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Classic Sites migration details

This article only applies to Google Workspace customers. If you use Google Sites with a personal account, go to Convert your classic Sites to new Sites.


Classic Sites will remain accessible until Google begins the automatic migration process after January 30, 2023 as described in the following sections on this page.

To track the progress of your organization’s migration, open Classic Sites Manager. There you can filter the sites in your domain according to their migration status.

Before January 30, 2023

Administrators and site owners can manually convert classic sites to new sites, export classic sites using Google Takeout, and delete classic sites. 

Starting January 30, 2023

Google has disabled editing for all classic sites in your domain. For details, go to Transition from classic Sites to new Sites. To track the progress of your organization’s migration, open the Classic Sites Manager. There you can filter the sites in your domain according to their migration status. Administrators and site owners can still proactively manually convert classic sites to new sites, export classic sites using Google Takeout, and delete classic sites before the automigration is done for their domain.

From January 30, 2023, Google began to convert and delete any remaining classic sites. We will try to:

  • Create an archived export of the classic site using Google Takeout.
  • Convert the classic site to a draft new site. Users can publish the converted draft of the new site after Google creates it.
  • Delete the classic site

Note: The latest version of each remaining classic site will be automatically converted to a new site if possible, even if you previously converted your classic site. During an automatic migration, you won't be able to convert your classic site, delete your classic site, or cancel an in-progress conversion of your classic site. Any changes you make to the sharing permissions of your classic site after January 30, 2023 may not be factored into automigration.

Recommended migration settings

To prepare your domain for the most complete migration path possible, verify these settings in the Admin console.

  1. Turn the Sites service on for everyone. Go to Turn Sites on or off for users for details.
  2. From the Admin console homepage, go to Appsand thenGoogle Workspaceand thenSites. Go to New Sites and thenSite creation and editing, and choose Users can edit sites and Allow users to create new sites.
  3. From the Admin console homepage, go to Appsand thenGoogle Workspaceand thenDrive and Docsand thenFeatures and Applicationsand thenCreating new files on Drive, and check the Allow users to create and upload any file box and the Allow users to create new Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings and Forms files box, then click Save.
  4. Turn the Drive service on for everyone. Go to Turn Drive on or off for users for details.
  5. Turn on the Google Takeout service for everyone. Go to Turn Google Takeout on or off for users for details.

Google will respect these settings when replacing remaining classic sites after January 30, 2023. Depending on the settings previously listed, site owners may receive a Takeout export, a draft new site, both, or neither, for each classic site they own. For example, if no eligible site owner (explained in more detail in the following section) can create a new site because one of the services previously listed is not turned on, then no converted draft site is created.

Admin notification

Regardless of the setting configuration, after all classic sites in an organization are migrated, the primary admin will always receive a notification that includes the following:

  • A link to a complete Takeout export of all classic sites remaining. The export will remain available for at least 12 months after the notification is sent.
  • A CSV file with a list of shortcuts to the converted draft sites created by Google.

If none of the classic site owners are eligible to create a draft new site, the primary super admin will be considered an additional site owner. If a super admin has permission to create a draft new site themselves, any remaining classic sites that have not yet been converted will be converted with the super admin as owner (and all previous owners as editors).

Special considerations

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Eligibility for migration of classic Sites to new Sites
A classic Site is eligible for automigration to a new Site if at least one owner of the classic Site meets all of the following criteria:
  • Sites Service is enabled. If the top-level Service status for new Sites is disabled, new Sites creation and editing can’t be enabled. For details, go to Turn on new Sites for users.
  • New Sites creation and editing is enabled. Only users who have creation and editing for new Sites enabled can become a new site owner. For details, go to Turn on new Sites for users.
  • Drive is enabled. Only users with Drive enabled can become a new site owner. For details, go to Turn Drive on or off for users.
  • The new site owner can’t have a disabled account.
  • The owner is not a group. A group can’t be the owner of a new site. Users who are owners of a classic site only because they are part of a group can’t be a new site owner.
  • The owner must be in the same domain as the classic site. Users outside the domain of the classic site can’t be an owner of a new site.

To know more about how a single owner is selected for the converted new site, go to Multiple-owner sites.

Eligibility for owners to receive Takeout data from classic sites

With Google Takeout, a user can download a copy of data contained in their Google Workspace account. The data is from core and additional services, such as Drive and YouTube, that are integrated with Takeout. For example, a user can download Drive files from their Google Workspace account and upload them to another Google account.

