How to export your Google photos library
Google Photos keeps your Pictures and videos saved online. But to save your moments in the event of an accident or to free up cloud space, you should always periodically back up your Google Photos library locally. Here’s how to do it with Google’s export tool, Takeout.
- Visit the Google Takeout website and sign in to your Google account. Click the “select all” button to export only your media from Google Photos and exclude your information from the rest of Google services. Scroll down to find “Google Photos” and check the box next to it. With the option “all included photo albums”, you can choose which albums you want to extract a copy from. By default, Takeout backs up all your photo albums. The “antes formats” button tells you in what format your photos and videos will be exported.
- Press the “Next Step” button at the bottom of the page. Here, Google allows you to customize a handful of aspects of the backup process. You can choose whether you want Google to save your archive to your preferred cloud storage or send it to you via email, have Google automatically export your Photos data every two months, and set the file type and size to your file. ‘archive.
- Click “Create Export” once you have customized the export. Google will begin to create a copy of your photo library. Depending on how many photos and videos you have in the albums you selected, it could take hours or even days. You can cancel it with the “Cancel Export” button. When it’s done, Google will send you an email titled “Your Google data is ready to download. Click the “Download your files” button inside that email to go to the download page for your archive file. Log in again with your Google account for confirmation.
- The file should start downloading as soon as you land on the next “Manage your exports” page. If not, select “Download” next to the Photos export entry in the list to request it manually. Note that this download link will expire in a week.
There are two ways to explore downloaded archives. You can either open the “archive_browser.html” document to browse the library from a custom web application in a browser, or view each photo or video file separately from the “Google Photos” folder.
In addition to Photos, Google Takeout allows you to extract copies of data from other Google services like Gmail.