If you are a frequent user of any of Google’s myriad services, you have a LOT of data sitting in the company’s databases. Contact information, calendars, documents of all kinds, photos and more make up the common types of information many people have begun to rely on Google to store and serve up for them.
But, what if you want a little more control over that data? Maybe you want to keep a local copy of all your contacts and documents, just to be extra secure. Or maybe you want to migrate from Google’s ever-increasing presence in your life. Whatever the reason, you can grab that data and download it for your own safe keeping.
Google has created a service, called Google Takeout, that allows you to download all of your data from a number of Google’s services (not all are included yet, but hopefully they will be soon) or selected data from selected services. For instance, you can download all contacts in vcard format, or as a CSV file, suitable for importing into a new contact manager of your choice. The CSV file can be imported into excel and other database programs as a backup or for further editing. Vcard format is primarily used for import/export and backups and do not have much utility outside of that. There are online vcard editor services available to combine multiple vcard type files together or separate one into several pieces. This is useful if one wishes to send vcard files to other persons whilst omitting certain information, or if they have been sent multiple vcard files and wish to compile them.
You can find Google Takeout here.
To download data from Gmail, Google Chat or Google Calendar, follow the instructions farther down in this article from Make Use Of.