How to backup all Google Drive Documents in offline formats

In this video we create backups for all the Google Docs files we have created inside Google Drive:

Written version:

If you are using Google Drive a lot, and creating all kinds of native Google Docs documents like spreadsheets and text documents, you might get the need to backup or transfer those documents to another computer. If you simply assume that you can browse to the Google Drive folder on your computer and move the files from there, you might be up for a unpleasant surprise, as these files here are only links, to the actual documents in the cloud. If I move a document from this folder to another location, Google will simply delete the original file from Drive, and you will lose it.

Here’s how you can easily backup your entire Google Drive folder structure while also exporting all the documents to formats that will work offline. You can simply click on this download button here. If you have many different folders, it might be easiest to first create one root folder, and then download that one. After the download has finished, we can simply unzip the archive and we’ll see that the documents can now be opened with standard offline office programs.

The problem with this first option is that Google Drive only allows you to download 2 gigabytes worth of files in a single download.

The solution is to use the new Google Takeout service, which allows you to download all your data from various Google services, including Google Drive. Google takeout allows you to download your files in chunks as large as 50 gigabytes, which makes the process much less tedious. Simply follow the steps and you will get the download links to your email. Then download them and unzip them to view your files. I recommend using 7-zip for extracting the files, since the standard unzipping program that ships with Windows might not be able to handle 64 bit zip files.

We have now backed up all our Google Documents and can view them offline in office programs. Thanks for watching and see you next time on One Minute Video Tutorials!

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