Gmail export with Google Apps using Google Takeout

Many Gapps administrator’s seem to struggle on this subject how to export an user’s email data before deleting an account. Well I have to confess it’s not easy to find information on this subject so that’s why I wrote this article. You have to use Google Takeout to export user data.

Google Takeout is disabled by default

Before you can use Google Takeout you need to enable the Google Takeout service, otherwise you will get a message like:

Downloading your data has been disabled for your account or organization by your domain administrator.

Google Takeout disabled notification

Translated into Dutch:

Het downloaden van uw gegevens is uitgeschakeld voor uw account or organisatie door uw domeinbeheerder.

(note that OR is in Dutch OF; but that’s just a cosmetic thing. Dutch is indeed a very difficult language).

To enable Google Takeout within Google Apps:

Log on with an administrator account into your Gmail. In the upper right corner hit the gear like icon and select manage this domain.

Note: you need to have administrator rights (for instance the Super Admin role) in your Google Apps domain. Otherwise you won’t see Manage this domain.

After you selected Manage this domain you will enter the Admin Console.

Google Apps Admin Console

Select Users.

Select the appropriated account you want to export and delete.

In the user panel select Show more.

Scroll down and press 22 More Google services enabled.

Scroll down and select Google Takeout.

Google Takeout enable

In the Google Takeout settings frame select ON for everyone.

Confirm by selecting Turn ON for everyone.

After this the box colour turns from red to green.

Note the terms of service agreement. It says:

This service is not covered by the Google Enterprise Agreement, including the technical support service guidelines. For other Google support resources, please visit Subject to the product specific terms of service above. If you do not have the requisite authority to bind the Customer or End-User to these terms, please disable this service.

Service is not covered, uhm? I’m not sure what Google means but never mind.

Gmail export to file | export user data

Now that we enabled Google Takeout from the Google Apps Admin Console, it’s time to export all user data to a file. Log into Gmail with the user account you want to export. Then go to this link:

Select all data you want to export and select Next.

Gmail Export Email to file

Choose whether you want to store the export file in the user’s Gdrive or you want to have a direct download link. In my case I want to store the export file to the user’s Gdrive.

Now select Create archive.

Gmail Exporteren

The export has been started. By pressing Manage archives you are able to check the export status. Keep in mind that an export can take up to 24 hours depending of the user’s data volume.

Gmail Export completed

Once the Gmail export file is finished open Gdrive and you will notice a new folder called Takeout that contains the .zip file for example If it’s still not there, use Manage archives to check the export status.

Transfer user data to new owner | Gmail delete account

Theoretically you have exported all user data with Google Takeout and now you would consider deleting the account. Within the Admin Console you are able to transfer all associated user data to a new owner. From the Admin Console select Users. Select the user and press the recycle bin.

Don’t forget to select Also include data that is not shared with anyone.

Now fill in the mail address to assign a new owner. This has to be an user within your Google Apps company domain. Hit Transfer data and delete account. After the transfer is completed you will receive an email notification at the new owners mail address.

To enter the transferred data just log on to Gdrive and there you will notice a new folder named like username@userdomain.extension.

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  1. bill seymour schrijft:

    Thank you very much for explaining how to enable Google Takeout. I have 2 Google Apps accounts, one of which did not have Takeout enabled, and I have been searching for instructions on how to enable it. Your post is the first (and clearest) set of instructions I have found.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge. Much appreciated.
    Bill Seymour

  2. Joraid schrijft:

    Thank your very much for clearning this up. I’ve been searching google help for almost 2 hours without any result. The keyword here is Takeout. It’s not clear that Google Takeout app is the one responsible for archiving.
    Again, thanks for this.

  3. Knut Funke schrijft:

    Glad I found this article. ***** for you! Helped a lot where Google Support Pages are bad quality.

    Thanks from Switzerland,


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