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We trust Google with our personal data every day: What happens when they won’t let us take it when we need it? I’ve recently had just such a scenario. I am a big Google fan – I use them as my search engine (of course), Chrome has been my primary browser for years, I’ve been managing my photos using Picasa, Google+ is my social network of choice, and I’ve been using Android smartphones exclusively since the Gingerbread days. So you could say I’m very much entangled in Google’s Web. Nothing to worry about, I thought, thanks to Google Takeout. I’ve since discovered otherwise.

Google Takeout’s Promise

google-takeout-message

“It’s important that you have control over your data,” extolls Google Takeout – a Google service committed to letting users own their information and export it. It further encourages us to “research the data export policies” of your destination, in case you plan to migrate your data. I was heartened by this positive and sane approach to my data – it is mine, so it was nice to see Google and I see eye to eye on this.

The data in question was my photos – hundreds, if not thousands, of photos taken using my smartphones over the years, and automatically uploaded to Google+ More Than Just Sharing: Everything You Need To Know About Google+ Photos More Than Just Sharing: Everything You Need To Know About Google+ Photos Google+ makes it very easy to share your photos with whomever you want, but you can do a lot more than just share. Make sure you take advantage of everything Google+ photos have to offer. Read More courtesy of the service’s wonderfully easy sync feature. Getting my information was just a matter of scrolling down the long list of data types and ticking the box next to my photos:

google-takeout-photos

I clicked the large Create Archive button, to then be greeted by an encouraging progress bar, crunching away at my data. Soon, I would have a large ZIP full of my family photos from over the years.

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google-takeout-progress-bar

When Takeout Goes Wrong

As you’ve probably guessed by now, data export failed. And failed. And then it failed some more (I am nothing if not persistent when I want my data):

google-takeout-fails

This screenshot is just a sampling of my failed attempts – there are more. Note the lack of detail – here’s what you get when you click Show archive details:

google-takeout-fails-details

So, I can see that it failed when trying to export my photos. Thanks, Google. Not to worry though, you also get an error message via email:

google-takeout-error-email

Just as informative: No link to support, and not even an error code. “Your export failed, how sad,” says Google.

The export page does contain a link to this generic survey because Google wants to know how they did. I filled it in, but nobody contacted me (surprise!).

The Trump Card: I’m a Paying Customer

Unlike most Google Apps users, I actually pay Google for the pleasure of using their email and other products. I do this not because I need extra space or any paid features, but because I want to be eligible for support when I need it. This was just such a time, so I called the Google support hotline (yes, there is such a thing), entered my PIN number, and got a friendly and knowledgeable support rep on the line.

The rep listened to my issue and sounded genuinely interested and caring. He put me on hold while he went to check on things, and when he got back, informed me that despite me being a paid customer, Google will not be able to offer me support – because data export is not a “core service.” That’s right – Google wants you to own your data, but not quite enough to call export a core service.

The rep then sent me the following email:

google-takeout-email

To make a long story short, being a paid customer did not help me at all here. When I truly needed support from Google on something I consider quite important, I did not get it.

Try, Try Again

With few options, the next day, I simply decided to try my luck with the export tool yet again – this was my fifth attempt. The stars must have been aligned just right, or Google’s servers were having a good day, because shortly after clicking the big red button, I got this:

google-takeout-success

That’s right: Sweet, sweet success. My data was waiting for me on Google’s servers, packaged up in three large ZIP files (2GB each). It may be due to my support request – perhaps Google had an engineer look at the issue and figure out what went wrong. But even if that’s what happened, Google never let me know about it – I did not get an email saying my issue will be addressed (just the opposite, in fact). So I will chalk this up to blind luck and dogged persistence.

The Takeout Message

Annoying as this may be, my point here was not to vent but to offer useful information. Google is using their takeout service and their Data Liberation Front as talking and PR points – we’ve even linked to them before DataLiberationFront: Your Google Data Backup Guide DataLiberationFront: Your Google Data Backup Guide Read More . These are easy for Google to tout, because most users would never actually go through the trouble of exporting their information. But when you do try it, and it fails, that can be a learning opportunity. Here is what I’ve learned:

If you have any other insights from this little story, or have your own Google Takeout stories to share, I would love to hear them in the comments.

