Instructions for saving your Swarthmore Google Workspace data when leaving the college.  

Note:  The methods described below are best completed using a laptop or desktop. They can be completed on a mobile device but the process is more cumbersome.

Make sure your department has access to your Google Drive files

If you have documents that need to be shared with your department after your leave, copy or move them to your departmental folder in Google Drive. These files will be available to your colleagues even after your Swarthmore account is deleted. See Google Shared Drives for more information.

Save your Gmail and Google Drive files

Google provides two ways to transfer data from Gmail and Google Drive. Using Google Takeout, you can migrate data from your Swarthmore College ( Google account to any other Google account.

Considerations before you begin

Storage Amounts: Your Swarthmore account has unlimited storage but free personal Google accounts are limited to 15 GB. You may need to clean up your data or purchase more space from Google. To view details on your current storage usage, click your Google Account icon in the upper right-hand corner, choose "Manage Your Google Account", and scroll to the Account storage section. To see additional details of the space currently used for Drive, Gmail and Photos, click Manage storage.

Processing Time: If you have a large amount of data, the transfer processes may take several days to complete. Once you initiate the transfer or download, it will run until complete even if you log out or turn off your computer. However, the transferred files may not appear in your new account for some period of time. Plan accordingly.

Transfer Ownership: If you have documents that need to remain with a department or student group after you leave, copy or move them to your departmental or organization folder in Google Drive. These files will be available to your colleagues even after your Swarthmore account is deleted.

Google Takeout: Download Google data to your computer

Using Google Takeout, you can export and download your data from the Google products you use, like your email, calendar, and photos. We recommend Google Takeout for items that are not covered by Google Transfer (such as Calendar and Google Photos) or items that are too large to move to a personal Gmail account.

Note: Downloading your data does not delete it from Google’s servers.

Choose which products to include

  1. Sign into your Swarthmore Google account.   Visit the Google Takeout page ( 
  2. Choose which Google products to include in your download. To see more details and options for a product, select the down arrow.
  3. Select Next.
  4. Choose your archive's File type. Usually, ZIP is the best format to choose.

Note: If you have Google Play Music data in your account, your content isn't included when you create an archive.

Choose how your archive is delivered

  1. For "Delivery method," select Send download link via email.
  2. Choose Create archive.
  3. In the email that arrives, click Download archive.
  4. To download your data, follow the onscreen instructions.

When your archive is created, you will be emailed a link to its location. Depending on the amount of information in your account, this process could take a few minutes or several hours. Most people get the link to their archive the same day that they request it.

For additional information about the download process and answers to common questions, visit the How to download your Google data - Google Account help page.

Export Google Contacts

To export contacts from your Swarthmore Gmail

  1. Under the Google Apps menu at the top right, choose Contacts.
  2. Select Export...
  3. Choose whether to export all contacts or only one group.

To transfer contacts between Google Accounts, use the Google CSV format. This is the recommended way to back up your Google Contacts.

  1. Click Export.
  2. Select a location to save your file, and click Save.

To import contacts to your external Gmail account

  1. Sign in to Gmail.
  2. Under the Google Apps menu at the top right, choose Contacts.
  3. Click Import....
  4. Click Choose File.
  5. Select the file you'd like to upload.
  6. Click Import.

Saving a Google Calendar

To migrate your main calendar, follow these simple steps:

  1. go into your Google Calendar settings 
  2. Find the Calendars tab.
  3. Within the Calendars area is an option to Export Calendars to your hard drive in iCal format.
  4. Export them to your drive and unzip them if necessary.

Importing to your personal account

  1. Go to your external Google account
    1. it's easiest to have each account logged into Google in a separate browser
  2. go to Settings > Calendar Settings > Calendars and create a new one.
    1. Name it whatever you like, click Create Calendar
  3. Use the import button at the bottom of the page.
    1. Choose the .ical file corresponding to your main calendar and upload it,
    2. choosing the empty Google Calendar you just created as its destination. You'll see that it shows up in calendar view.