Copying Your Google Drive
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Copying and transferring your Smith email and My Drive files to a personal Google account takes only a few steps when you use Google’s email transfer and Drive takeout tools.

Important Considerations Before You Begin

Storage Amounts: Your Smith account has had unlimited storage but a personal Google account is limited to 15 GB. You may have to do some clean up or purchase more space from Google. To view details on your storage usage, navigate to Google Drive Storage within your Google Drive to see the current storage used for your Gmail, Drive, and Photos.

Transfer Ownership: You will want to transfer ownership of files that belong to Smith or others by moving them to Shared Drives. Files that remain in just your My Drive will no longer be accessible to others with whom you shared them after your account expires. Note: Files you created in Shared Drives are already available to members of the Shared Drive. Make sure that someone else has Manager permissions of each Shared Drive so someone else will be able to manage the files after you leave.

Processing Time: If you have a large amount of data, the processes may take up to several days to complete according to Google Support. Once you initiate the transfer or download, you will be able to continue to do your work and even log out. However, the new files may not be available for some period of time. Plan accordingly.

Email: The transfer tool may have difficulty transferring large emails e.g. email messages with large attachments. If the transfer errors, this could be one cause. Before you begin the transfer (or if the transfer errors and does not complete), you may want to review large emails and save the attachments another way or delete these messages.


To copy your email, you will want to use the transfer option available at This will transfer all of your Smith emails to a personal Gmail address that you specify.

IMPORTANT NOTE: When you start the process of migrating your Smith account data, open an incognito/private browsing window or use a different browser than you normally use and log in to your Smith account. This will help to ensure the export will be looking at your Smith account and not any other personal Gmail accounts you might be logged into.

To access the Google Transfer tool:

  1. In a private/incognito window or a different browser, log into your Smith mail account at and sign in using your Smith email address.

  2. Access the tool at

  3. Enter in your personal Gmail in the destination account field and select Send Code.

  4. From your personal non-Smith address, retrieve the code and enter it in the Verify field (it is recommended to access the personal Gmail in a separate browser).

  5. When it asks for you to select content to copy, deselect Drive. Select Start transfer.
    (Note that we do not recommend using this tool to transfer your Drive contents because it currently transfers all folders and files that have been Shared with you. This can be thousands of files.)

The transfer can take some time to complete depending on how many emails there are to copy over. The messages will start populating shortly after the transfer begins but it can take up to a week to complete. When the files have finished copying, you will receive an email to let you know it is done at the personal Gmail address.


To transfer the Smith Google Drive files that you own, you can use the Google Takeout service available from the link at

This feature will automatically create archive files for you to download once it has been completed. To see how much storage space you are currently using, you can use the link for

IMPORTANT NOTE: When you start the process of migrating your Smith account data, please open an incognito/private browsing window or use a different browser than you normally use. This will help to ensure the transfer will start under your Smith account and not any other Gmail accounts you may log into.

Reminder: Please review the considerations noted above and remember to transfer ownership of any files and folders that should belong to anyone else after you leave.

To access the Google Takeout tool:

  1. In a private/incognito browser window or different browser, log in to your Smith Gmail account.

  2. Access the tool from

  3. From the home page, choose Deselect all under the Create a new export section.

  4. Select the Drive option from the list. Scroll down and select Next step.

  5. Verify that the destination to transfer to is set for Send download link via email.

Under File type, you can leave it as Zip. For File size, choose the size that best fits your needs. Keep in mind the smaller the file size and the more space your My Drive is using, the more zip files you will need to download after. For example, if your My Drive storage is using 20 GB and you choose the 2 GB option in Takeout, this will create 10 files for you to download.

Be patient. The process may take a while to complete, particularly if you have a lot of data to transfer. When the transfer is complete, you will receive a confirmation email with download links to your Smith mail (the subject line will be Your Google data is ready to download). For additional information and support for downloading Drive files, see Google’s page here.


If you have any Google sites you have created that you would like to retain a copy of after you have left Smith, please follow these instructions.

  1. Log into with your Smith email and password. Open the site you would like to copy.

  2. Select the Share with others icon at the top right of the page and enter in the email address of your personal Gmail account.

  3. IMPORTANT: Before sending, make sure to uncheck the Notify people selection after you have entered in your address. If you do not, you will receive an error that you cannot share the page.

  4. Select Send, you will receive a notification that you are sharing outside of the Smith domain. Select Share anyway.

  5. Log into the page with your personal Gmail account. Open the site and select the three vertical dots at the top right next to Publish.

  6. Choose Make a copy and select OK. This will save a copy of the site to your personal Gmail/Google Drive.


Google Contacts: Import, restore or backup contacts.

Change Group Ownership

Export your Google Calendar

Import event to a Google Calendar


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Copyright © 2015 Smith College Information Technology Services  |  Last updated May 19, 2023

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