  1. Deb Maley
    August 30, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    What's even worse is that Takeout still doesn't export Google Drive files that are shared. WTF! I was trying to back my stuff up for so long (not just export it to get off Google) and takeout was terrible. I might be in the minority here, but backing up my gmail to another gmail account with g-transfer.com (great for backing up accounts) was by far the easiest way. If you're looking to get your stuff off Google though, I'm not sure there's a way to do that...

  2. James Walker
    August 21, 2015 at 1:34 am

    Cool story, i"m glad it worked out for you in the end.

    I however, just started an archive to export. I have 29gb of photos and almost 1gb of email. My outlook doesn't sound too good. I'll cross my fingers nonetheless.

  3. XenasKid
    April 27, 2015 at 1:08 am

    Right on for this! I have a similar story but mine doesn't end well (TANYA!). I ran a prof services biz and used G Apps for email and calendaring that I paid top dollar for since they started charging for biz email. I closed the biz and wanted to stop paying for the email address but wanted to retain all the emails ever exchanged as biz records. Emails are communications, duh. Obvi need to save them, but obvi not gonna print them all out. I opened a free Gmail account and then called Google to ask how to move everything. Can't, was the answer. They don't offer an export service for email, suggested Takeout "or other similar tool," which meant they don't associate with it even tho its a Google product, and then said even if I use Takeout to download from G Apps, and upload to gmail, it will not come out with the labels or organized in any way. WTF. It's good to call Google out for bad service. They are filthy rich, and don't give a crap about paying customers. I will never use Google Apps again JUST because exporting isn't supported.

  4. 65er
    March 4, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    What incredible nonsense comments to a decent article. The point is that Google does NOT offer an actual 'takeout' of anything other than gibberish, if you are able to actually get it to download 'AT ALL'.. I have tried several times to 'download' this existing 'archive', which may not even exist at all. NOTHING comes down in any form whatsoever. Thanks to the guy exposing all the paid trolls who support google's data-robbing processes - no doubt for NSA directly (read the news, kiddies). I cannot get even a copy of my data from Google, not to mention getting any idea whatever of what data they really have. Fortunately, I have never given them anything voluntarily. Unfortunately, they trick all new Anroid owners by selling phones that are pre-programmed to automatically 'sync' everything with Google, whether you want it or not. By the time you figure out how to stop this incredible invasion of privacy, it's done. They have it, can sell it or give it to NSA or whoever is willing to pay for it. You cannot get it back. Not only that, you have signed an agreement NOT TO JOIN in any class-actions. High time for an ENORMOUS class-action lawsuit to break this gang apart.
    Hint: when you select not to sync once in Settings, you have NOT stopped the syncing. It is automatically on in several other places in Settings as well. How utterly, deliberately dishonest.

  5. Link
    February 7, 2014 at 8:09 am

    Hey Erez,
    I couldn't rest without doing some searching: there MUST be tools to download your Picasa Albums. I hate to loose data. :)
    Have you tried these?
    http://superuser.com/questions/370431/download-entire-album-from-google
    http://mihirknows.blogspot.se/2011/12/download-entire-album-photos-from.html

    • Erez Z
      February 8, 2014 at 1:08 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to search! I believe these no longer work since Google migrated everything to G+ though...

  6. Phid
    February 6, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    I learned not to trust Google with everything years ago. I had used Adsense on my sites and things went fine for a while, and IIRC I had been paid once by them. However, after I accrued a few hundred dollars in clicks again and was due to be paid again, I was sent a letter by Google claiming something about invalid clicks and that my account would be suspended, meaning no money. I did not know why Google claimed this, and when I appealed their decision they simply reaffirmed what they already said. Lesson to me: when big corporation has control over you, you're just a piece of sand in the machine. While I still use Google services today (kind of hard not to), I would not trust them with all my information.

