here's the thing

Google tip: Download a giant archive of all your Google data

So, how long have you been using Google? A few years? Ten? A dozen? (In my case, more than a dozen—yikes!)

And in all that time, how many Gmail messages, contacts, calendar events, YouTube videos, and more have you saved, sent, uploaded and otherwise stored on its servers? My brain hurts just thinking about it.

Want to pack all your personal Google data into a big digital suitcase? No problem.

Well, here’s the thing: not only can you find out how much personal data you’ve got sitting in Google’s memory banks, you can also download a giant digital suitcase of all your Google stuff, which you can peruse and store on your own hard drive.

Downloading an archive is a smart way to safeguard your Google data against server failures, bolts of lightning, and other random acts of God.

It’s also a prudent move if you ever decide to part ways with Google and delete your account.

Related: How to download all your Facebook posts, photos and videos to your PC

Best of all, packing up a Google archive is quick and relatively painless. I archived and downloaded a 1.3 GB file stuffed with more than a dozen years of data in about 45 minutes.

Note: One big piece of the Google archive puzzle that’s still missing is Gmail, but Google says Gmail archives are coming within the next month or so. Stay tuned.

You can pick and choose which bits of personal data you want packed into your Google archive.

Let’s get started…

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