How to Download All Your Important Data from the Internet
If your access to the internet is interrupted for one reason or another, especially for a prolonged period of time, you may find that important information you need is stuck on the network. One thing that can help in this case is if you have created an offline archive of your online data.
In this article, we will tell you how to download essential information from the cloud that is on Google services, social networks, and more.
Know more about how to protect your personal data here.
Much of our personal data is in one way or another tied to Google services: it can be Gmail, documents in Google Docs, calendar plans, photos in Google Photos, etc. Fortunately, Google allows you to download all this data in one place — through the Google Archiver service.
On the “Archiver” page, first make sure that you are logged in under the account whose data you want to get: check the avatar in the upper right corner and, if necessary, click on it to switch accounts.
Then select the services from which you want to download data: you will see a list of several dozen items — mail, calendar, photos, and everything else. By default, all but one will be selected — “Access Log data” (most likely, you will not need it; these are statistics about all your actions in the account). However, Google warns that there is a lot of this data, and if you include this item, the export may take a long time.
There will be a “Next” button at the bottom of the list. Click on it and select the export settings. There are several of them here:
- The method of receipt (select “By link” to download the data to the computer disk).
- Download frequency (select a one-time download or set up a regular schedule to create new archives).
- The size of the archives. There are numerous options (1, 2, 10, or 50 GB). If you set 2 GB, and the data on Google’s disk is 20 GB in total, the service will form 10 archives of two gigabytes each.
The option to download everything in one large archive may seem convenient, but if the download is interrupted due to the amount of data or network problems, you will have to start all over again.
Once you have decided on the settings, click the “Create Export” button and get ready to wait: preparing the archive may take many hours, or even days. When everything is ready, Google will email you with instructions. The download link will also appear on the Export Management page.
Google is not as protected as you think. Here are the details.
As in the case of Google, users of Apple devices can keep a lot of different data in the company’s cloud storage, from mail @icloud.com up to photos and personal documents.
You can read about how to create copies for individual services (for example, voice recorder recordings or notes) here. This page contains instructions on how to request all the data associated with your Apple ID.
The list of the best smartphones you should use is here.
Messengers and social networks
Telegram — You can download the message history in the Telegram client for your computer. First, open Telegram Desktop, go to the settings section, and in the Advanced section, select Export Telegram data (if you have an interface in Russian, then this is the “Advanced Settings” section and the “Export data from Telegram” item).
Note: If you try to download all the photos and videos from personal correspondence and channels to which you subscribe, the archive may be too large. So instead, carefully go through the export settings and save only the data you need.
Is Telegram safe to use? Read more here.
WhatsApp — Instructions on how to request the export of your data are published on this page. Pay attention to the links at the bottom of the page. They lead to instructions that allow you to export individual chats.
The trusted WhatsApp alternatives are here.
Facebook — Open the Facebook settings page and go to the “Your information on Facebook” tab. Next, select the “Download information” item and click on the “View” button to its right. Next, a page opens where you need to select the range of dates for which you need information (there is an option for “All the time”) and data types. After that, click on the “Request file” button at the bottom of the page.
Facebook is not the most secure app. Learn more here.
Twitter instructions can be viewed on this page. In short, open your account settings, go to the “Settings and Privacy” section, select “Account” and request an archive in the “Your Twitter data” section. Twitter will ask you to enter a password to confirm your identity.
Instagram — Use the “Download Data” tool. Instagram allows you to choose HTML or JSON format. If you do not write code that can somehow process the received data, select HTML. The download link will be sent to your email.
Wikipedia articles can also be saved on a computer and viewed without the internet. To do this, you need to download the Kiwix application. This is a popular offline browser; it allows you to work with pages downloaded to your device, even if you do not have internet. First, however, you will need to download the archives with the documents themselves. There is a special section on the Kiwix website which has Wikipedia and other educational and information resources in different languages.
Services for work
Many services used for work should also have tools for exporting data. For example, they are in Slack, Notion, Basecamp, Trello, and Airtable (in the latter case, however, you can download documents only once).
If you need to save information from some other cloud service, try to find instructions on the help pages, request them from support, or search in search engines.
Remember that corporate services often only allow users with administrator rights to download data.
The best ways to protect your data from email services are here.