  7. Val
    February 2, 2014 at 2:29 am

    Erez Z: I am willing to bet big money, saying that the people being upset on your article are really employes of Google or a side-contracted company for writing this type of insensitive 'bite your behind' comments, like it is your own fault for happening this to you. Erez, it is your own fault that they did this to you! Not them! You! You! YOU!
    Of course it is not like that. You wrote a decent article and also not taking a bite out of Google for the wrong doing.
    But all these guys/galls: Tanya-Jayne Park, Michael - 'the panic attack guy', Brad H ... these guys are mentally formed to attack when you are right. I worked with this kind of human species and I almost could have been one of them. I can recognize this type of humans everywhere. Shortly, they are payed for these comments. They are doing this, all day long in their cubicle, and in their mind, for so long, that even they start believing in it and/or do not care about what they are doing; you all are just nobodies to them and they need money to buy bread/'bread'.
    You gave them nice comments in return, maybe because people reading here do not know about this 'hidden' branch of marketing, but I worked in it and many more know about it, but it is some kind of tabu online, or the links are deleted, sometimes, from engine searches? And I do not know about this being a real online tabu?
    Google has money to pay for these comments and is cheaper to pay for them, than to have a perfect business without hiccups.

    Good luck. Sorry for your sad experience. There is no happiness for nobody normal in this kind of situation ... and live goes on, thankfully not because of these guys/galls or Google, because we would be doomed, really doomed.

  8. Link
    January 30, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    Hi Eriz, Very interesting article! I'm sad to read that you finally didn't get your photos back... have you had any other updates?

    I've been in the slow process of moving myself off of Google's servers for a while, and this just hastens it.

    I'm really interested to know if you are able to get good working copies of your data back. Also, it would help if you update your article with the fact that the downloaded archives were crap. It's hard to read through all the comments to find that out.

    • Erez Z
      January 31, 2014 at 9:23 am

      Like most other users, I ended up doing the easy thing: I gave up. It was just SO hard to get the data out, that when I found out (thanks to the comments here) that the archive I got was broken, I never kept trying. :( Some may call it lazy, but like many other people, I am just plain too busy to try, try, try, try over and over again. From now I am taking my Dropbox auto-upload more seriously and locally backing up all of my photos. Boo to Google.

  9. David Lazarus
    January 29, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Why anyone would continue to use Google for anything at all at this point, is completely, totally beyond me. Knowing what we know today, you have to be a fool, a chump, a mark to be using Google Anything. Totally, completely. Actually, I think Google is beginning to realize that people are leaving, which is why it's devoting all its R&D to military robots for the Dept. of Defense. "Do no evil" LOL.

  10. himagain
    January 23, 2014 at 3:06 am

    First, what are all you people doing tying up the CYberbog with trillions of stupid, low quality, low intelligence snapshot uploads?
    Why aren't you doing what your parents did and storing the 1-in-5,000 shots you mindlessly take that are unique to you, in archival media?

    Today, you can carry your *entire* copyable life on a tiny USB keychain, which you can copy and leave at your mum's place, one at home and one in your pocket (in case someone is dense enough to want to look at your boring snapshots) .

    Yes, I'm mad because between you lot and the illegal movie leeches, most of the time my Inet connection doesn't work!

    Because of school holidays here in the antipodes, Net rates aren't much better than writing a letter in blood!

    And yes, my connection is choked right now - its lunchtime and everyone is downloading porno and uploading it to Dropbox et al.....
    E.O.R. (end of rant)

  11. Empp
    January 17, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    I had incredible sense of deja vu as I read your article. I have been using computers for research since back when there were punch cards. I was pretty much on the internet since the mid-1990's. Back some time ago - maybe early 2000's a number of friends stored their photos on a Epson Photo Site and others on something called Star Photo. There were a few other sites also. Those sites suddenly went down and they were the only places some friends had stored their photos. They had no ability to retrieve their photos. I believe Epson attempted to charge people to get their photos back. I am not sure of the final outcome of all this because I had my own websites where I had photo albums, plus backed up to hard drives.

    I guess the point is that after going through these situations with friends, I am far less hesitant to have faith that the "cloud" and other data storage situations are reliable. It has happened before and it will happen again. I strongly suggest that people get hard drives and back their stuff up regularly. And also use one or two cloud services that you pay for and read the fine print. All these businesses are "relatively" new - and could disappear at any time. It has happened before and will happen again. That's life. And thank you to the author of this article for this reminder - that you need to make sure your important data can be accessed when you want it. I hope you resolve this issue.

  12. Justone Everyman
    January 15, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    As a bit of a fence rider (conspiracy theorist vs. trust big brother), being too busy to delve too deeply, and having aged out of the prime demographic, my perspective is a little swiss-cheesed. In some ways I see all sides and in other ways I'm rather naïve.

