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How Do I Migrate my G Suite data?

G Suite is one of the biggest corporate clouds used for collaboration and management. Gmail, GoogleDrive, and other G Suite services are tightly woven into the everyday business processes. An administrator’s job is to help G Suite users to keep their working environment safe and effective.

There are many features and configurations that help administrators to do their job. Data migration, or data transfer, is one of them. But why do you need to migrate your data and how to do it? Let’s find out.

Why Do I Need Data Migration?

Primarily, you’ll need data migration to reduce costs by transferring data from inactive accounts. How so?

G Suite has a subscription-based model. This means that you have to pay for all your accounts, even for the ones you don’t use anymore. Many organizations continue to pay even for inactive accounts of their former employees. 

The main reason behind maintaining old accounts is the need to retain information, including documents, contacts, and other data. Also, your organization may need to preserve the ownership of old accounts for legal and compliance reasons.  

Data migration will help you to transfer information from an old account to a new one.  After that, you can deactivate an unnecessary account without risking your data. This way, you’ll both preserve all important information and save on licenses. For a big organization, getting rid of an unused account can save a significant sum. After all, an enterprise G Suite subscription costs $25 per user each month. 

There’s another, less common data migration case—acquisition. When your company acquires another one, you’ll need to transfer freshly-obtained data to the new G Suite user accounts.  

Data Migration Methods

There are several ways to transfer your Google data between accounts. Let’s take a look at three options: G Suite Data Migration, third-party tool, and Google Vault.

Method 1. Built-in G Suite Migration Service

If you have Enterprise, Business, Basic, or Education subscriptions, you can manage data migration using your G Suite admin’s account. To do it, select Data Migration In your admin’s console. 

With this service, you can migrate emails to G Suite from Exchange or Exchange Online, IMAP-based webmail providers, or migrate data from Gmail. Let’s take a look at the latter. 

To migrate Gmail data, you’ll need to select Set Data Migration Up within the Data migration service. After that, select Gmail. After that, you have to select the start date, users, data you need to migrate, and migration destination. After that, authorize the migration (you’ll get the authorization code, which is valid only for 10 minutes).

The main drawback of the built-in migration option is that it’s quite time-consuming in some cases. For example, you have to migrate emails, contacts, and calendars separately.

Method 2. Third-party Solutions 

You can transfer data between your account using third-party backup software. For example, Spinbackup’s G Suite data backup. Here’s how you can migrate your data between G Suite accounts with this tool.

  1. Log in to your dashboard and select Domain Migration.

  2. Choose the migration destination and Submit Request.
  3. Select apps and accounts you need to migrate. 
  4. When all accounts are selected, press the Start Migration button to confirm.
  5. Go to the Migrated by Spinbackup folder in your Gmail. There you will find all the migrated items.

The main advantages of this method are quickness and preservation of the folder hierarchy. Also, this tool allows you to migrate Gmail, Calendar, Drive, and Team Drives, and other items at the same time. You can read more about this and other methods in Spinbackup’s G Suite migration guide. Also, you’ll find there about the role of data migration in ransomware protection.

Method 3. Google Takeout

Google Takeout may be used to retain data of your ex-employees. This service allows you to export your Google data (for example, Gmail messages). 

With Takeout, you get a data archive that can be imported into a new account. Here’s how the migration process works.

First of all, you need to log in to your Google account. Click Download your data. You can untick some services if you don’t need them. If you need something specific (for example, just Google Drive and Photos), you can click the Deselect all button and choose what you want to export. 

Click the Next Step button. Now you have to choose file type, frequency, and destination. 

With Google Takeout, you can export files in .zip or .tgz formats. Note that the maximum size of one export is 50 GB. If your export is larger, it will be split into several smaller archives. 

By customizing frequency, you’ll determine if you export data from your account once or periodically. 

When selecting a destination, you can choose from multiple options. You can send a download link via email to the new Google account. Also, you can add your files to Google Drive, Dropbox, or Box to download them later.

When all customizations are completed, just wait until the export process is finished. 

Google Takeout may be a good choice in some cases. Although transferring your files between accounts with this tool takes some time and effort. For big companies with many accounts, migration with Takeout is hardly the most efficient solution. 

Concluding Thoughts

Data migration is vital if you need to preserve your data and optimize G Suite subscription costs. There many methods for you to choose from. Just don’t forget that data migration should be performed meticulously to avoid data loss. Especially if the selected migration method involved archives stored on your computer that can be deleted accidentally. 

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