds of Google account data and documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more, for quite a long time. The Google ecosystem enables easy access to information from your phone or Chromebook nearly anywhere you might be, but maintenance is sometimes necessary.
Your phone, which is likely your main portal to all your Google data, is the best place to start, thanks to the modern smarts of Android, which ensures that much of your Google account data is backed up automatically. However, since numerous devices and platforms support Google data, confirming that everything across operating systems, devices, browsers, and more is up to date is critical.
Make sure you still have enough Drive storage
When you create a Google account for the first time, you receive 15GB of free storage space for Google apps. The 15GB includes space to use across Google Drive, Photos, and Gmail at no cost. This may be sufficient for light and casual use, but long-term users, students, and professionals often require more. Upgrading is necessary since Google Drive holds all Google-related files and uploads, which can quickly consume space.
Google offers several upgrade options for its online storage via Google One plans. This can help you ensure your cloud always has enough room:
100GB storage and sharing at $1.99 per month.
200GB storage and sharing at $2.99 per month.
2TB storage, sharing, VPN, and Workspace Premium at $9.99 per month.
Business plans that can be customized for more storage as necessary.
Google Takeout is an unknown service that allows you to export a complete copy of your Google account and save it physically rather than in the cloud.
Back up your Google account on your Android device
Although Android phones backup your data automatically, you can double-check. These steps are from a Google Pixel phone but should work with most:
On your phone, go to Settings > Google > Backup. The Back up to Google Drive toggle is on by default, with your Google account listed below and the name of your device with the time and date of the last full Google backup.
Depending on your phone, this page may be reached by going to Settings > System > Backup.
This settings page shows when you last backed up this specific phone to Google Drive. It also displays the last Google Photos backup. This covers most people who mainly use one device, and Google’s apps are designed to back up and save your data.
These backups usually occur automatically in the background, especially if you mainly use one device constantly. However, if you are an infrequent user or switch between phones regularly, make a weekly habit of going through these settings and tapping Back up now to ensure that your Google account’s most recent data is backed up.
In this form, you can completely restore your account data to a new phone if you happen to lose it or upgrade to a new Android version.
We have a complete guide to backing up your data on your Android phone for a more in-depth look.
Download your Google account data using Google Takeout
There’s another way to make sure your Google account data is backed up, but it’s a lot more manual. It’s still essential if you need to access data, even if your internet connection is unavailable or if you’re trying to prevent data loss.
You won’t find the term “Takeout” in Drive, but you can still download the free export tools to back up your data. Suppose you have valuable data in Drive. In that case, we advise exporting to a local drive and updating that export every month or so, just in case the worst happens and you get locked out of your Google account forever.
Visit the Google Takeout page on your Google Chrome computer. Sign in to the correct Google account, and select the data you’d like to include. This page displays the number of services provided by Google and how much data you shouldn’t lose.
We recommend selecting everything, but you can go through and choose only the essential items. Options include Google Contacts, details from different Google services, and more. Then, click Next step to create export details like file type, frequency, and destination. You can choose to send yourself a download link via email or add the file to Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, or Box.
We suggest choosing Download link via email because you can click on the link you receive and save the entire backup to your computer or external hard drive. If you select Add to Drive, an entire Google account backup will be saved on your Google Drive, consuming a significant amount (likely too much) of your cloud storage space.
Select whether to Export once or Export every 2 months for 1 year. Next, select a file type (we recommend the universal ZIP format) and a maximum file size. If your export is more extensive than the selected file size, the export process will automatically split your data into multiple files.
Once you’ve selected your preferences, you’ll see the following screen. Your Android device should also receive a notification that says, “Archive of Google data requested.” If you choose a download link via email, wait for it to arrive in your Gmail inbox. From there, you can download and save the file. It’s an excellent method to keep an ongoing archive of your Google data.
Depending on how extensive your Google account is, it may take hours or days. Nonetheless, it’s worth it since Google Takeout is the most comprehensive approach to backing up your Google account data.
Restoring from Takeout is not a magic feature offered by Google. This is simply the data, raw and largely unsorted. When you unzip it, it may be challenging to sort through. Nevertheless, you’ll have it, no matter what happens to Drive.
Keeping your options open with Drive
Now that you know how to make sure Drive always has enough space to store an online upgrade for your Google data and have an offline copy of that information for data recovery in case the worst occurs, you can use the Takeout tools to export your current data depending on the platform you prefer.