    First: What you say and how you say it says volumes more about you than anyone else. If you want to disagree with someone's assertions, be civil. Biting criticism and personal attacks don't help anyone and weaken your position. Avoid becoming a "ranter/raver." I would say "get a life," but I'm aware that anytime I point a finger I have 3 pointing back at me.

    Second: There's an old expression: take the meat and leave the bones. The depth of your back-up should be in direct proportion to the value/criticality of your data. Can you say multi-redundancy? Don't discount using 2 or more rotating external drives and swapping them weekly (or more?) in a bank safe deposit box. A small fire-safe box is a good investment. There's nothing wrong with manual methods...they're just not as cool as automatic cloud uploads...as long as you really use them.

    Third: One of my specific nightmares was a hard-drive crash without adequate back-up of all my personal and small business records and everything else for 10 years. Fortunately, it was 99.99% recoverable for about $900.00. The other nightmare happened when I upgraded from my first Android smart-phone to my second. I researched for days about how to best make the transition of all my data including 700+ contacts. I trusted that Verizon's backup would be my primary back-up. I settled for a highly rated back-up app's limitations because I really didn't want to root my phone. I also entrusted Google with my contacts as a third backup. I still had everything on the old SD card, which I moved to the new phone. After all my research and efforts, by the time all sources were through updating my new phone, every contact had been placed on my new phone at least 3 times. 700 contacts became over 2100! Neither Verizon nor Google saved my custom labels on phone numbers, so for the Doe family, John-home, John-cell, John-office, John-work direct, Jane-cell, Jane-work, & John&Jane lake house ALL became "Other." After almost a year I'm still editing my contacts.

    Last: if you have anything to do with computers you WILL experience grief, frustration, and loss. In spite of that, back up, back up, & back up some more. Maybe no man is an island, but don't trust anyone else to be the sole custodian of your data. Compute as a part of the world but backup like you're on your own.

    I better go update my back-up drive, if I can find it!

  13. john schmitt
    January 14, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    Google must have read your posting. I just got all my data.. All 16.77gb of it.

    • dragonmouth
      January 15, 2014 at 2:35 pm

      I suggest you check whether it is readable or not.

    • john schmitt
      January 15, 2014 at 4:39 pm

      Totally readable. 9 ZIP files in total. I may just download them 10 times each , you know to eat up bandwidth on Comcast!

  14. Rather Notsay
    January 14, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Just as the promise of a paperless society through the use of personal computers has failed (more paper than ever) the cloud has failed to deliver on the promise of less required personal storage. If it's important enough to save, save it to your back pocket and use the cloud a s a convenient copy only.

  15. Brad H
    January 14, 2014 at 8:56 am

    While I understand the frustration of this issue, as well as the important nature of it, I have to say you might need to re-evaluate that frustration with some facts. First, all of us, except for non-profits, pay for Google Apps. You aren't special and there is no "trump card" here. Secondly, as users are brought into the Google Enterprise environment, administrators are clearly told what kind of support they should expect. Google Takeout is not part of the "core apps" that are supported. But more than that...get over yourself and realize that your frustration should be directed at your laziness in administering your data and Enterprise account. You wanted Google Apps to care more for your data than you did...and, really, they often do. This one server problem doesn't constitute an evil Google plot against you having your own data. They fixed their problem -- you should fix yours and go on. In essence, you brought up a great reminder for people to back up their Google Apps data, which many forget to do, but the way you did it...not really very professional.

    • Erez Z
      January 14, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      Actually, they didn't fix the problem - the zips they produced were invalid. I discovered this later on.

      I don't expect them to "care" about my data -- only to recognize that it is indeed _my_ data and that I have the right to own it and download it. They don't need to love it or anything like that. :)

  16. Krzysiek
    January 14, 2014 at 8:41 am

    Hi Erez,

    Have you actually checked the individual files in the archives? I had a problem similar to yours - only after several attempts did I manage to download the archive of videos and photos. Unfortunately, when I unzipped the files, most of them had garbled names, and - to add insult to injury? - many of those couldn't be opened, with the message "This is incorrect file format". Obviously, I had uploaded standard jpeg/avi/mp4 files to Picasa/Photos. So there...

