How to Back Up Your Google+ Data - dummies

By Jesse Stay

Google+ has a very flexible and unique feature that enables you to back up everything you upload to the service. It may be that you, heaven forbid, want to cancel your Google+ account and want to be sure you have a copy of all that precious data you uploaded to the service. Or maybe you just want to be safe and have a backup here or there.

What you can back up

Backing up data isn’t limited to just Google+; Google pulls in elements from other Google products to allow you to back up those items as well. Using Google+, you can back up the following to your computer’s hard drive:

  • Articles that you have +1’d

  • Your Google Buzz posts (if you’re a Google Buzz user)

    Google Buzz is a news aggregation service integrated into Gmail that you can use to read news from your friends. Google Buzz is considered a predecessor to Google+.

  • All your Google contacts and circles

  • All your photos (including those saved as copies on Picasa Web)

    this includes all the photos you’ve uploaded to Google+ and any you’ve uploaded to Picasa Web in the past.

  • Your profile data

  • Your stream data

    This includes every post you’ve ever posted to Google+.

You can choose one of these options, some of them, or all of them, and they will be downloaded to your hard drive after you follow the steps in the next section.

Backing up your Google+ data

Backing up your data is very easy on Google+. To back up everything, just follow these steps:

  1. Click the little gear icon in the upper-right corner of the Google+ sandbar and click Google+ Settings in the drop-down menu that appears.

    The Google+ Account Settings page appears.

  2. On the left, click Data Liberation.

    The Data liberation settings page appears.


  3. Click Download Your Data.

  4. To download everything, just click Create Archive. To download individual items from Google+, click Choose Services, and you can pick which services you want to back up. You can also just click one of the individual links below the Create Archive button.

    You’ll be taken to a really cool page with moving bars signifying that your data is being backed up.


  5. When the archive is done, click the Download button.

    You may be asked to authenticate, and, if so, once you do as asked, the download will start. After the file has downloaded, a zipped file will appear on your hard drive. You should be able to just double-click it.

Now, all your data will be in an organized format in a folder on your hard drive, as follows:

  • Buzz and Google+ posts will be stored in HTML files.

  • Contacts will be in .vcf contact format that most e-mail programs can understand.

  • Your profile is stored in a simple format that other profile apps on the web can read.

  • +1’s are stored as bookmark files that you can import as bookmarks into your browser.