Google includes a Takeout tool that lets you export every last drop of data associated with your Google Account — emails, contacts, Hangouts, YouTube videos, photos, blogs and more. It’s primarily intended to let you archive your files or switch to another service but as far as Google Drive is concerned it’s a useful conversion tool as well. Here’s how to use it.
You can find the Takeout tool by heading to www.google.com/settings/takeout in your browser when you’re signed into Google. Alternatively, get into your Google Account page from any of the Web apps and then switch to the Data tools tab and choose Select data to download. You’ll see that the list of services you can export information from is a long one.
You can untick any of the apps you’re not interested in. We’re concentrating solely on Drive files for the time being, so choose Select none and then tick the Drive option. Use the drop-down arrow just to the left of the green tick to reveal the options for exporting your Google Drive files.
Configuring the options
Depending on how much of a Google Drive fan you are, you might have a ton of stuff stored in Google’s cloud storage service, which is going to take a long time to download. If this is the case it’s a good idea to use the Select files and folders option to indicate the folders you want Drive to focus on.
You can then specify the formats you want to use to download native Google Drive files: Word, Excel and PowerPoint formats are all available for the documents, spreadsheets and presentations you have in the cloud, just as they would be if you downloaded these files from Google Drive individually. OpenDocument and PDF formats are also available should you want to make use of them.
Downloading your files
With the file format options correctly configured, choose Next. Select the file type you want the archive to appear in and how you want to download it — you can have Google automatically add the file to Drive instead of sending a link to your Gmail account if you prefer. Click Create archive to confirm the export.
The archive can take a while to generate so you might want to go and do something else while it’s being compiled, but once it’s finished you’ll have all of your Google Drive files in a friendly Office-ready format. The download link is kept live for seven days. You can quickly export multiple files right from the Drive interface, but Takeout provides a more comprehensive option if you’ve got a lot of files and folders to convert in one go.