    • Erez Z
      January 14, 2014 at 4:58 pm

      After checking the files, you're right. Some are just plain broken! : I didn't get around to sorting all of them and just blindly trusted that they're fine... Turns out I was wrong! So no data liberation after all -- even when they finally give you your files, they're garbled beyond repair. Awesome.

  17. Manuth C
    January 14, 2014 at 1:59 am

    Hey, what about photo auto-upload of Windows Phone to SkyDrive?

  18. donkeyrock
    January 14, 2014 at 12:15 am

    When Google shut down my account a couple years ago (no reason, couldn't get any answers, paid storage, too), I learned a valuable lesson about trusting Google. I still use Google products, but I backup everything whenever I can to other services and my home storage. Losing 5 years worth of info because Google hiccups is simply unacceptable to me. Forever lost my trust of them.

  19. hcaham
    January 13, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Thanks Erez, Interesting article.

  20. Michael
    January 13, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    Stop your nonsense panic attacks. Don't instill "panic" thoughts or actions among us. Google is a love/hate relationship, with their data gathering/archiving prowess. About as soon as you posted your article, I archived and downloaded 170 Megs of my Google account without fail, twice.

    If I didn't want my data to be available (for any means), I would keep it on my hard drive (AND backed up locally, cheaply, twice across multiple external drives).

    If you don't want your local IP address logged for searches, then use startpage.com or duckduckgo. com or any other engine that doesn't log the search originator. Of course, after that, you may be logged by your ISP for more granular information.

    Michael

    • Erez Z
      January 14, 2014 at 4:56 pm

      I certainly did not intend to spread any "panic" but merely to share a true and accurate personal account of what happened. If your Google account can be compresed down to 170MB, we are in quite different positions - my photos alone were over 5GB.

  21. Jacko
    January 13, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Good article. Shame about the dweebs in the comments section crying as they choke on google's, well, you know ;)

  22. Matt
    January 13, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    Yep, as mentioned above, it's best to "withdraw" your data in small yet frequent amounts. I have 2 clouds, one hd and one pc, every month or so I take my big zip, download it, copy it and then upload it. Job done. Don't wine over server issues.

  23. Christine Smith - DigiScrapAddicts
    January 13, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    This sounds like a very frustrating experience but my take away is to not wait too long to export/backup your data. Everyone should be making regular backups of important things like their photos and documents. I grab my phone photos off G+ every week, copy to my laptop and backup to an external hard drive. You simply can not safely place all your eggs in one basket so to speak. I have had one epic HD failure experience and now I am the pied piper of backup.

    • Erez Z
      January 14, 2014 at 4:55 pm

      This is actually the most useful comment I received for this piece so far. Could not agree more!

  24. mprost
    January 13, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    I have had a similar experience and I have found that exporting to .tgz solves it most of the time.

  25. ReadandShare
    January 13, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    @dragonmouth:

    " One big advantage of storing One big advantage of storing data locally on external drives is that it cannot be hijacked. and you data locally on external drives is that it cannot be hijacked. and you ALWAYS have access to it."

    If fire engulfed your premises and fried your computer and the external backup drive next to it, then you will NEVER have access to your data. If you care about your data, make 2 sets of backup - one to an external drive and a second on the cloud. Anything sensitive should be encrypted.

    • dragonmouth
      January 15, 2014 at 2:20 pm

      "If fire engulfed your premises ...."
      A fire can engulf the cloud storage facility, too. Suppose a meteor hits it? I'm sure we can both come up with scenarios to bolster our individual points of view and negate the other person's.

      Before the cloud came along we all did double and triple backups and stored them off-site. My point is that, as Erez's experience shows, when we put our data in the cloud, we no longer have control over what happens to it. Yes, Erez finally got to download his files. However, he only got a COPY of those files. Google can do anything they want with their copy. They can hold it hostage, they can sell it, they can publish it. After Facebook took over Instagram, didn't they declare that Instagram archives were their property henceforth and forthwith? All the Instagram users/clients lost all the rights to their own pictures. Yes, the policy was rescinded becuse of the outcry but it illustrates my point.

      "Anything sensitive should be encrypted."
      Tell that to the 70+ millions of Target customers. Their records were encrypted, behind an industrial strength firewall and other security measures and still they were stolen. Who is to say that the cloud storage servers are any more secure than Target's and are not getting compromised even as we speak? Who is to say that they have not already been compromised but the public has not yet been notified? I may be paranoid but there is a much better chance of a server farm being compromised than a disconnected HDD sitting on a shelf.

