Troubleshooting Google Takeout


Google Takeout is the recommended way to export your data out of Google Workspace (See Migrating Files out of Google Drive for instructions). Though it is recommended, it can present several challenges that are difficult to diagnose and fix. Below you will find some common issues surrounding Takeout with potential workarounds. However, understand that Google’s own documentation and logs are severely limited regarding troubleshooting Google Takeout. Therefore, the explanations below are from what has been reported online, and, as such, they may not apply to your situation.

Google Takeout can be used to export Photos even with access to the Photos app disabled. However, if you do not have access to Drive, you cannot use Takeout to export files from Drive.


Video links for additional support:

  • 4Help has no insight into Google Takeout or any operation errors and is thus unable to assist individuals. The servers are on Google's side and the logs that are available only indicate that the operation starts and succeeds or fails (with no details for why it failed).
  • General tips/features of Google Takeout
    • Sharing and permission settings on files and folders are not maintained
    • Export requests can take minutes to hours to days. It is not advisable to make another request for the same application until the previous one has finished (success or failure).
    • It is best to make separate requests for each set of application data (i.e., one request for Gmail, one request for My Drive) and to wait for a request to finish before starting another one.
    • Organize your files into folders and remove any files/emails you no longer need before making your request. This may take time but has a greater chance of success.
    • It is recommended to use Google's Chrome Browser
    • Files may not be converted correctly. For example, Forms and Sites get flattened to PDFs.
    • Google does not delete files, folders, or email that have been successfully exported. You are still required to manually delete the data.
    • For additional information, see Google's support page

The following table discusses some common problems that may apply to your situation.

Common Cause

More Information

Possible Solution

Network errors or interruptions

Since the Takeout operation occurs on Google's side, it requires a stable, fast connection. Unfortunately, it's possible that the request either drops or is too large and causes an error.

Conduct smaller more frequent Takeout operations.

Archiving limit

Google Takeout allows users to only make a certain number of attempts to archive data files. Google Takeout has a limit of two to 3 profiles per day, and a maximum of 7 per week.

Space out your requests to not hit this limit.

Limited retries

You can only attempt to download the archive created a limited number of times. If you can't do this in the first 5-6 attempts, the download link will be out of date.

  • Make sure you are on a good network connection
  • Don't turn off your computer or let it go to sleep while downloading archives
  • Delete files that you no longer need before attempting to create the archive
  • Create smaller archives that are easier to download. You may find that organizing your files into "export folders" and then exporting the folder will help.

A large amount of data

If you try to export many files, you will sometimes get a "Google Takeout Not Working" error after the whole process.

  • Delete files that you no longer need before attempting to create the archive
  • Conduct smaller more frequent Takeout operations. You may find that organizing your files into "export folders" and then exporting the folder will help.

Large individual file size

Videos, music, etc. will often fail. Especially, but not only, if the file size is larger than the actual export size you set.

  • Organize especially large files into their own folder. They may need to be manually downloaded.
  • Increase the size of the archive to encapsulate larger file sizes you have. However, there is a 50 GB archive size limit, and this can cause some of the other errors mentioned above.

Permission restrictions

You can't use Google Takeout to download files owned by others. The "Shared with me" folders in Google Drive cannot be exported using Google Takeout, even if they contain files that you generate. If others create files in your My Drive, they cannot be exported.

Manually download these files (if you have download permission) or request ownership of them.

File type conversions unusable

Some file types will export, but will be converted to a PDF (i.e., Forms, Sites)

You can try to manually download the file, but even that may be problematic. You may need to recreate the file in a different environment.

Improperly connected Google account

Sometimes, if Google Takeout doesn't work, it's a glitch. It may be that the Google server is not properly connected to your account, or it may be that your account login timed out.

Log out of your Gmail account and log back in. While this will interrupt any current transfers, it might directly fix the Google Takeout not working issue. You can also circumvent this by using an Incognito or InPrivate browser window to ensure you have a clean slate.

Problematic files

It may be that you have a few problematic files that are causing the operation to fail.

Organize files into folders. It might be safer to archive a folder than to transfer many individual files. Doing this also allows you to potentially isolate problematic files.




Google Workspace Program Search Term: GWP