Google Takeout lets users merge Google+ accounts

By on July 13, 2012, 5:30 PM

Shortly after Google+ was introduced for Google Apps users, the company promised a migration tool which would allow those users to transfer data from their personal account to their Google Apps account. Several months have passed, but the search giant has finally made transfers possible using their Google Takeout tool -- or sort of, anyway. More on that later, though.

Google Takeout plays a central role in the company's data liberation efforts. Using Takeout, Google users are able to download their data from a number of different services, a useful feature in case a user decides to leave Google or just wants a copy of their stuff. Now though, an option labeled "Transfer your Google+ connections to another account" has been added to Takeout's service options.

Although the tool does transfer circles and followers, it suffers from a number of limitations and fine print. The first major shortcoming is the omission of content migration. That's right -- posts and other content aren't transferred. As Google product manager Ronald Ho put it, "at the moment this tool supports helping you move your social graph from one profile to another". In other words -- just your friends and followers.

For those of you thinking of waiting until developers add a way to migrate Google+ content, you are advised to not hold your breath. "We unfortunately don't have plans to support the transfer of content you've created from one account to the other", Ho told a number of disappointed users on his Google+ page.

Although comments, media and such aren't transferrable, photos uploaded to Google+ also exist in Picasa, Google's online photo album service. While the Google+ transfer tool will not migrate photos, Google Takeout can help users transfer data from one Picasa account to another. Google+ users with many photos may find that tip helpful.

Transfers have a seven-day waiting period, take 2-3 days to complete and can only be done once every 6 months. During the transfer, users will have limited Google+ functionality.

Google Takeout can be found at More information about the Google+ transfer tool can be found here.

User Comments: 3

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HuntForTheWOrst said:

Seem's neat is it worth doing though Rick?Or does it depend on your opinion?

Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

Your own opinion is probably the best one, in terms of whether or not to do it. I'm flirting with the idea myself and I'll probably do it soon, if I do.

Different people will have different reasons, but I think it's meant overall for businesses/professionals/institutions who signed up for Google+ under their personal account *before* it was released for Google Apps.

The more stuff you have in your Google+ account though, the more of a headache it could be. For anyone heavily invested in Google+, it might be a tough proposition to lose the content (e.g. posts, comments/replies). And then you may have to get things in order with YouTube, Picasa etc.. afterward once you get it set up.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

Ever since they forced Google Apps accounts to force a gmail address on you, it's been a hassel to use their service. Hopefully they'll allow us to merge our Google accounts completely, next. I have three google addresses with some forwarding setup so they all go to one place. But if I use YouTube I need to switch accounts and then switch back to check email. fml

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