  26. dragonmouth
    January 13, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    "Never trust Google with all of your images, or other personal information."
    That should be "Never trust the CLOUD with ................".

    "keep external backup copies. "
    Then why even bother with cloud storage?! One big advantage of storing data locally on external drives is that it cannot be hijacked. and you ALWAYS have access to it.

    The download of your data was just a non-destructive copy. Google (and other cloud storage companies) still retains a copy of it to do with it as they please.

  27. Tanya-Jayne Park
    January 13, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    So just to be clear you're bitching about -

    The fact you tried to export your data, had an issue but them managed to resolve it anyway.

    That Google don't support a product you don't pay for (Google Apps covers email, calendar, drive, sites etc NOT G+ or auto-upload pictures).

    That whatever it was that stopped your original export attempts from being successful resolved itself and no body from Google let you know...even though there was no real way for them to know any of this.

    Maybe your Takeout points should read -

    Always keep a backup of your important data (no matter where it is kept)

    If you don't pay for something don't expect someone to support it for free

    Try, try and try again.

    and finally if you've nothing to write about and have a deadline fast approaching a pointless Google Bashing will do!

    • Erez Z
      January 13, 2014 at 3:52 pm

      So, you don't think being able to export your data from Google's servers is mission critical?

      I pay Google as much as I can - there is no way to buy a "data export" service from them.

    • Tanya-Jayne Park
      January 13, 2014 at 4:23 pm

      But you did manage to export your data, right? So what's your ,problem, there was a glitch in their servers which meant it didn't work when you first tried it but then you left it a while and it worked. Inconvenient sure but not mission critical.

      Surely if something was mission critical you should be using a paid for, business class service not a free one?

      If Google charged for the ability to export data there would be such a fit from all the Google haters, Apple and Microsoft fanbois it would consume the whole internet...could you imagine it!?

      You didn't need to buy support...because it worked..just not right away. I understand you were slightly inconvenienced, I get that, I just can't see why you would feel the need to write an article about it.

    • Erez Z
      January 13, 2014 at 4:29 pm

      It failed when I first tried it, and also on the second, third, fourth, and fifth attempt, all on different days. I don't know about you, but I don't think that's cool.

      So you don't think all of your personal family photos are mission critical? Or just plain critical? I was not "slightly inconvenienced" btw -- very few users would try 6 times on different days, most would just give up. So this is an important reminder for them not to give up, even though Google refuses to help. It is also important to understand exactly how "committed" Google is to this Takeout service -- they love to talk about it, but not so much to support it.

    • Jeroen
      January 14, 2014 at 6:46 am

      Seriously, Google earns so much money that they should support their customers. Google support has always been lacking. Just because you don't pay for their services, doesn't mean they don't earn money off you.

    • knitwitty66
      January 15, 2014 at 4:21 am

      I'll be darned. A GIRL troll.

    • Anthony
      January 15, 2014 at 11:29 am

      I had similar issues with facebook - export continually failed, useless error, no way to contact a human (just provide feedback that went nowhere as far as I could tell), etc. From googling it appears it breaks quite frequently ("move fast and break things" indeed) but is then fixed later when it is noticed. This clearly isn't a headline feature, and so I can't blame them for keeping quiet when things break - why make your service seem flaky for what is quite a corner case.

      So Tanya-Jayne seems to have the right idea - you get what you pay for, but generally these companies want their services to work, so keep trying and it should eventually work. I can't imagine a situation where I would need my archive ASAP, it would only be if I wanted to move elsewhere (which wouldn't be time critical) or store my own backup copy (ditto).

    • Nicky
      January 16, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      I do not think this article was written as you mentioned........for a pointless Google Bashing because of a fast approaching deadline . Instead I find it is a well written article to warn people as to what can go wrong sometimes when you try to export your data and I do know the feeling because the same thing happen to me after I read this article I tried to export my photos and I got the same results as Erez Z and I finally gave up trying. I already had a back up of all my photos somewhere else because I just didn't trust Google enough not to have a back up in case Google failed me which they did. By all the comments you made you almost sound like you work for Google???

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