Back up Email, Files, and Other Data on College Resources

Accounts are deleted one month after graduation

Swarthmore network accounts for the graduating class are deleted on June 30th every year.

What do I need to do prior to June 30th?

Back up files stored on Swarthmore servers

  • Moodle accounts will be deleted. All posts, discussion board posts, and attachments you added to Moodle will be permanently deleted from Moodle courses and organizations. If you wish to save any materials from Moodle please copy them to a personal storage device or cloud location.
  • Swarthmore maintains many services that may store student data such as RStudio Server and JupyterHub.  In addition, Swarthmore provides access to cloud services such as MATLAB Online, Microsoft OneDrive, and EndNote Web.  Download any needed data before graduation.

  • If you have files saved in Adobe Document Cloud, you will also need to download those files before your Swarthmore account is deactivated.

    1. Go to https://documentcloud.adobe.com/ > choose Continue with Google, and sign in with your Swarthmore email address. 
    2. Select the file(s) you wish to download and then click Download. Follow the prompts to save the file(s) your local computer or network drive.
  • Student files on the video editing workstations in Beardsley will be deleted shortly after final exams. Save a copy to a personal storage device, DVD, or cloud location.

Set up your Swarthmore Alumni email alias, mail forwarding, and "graduating" Vacation responder

  • Create a new email account, if you do not already have one. You can sign up for a free Gmail account.
  • Visit the Alumni website to set up your Alumni Online Community account and Swarthmore Alumni alias (your @alum.swarthmore.edu address). The alumni alias is not an actual inbox but a forwarding system, which provides an easy way to distribute a "permanent" email address (as your future addresses change). 
  • Notify people about your new email address before your Swarthmore email account is disabled. To make the transition easier, you have a few options in Gmail. You can set up an auto-reply (vacation responder) that includes information about your new email address. You can also set up mail forwarding to your new email account until the account is disabled.
  • How do I set up an Automatic Reply (Away) Message?
    Pull down the gear icon [Settings] to Settings. Scroll down in the General section. Under "Vacation responder" there is a check box for "Vacation responder on". When you check the box you are presented with a text box to compose your message as well as a first day to start sending the auto reply message.  Click Save Changes at the bottom of screen to confirm your changes.

  • How do I set up automatic email forwarding?

    To forward your mail to a new email address, you may need to "Allow Less secure Apps."  Instructions to change that setting are here:  Allowing Less Secure Apps in Gmail 

    Pull down the gear icon [Settings] to Settings. Go to Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab > click Add a forwarding address.  Enter the address you want to forward mail to > click Next.  We recommend keeping the default of "Keep swarthmore.edu's mails copy in the Inbox".  A confirmation email will be sent to your forwarding email address.  You need to accept the forwarding from the confirmation email before it will begin. Please keep in mind that email forwarding from your Swarthmore account will stop when your account is deleted.

Change email account used on job and graduate school applications, and associated with cloud services

  • Did you list your Swarthmore email account on job and graduate school applications?  Make sure jobs and graduate schools can reach you after graduation by giving them an alternate email address.

  • Did you activate any non-Swarthmore related apps or cloud services with your Swarthmore account?  Make sure your non-Swarthmore cloud services are associated with your personal email account, or cancel any you will no longer use.  You need access to the original email account in order to change the associated email address.

  • Want to continue using Microsoft Office after graduation? Get the Microsoft 365 Personal 12-month for $12 plan through their Microsoft's Alumni Discount. Visit Microsoft Support for further information and how to contact support.  

Save your Email and Google Drive files

Google provides two ways to transfer data from Gmail and Google Drive. Using Google Transfer and Google Takeout, you can migrate data from your Swarthmore College (@swarthmore.edu) 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 Transfer: Transfer files to another Google account 

With Google Transfer, you can copy and transfer these kinds of files from your Swarthmore account to another Google Account:

  • Email in Gmail (not contacts, chats, or tasks)
  • Documents that you own in Google Drive (except files in the "Google Photos" section of Drive)

Your original files will remain in your Swarthmore account until the account is disabled following graduation.

Please note that if files in your Google Drive match either (or both) of these conditions, they will not be copied.

  • You are a viewer, not an editor or owner
  • The owner has turned off download, print, and copy options

Prepare your files

To also transfer Google Drive content that other people have shared with you, those files need to be copied to My Drive. These files should appear under "Shared with Me" in Google Drive. Select all the documents, right-click (or control-click)on them and choose Make A Copy. This will copy the selected files permanently to your Google account and allow them to also be transferred.

Start the copy process

  1. On your Swarthmore account, go to https://takeout.google.com/transfer.
  2. Enter the email address of the Google Account where you want to copy your content.
  3. Select Send code.
  4. On your Google Account, check your Gmail inbox for a confirmation email from Google. In the email, select Get confirmation code. A new tab will open with a code.
  5. On your Swarthmore account, go back to the "Transfer your content" page. Enter the code, then choose Verify.
  6. Choose the content you'd like to copy, then select Start transfer.
  7. Visit Google Support for additional help and information on copying content from your school account to another account.

Details about the copy process

  • The copy process usually completes within a few hours, but it can take up to a week.
  • Copied files might appear in batches on your personal Google Account during the copy process.
  • When all of your files are finished copying, you'll receive an email notification that it has finished.

See your copied files

To see the files you've copied, sign in to Gmail or Google Drive with your personal Google Account.

  • Gmail: Copied content will have a label with your school account name and the date you started the copy process.
  • Drive:  Copied content will be in a folder labeled with your school account name and the date you started the copy process.

What changes on copied files

There are a few important changes that happen on files copied from Google Drive:

  • You automatically become the file owner of all copied files. (The owners of the original files in your Swarthmore account remain the same.)
  • Copied files are no longer shared with others.  You can choose to share them later.
  • Comments are copied, but revision history is not.

View transfer history

To see details about content you've copied in the past 30 days:

  1. Go to Transfer your content.
  2. Select Manage transfer history.

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 (https://takeout.google.com/settings/takeout). 
  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.

What else do I need to think about after leaving campus?

Uninstall SafeConnect (Mac and Windows)

The program needed to register on the campus network can be removed after graduation.

  • On Windows, both programs can be removed through the Programs and Features option under control panel.
  • Mac users can can run the "Uninstall SafeConnect" program in Applications to remove SafeConnect.

Access to mySwarthmore After Graduation

  • Alumni do not have access to mySwarthmore with PINs or passwords after graduation. Save any information in mySwat you may not otherwise have access to, but know that you can also contact the Registrar for transcripts or the Student Employment Office for employment records as Alumni.
  • To access transcripts from the Registrar: https://www.swarthmore.edu/registrar/transcript-request

What if I have a question that wasn’t answered in this guide?

If you need additional support, please contact the ITS Help Desk as soon as possible. Accounts will be removed on June 30th and we will not be able to recover information after that time.

Below is a list of all of the ways you can contact ITS or find information:








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