Exporting/backing up your google drive, and some traps in the way.


There is a great way to export all your google drive files (or actually all your google data) to move it over to a different account, ooor to dropbox, etc.

It’s called Google Takeout, and you can reach the function at this URL: https://takeout.google.com/

Although there is a special setting that can cause a bit of confusion.

In the Takeout page you will see all your google services, but you can filter to export google drive content only. Under that option there is a button for “Advanced settings”. And If you check the option to “Include additional info for files and folders” you will end up with a whole bunch of extra files cluttering up your backup.

These files will have the same filenames as your original files, but their name ends in a .JSON file extension. Also they don’t contain the actual content of the original file, just extra info about them.

If it has already happened, and if you have a lot of files. It might be tricky to get rid of them.

If you try searching for .json in the browser version of the Drive, you will see that it won’t offer you all the hits at the same time, you would need to keep scrolling down and load more of these this way. That just doesn’t work.

If you have the Google Drive app installed on your computer, you have another and faster option to do that.

It is important to set the app to actually mirror your files to your computer – only streaming them won’t work. The search window will not the files if they are only streamed.

Once it is set to mirroring, and it has finished syncing – then you can do a search inside your “My Drive” Google Drive folder, on your computer inside the Finder (for Macs) and the File Explorer (for Windows).

Do a search for .json inside that folder only, and then just delete all the files that will emerge.

I hope this will help you get rid of those extra files.

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Peter Varnai

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Peter Varnai

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Heey, I'm Peter. Father of 2, filmmaker, solopreneur, and a helper of other solopreneurs and self-employed people. :) Feel free to reach out to me and let's have a virtual coffee. or Sign up for the newletter.