Google to let users download portable file with all their Gmail messages

People can also download all their Google Calendar items

In a major move for data portability, Google will let users download their entire set of Gmail messages in a single file and do the same with their Google Calendar items.

This capability, announced Thursday, is aimed at people who want to create Gmail and Calendar backups or move their data to other email and calendar services. People will also be able to download part of their Gmail inbox and some of their calendar.

"Having access to your data and being able to take it with you is important," wrote Nick Piepmeier, a Google software engineer, in a blog post.

The data portability feature for Gmail will be rolled out over the next month. It's available now for Google Calendar.

The Gmail messages are in the MBOX format, which, according to Google, is supported by many mail clients, including Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird and Apple's Mail program. The Google Calendar items are in the also common ICS iCalendar format.

Google already provides this capability to users of some of its other products, including Blogger, Contacts, Drive, Plus, Voice, Hangouts, YouTube and Picasa Web Albums.

Data portability has been a hot topic for years as proponents have urged providers of consumer Internet services, such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and AOL, to make it easy for people to extract from their servers the content they upload, such as blog posts, videos, photos and comments. Keeping data locked in curtails people's flexibility to move from one Web application to another, according to data portability backers.

Over the years, there have been advocacy groups such as the Data Portability Project that have promoted people's ability to reuse their data among interoperable applications, as well as a variety of efforts to create data formatting standards, such as Microformats, to simplify data portability.

Google has a specific team of engineers called the Data Liberation Front, which is tasked with making it possible for people to take their data out of the Google applications they use.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesapplicationsGooglee-mailMailsoftwarecollaborationSoftware as a servicecloud computinginternet

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?