Transfer Ownership of Google Data

You’re the owner by default for files that you create in Docs, Sheets, and Slides, or upload into Drive. But, you can transfer ownership of your Google files (Docs, Sheets, and Slides) and folders to anyone you’d like, as long as that person has an email address.

If you’re a Google Apps user, you can’t transfer ownership to someone else who is outside of your domain.

How to change owners

You can change who owns a file or folder in Drive.

  1. Go to Drive or a Docs, Sheets, or Slides home screen.
  2. Open the sharing box:
    • In Drive: Select the file or folder and click the share icon at the top .
    • In a Docs, Sheets, or Slides home screen: Open the file and click Share in the top-right corner of the file
  3. If the new owner already has edit access, skip to Step 4. Otherwise, follow these steps:
    1. Type the email address of the new owner in the “Invite people” field
    2. Click Share & save.
  4. Click Advanced in the bottom-right corner of the sharing box.
  5. Click the drop-down menu next to the name of the person you want to own the file or folder.
  6. Select Is owner.
  7. Click Done.

You’ll have access to the file as an editor after you transfer ownership.

Google Apps Customers: You can’t make someone outside of your domain the owner of your Google Doc. Only Google Apps customers in Government and Education domains can transfer ownership of a synced or uploaded file (like a PDF or image file).

Consumer Drive users: You can’t transfer ownership of a synced or uploaded file (like a PDF or an image file).

Things to consider before you transfer ownership

  • The things you’ll no longer be able to do once you transfer file ownership include:
    • Remove others from the file
    • Share with as many people as you like
    • Change visibility options
    • Allow your collaborators to change access privileges for others
    • Permanently delete something from Google Drive. After it’s deleted, no one can access it, including those it was shared with.
  • When you transfer ownership of a folder from yourself to another person, the new owner of the folder becomes an editor of the files in that folder. The original owners of the files remain the owners, and if the original owner deletes a file, it’ll be removed from the folder.
  • If your current Google Account is being deleted, transfer ownership of your files, folders, and Google files to another active account. Once the original account is deleted, you won’t be able to recover any of your files or folders from it.

Restore Gmail Backup Into Another Account

Restoring the emails from that are exported via Google Takeout back in to Gmail can be done but requires the use of 3rd party applications to import the archived MBOX file back in to GMail.

The export that you received from Google Takeout will contain an MBOX file (in a zip file) for each label that you have backed up from Gmail. The ‘AllMail’ MBOX file will have all your Gmail records in it.

Please follow the below steps to restore all emails from an MBOX file back in to your Gmail account.

Step 1: Setup your GMail account with Thunderbird

  1. Download and Install the Thunderbird mail application: http://www.mozilla.org/thunderbird/
  2. Launch Thunderbird and create a new account going to “File – New – Mail Account”
  3. Enter your name, GMail email address, and GMail password. Make sure IMAP is selected and then click ‘Continue’
  4. Thunderbird will automatically get your settings if using GMail and then you can click “Create Account”
  5. Now you will see your GMail account on the “All Folders” pane and you can open it to see all your emails. Thunderbird is now properly set up for your GMail account

Step 2: Install “ImportExportTools” Add-On for Thunderbird

  1. To download the “ImportExportTools” extension utility that works with Thunderbird, go to https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/thunderbird/addon/importexporttools/
  2. On that page, locate the “Download ImportExportTools (MboxImport enhanced)”. Right-click the link to download the xpi file and select “Save target as”. Please note the location that you saved the .xpi file
  3. In Thunderbird, go to “Tools – Add-ons” and click on “Install” in the Add-ons windows that pops-up
  4. Locate the .xpi file that you downloaded and follow the instructions prompted to install
  5. Restart Thunderbird

Step 3: Extract the zipped up email archive file you downloaded from Google Takeout

  1. Download the Gmail Export from Google Takeout. The archive file is in .ZIP file format.
  2. Extract the .zip file that you downloaded. Once extracted, you will have several MBOX files which are each named according to the cooresponding label in Gmail. Please note the location of where you extracted the files to.

Step 4: Import the emails from the MBOX file for the label that you want to restore

  1. In Thunderbird, import the MBOX file to a local folder; in the navigation pane on the left, then right-mouse click “Local Folders” and then select ‘Import/Export – Import mbox file’
  2. Choose the option to “import directly one or more mbox files” and select ‘OK’
    In the files browser, locate the folder where you extracted the mbox files to in step 3 above. Select the mbox file that corresponds with the label that you want to restore and then click ‘Open’
  3. All emails from that label will now be importing. Please be patient, as it will take a while to load all of the emails.

Step 5: Copy the imported emails in to your GMail Account

  1. In Thunderbird, in the navigation pane on the left, expand “Local Folders” and then select the folder below that has the name of the label that you are importing to Gmail
  2. In that folder select all of the emails contained in the folder, right-mouse click the selection, and select ‘Copy to – <gmail_account> – <label_name>’. (where gmail_account = the email address of your gmail account and label_name = the path to the label that you want to import the restored emails to)
  3. All emails will now be importing to the label that you choose. Please be patient, as it will take a while to upload all of the emails to Gmail.

Once this is completed then you can log in to your GMail account online and you should see all of the emails restored to the label that you chose in your gmail account.

Backup and Download your Google Data

You can download the data associated with your Google Account so that you can use it in another service or keep a copy for your records.

You can request this info using the “Google Takeout” tool. Here’s how:

Start your download

  1. Visit the Download your data page.
  2. Select the Google products you’d like to include in your download and select Next.
  3. Choose the file type that you’d like your data in and how you want to get it (either by a download link or directly into your Google Drive).
  4. Select Create archive.

Once the archive is created, you’ll get an email to let you know it’s ready. Depending on the amount of information in your account, this process could take a few minutes or several hours, but most people get their link the same day they request it.