Google is shutting down Album Archive: here's how to export your data

Jun 20, 2023

Another Google service is being killed. This time it is Google Album Archive that is shutting down, here's how to export your data from it.

Google has sent out an email to notify users says that Album Archive will not be available after July 19th 2023. The Mountain View company says that some content on the Album Archive will be deleted, including small thumbnail photos, album comments or likes, some Hangouts data, background images that were uploaded in the Gmail theme picker prior to 2018.

Google is shutting down Album Archive

You will see a banner that warns about the service's impending sunset when you visit the Google Album Archive web page. The site also displays some thumbnails, don't be fooled if you only see 3 or 4 images. These are thumbnails in a gallery, each of which represent folders that are associated with various Google services such as Blogger, Hangouts, Photos.

Google Album Archive banner

Click on one of those to view all images in the directory. You may find there are dozens or even hundreds of photos in it. There is a good chance that some of these photos or screenshots that you shared on Hangouts could be precious to you. Downloading them one at a time may be a tedious task, fortunately Google has provided an easy solution for this.

How to export your data from Google Album Archive

1. Open the Google Takeout page. You will be prompted to sign in to your account to proceed.

2. Select the Album Archive option. You may have to deselect the other data types.

How to export your data from Google Album Archive

3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page, and click on Next Step.

Configure your Google Takeout

4. Now you will need to select how to export your data. The easiest way is to use "send download link via email", which will generate a Takeout download as a .ZIP archive. Optionally, you may choose to save the data to your Google Drive, Dropbox, One Drive or Box.

5. Pick a file type (.ZIP or .TGZ). The file size is set to 2 GB as default, you may choose options from (1 GB to 50 GB) to split the archive accordingly. If you are confused about this, just leave it at the default option and proceed with the next step.

6. Click the Create Export button.

Finalizing the Google Takeout of Album Archive

Google will start preparing the export of your data from Google Album Archive. You will receive a notification via email when the download is ready. It is worth noting that your Takeout request is only valid for 7 days, so download it before then, else you will need to start over.

Download Album Archive data using Google Takeout

Takeout will export various types of data from your Google account including photos, videos, album and media metadata. Download the Takeout archive and extract its contents to a folder. Click on the archive_browser.html file in the directory.

Google Takeout Album Archive report

This will open a report in your web browser that contains information about the export process. It includes the details about the files that were saved, and any errors that may have occurred during the process. You can retry the download by initiating a new Takeout.

Please refer to the official support page for more information about Album Archive.

Google is shutting down Album Archive, here's how to export your data
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Google is shutting down Album Archive, here's how to export your data
Google is shutting down Album Archive in July. Here's how to export your data from it.
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  1. Someone said on June 21, 2023 at 9:39 pm

    I’m offline about one month (personal reasons). I never used the other googled styled ridiculous apps, (only YT, gmail+blogger in the past). Never needed Google Drive. So Google seems that cant do nothing for me. (the good one that done, at least, was the new UI of Chrome, that I like a lot :)

  2. VioletMoon said on June 20, 2023 at 3:44 pm

    Yes, Google sends an email to users and provides all information needed w/ links to download Album Archive via Takeout [which allows exporting all Gmail and anything Google].

    The only question I had, which neither Google nor the article addresses, is how the dissolution of Album Archive will affect photos used on Blogger.

    Will they suddenly disappear?

    I hate to think of my blog suddenly missing embedded videos and photos.

    What to do with all the .json files?

    Thinking–maybe I have all those uploaded/linked via Google Drive, not Albums.

  3. John G. said on June 20, 2023 at 10:52 am

    It seems that everything is changing so fast in online services. Thanks @Ashwin for the article! :]

  4. nunof said on June 20, 2023 at 10:16 am

    With the recent actions of Twitter and now Reddit, and this predisposition to close services, I’ve been wondering what Google might be planning for gmail. I have no idea how (un)profitable gmail is, but changing the rules for free users seems to be a prospective next step for Google to screw users

    1. Anonymous said on June 20, 2023 at 10:53 am

      Gmail has better language tools (grammar, conjugation, etc) than Google Translate. It’s rather ridiculous, really, and is one of the few things I can respect Google for. Gmail definitely has premium features that it offers for free, wouldn’t be too surprised if that changes one day sadly.

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