A classic site owner is eligible to receive Takeout data from the classic site if all the following criteria are met:

  • Takeout is enabled. Only owners of classic sites who have Takeout enabled can receive Takeout data for their classic sites. For details, go to Allow or block Google Takeout.
  • Drive is enabled. Only users with Drive enabled can receive Takeout data for their classic sites. For details, go to Turn Drive on or off for users.
  • Classic Sites is enabled. For details, go to Turn Sites on or off for users.
  • The owner can’t have a disabled account. Owners with a disabled account can’t receive Takeout data from their classic sites.
  • The owner is not a group. Groups that are owners can’t receive Takeout data from the classic site.
  • The owner must be in the same domain as the Jotspot site. Owners outside the domain of the classic site can’t receive Takeout data from their classic sites.

Classic site Takeout data is always shared with admins whether or not the owners were eligible to receive Takeout data.

Large sites

Classic sites that exceed 5000 pages or limits for new Sites may not be replaced by a draft in new Sites.

You can use Classic Sites Manager to find out whether any of your classic sites are over the page limit for conversion. You can convert these large sites by making one or more copies, deleting part of each copy, and then linking the copies together in new Sites.

Group-owned sites

Classic sites can have a group owner, but new sites must have a single user (or Shared Drive) owner. The group will be added as an editor for the converted draft new site, (providing that at least one owner satisfies the eligibility criteria listed in Eligibility for migration of classic Sites to new Sites). A Group can't receive a Takeout export.

Multiple-owner sites

Classic sites can have multiple owners. Draft new sites can have only one owner (or Shared Drive). When Google converts a classic site, a single owner is selected from a list of possible owners.

  • The most recent editor who is an owner of the classic site becomes the draft new site’s owner:
    • When the most recent editor who is an owner cannot become a draft new site’s owner for any reason, a new owner is selected (in alphabetical order) from the current classic owner list.
    • If no current owner is eligible to become a draft new site’s owner, a super admin is chosen as the new owner (assuming they are eligible). If no super admin is eligible to become the new owner, no conversion is created.
  • All other co-owners of the classic site become editors of the draft new site.
  • All editors of the classic site become editors of the draft new site (like a typical site conversion).
  • All viewers of the classic site become published viewers of the converted draft new site, although the draft new site must be published for site viewers to view it (like a typical site conversion).
Bulk conversion
  • The user who initiates the bulk conversion will become the owner of all converted sites.
  • If some sites in the bulk operation cannot be converted (for example, they are in a different domain from the converter), then they will be skipped and the user will be notified by email.
  • Confirmation emails are only sent if a conversion fails for a size violation.
Sites shared outside of your domain

For a classic site shared externally, the draft new site owner’s external sharing settings (controlled by Drive and Docs sharing settings) will determine if external users are added as owners, editors, or viewers to the draft new site. If the draft new site owner can share externally, the external users will have the same permission they had previously for the classic site. If the draft new site owner cannot share externally, the external users will not have access to the new site.

If an external user who previously had access to a site was blocked from viewing the site by a domain’s classic Sites sharing options, it's possible that they may regain viewing access to the newly converted site based on the domain’s Drive sharing options. This will happen if the classic Sites sharing options do not allow external sharing, but the Drive sharing options do.

For details of the sharing settings for classic Sites, go to Set sharing options: classic Sites.

For details of the sharing settings for new Sites, go to Set Google Sites sharing options.

Google Workspace sites owned by personal accounts

Personal account owners of Google Workspace classic sites will be treated as if they were editors of the classic site. Personal account owners will become editors of a converted new site (assuming there is at least one user, including a super admin, who is eligible to become the owner of the converted draft new site). If there are only Personal account owners of a Google Workspace site, the super admins will be the only users who receive a Takeout export. No personal account user will receive a Takeout export of a Google Workspace site.

Determining site ownership. You can check if your site is managed by a Google Workspace account by checking its Sites URL. If the URL includes a domain name after "sites.google.com," then it's a Google Workspace site. Examples of Google Workspace sites would be sites.google.com/my-domain.com/my-site and sites.google.com/a/my-domain.com/my-site, where the site is managed by my-domain.com.

Sites owned by users in different Google Workspace domains

Google Workspace site owners in a different domain will become editors on a converted site (if it can be created), and they will not be eligible to receive a Takeout export.

Determining site ownership. You can check if your site is managed by a Google Workspace account by checking its Sites URL. If the URL includes a domain name after "sites.google.com," then it is a Google Workspace site. Examples of Google Workspace sites would be sites.google.com/my-domain.com/my-site and sites.google.com/a/my-domain.com/my-site, where the site is managed by my-domain.com.

Suspended domains

If a domain has been suspended (for example, for abuse or billing reasons), classic sites will be exported using Takeout following the standard procedure previously outlined. No draft new sites will be created.

Note: A suspended domain cannot access these files until the domain is restored. For details, visit Restore a suspended Google Workspace account.

Disabled Google accounts

Google accounts can be disabled, preventing their owners from logging into Google services. Accounts that are disabled for more than 90 days do not receive Takeout exports or converted draft new sites for their classic Sites.

Sharing limits

New site drafts can be shared directly with a maximum of 600 email addresses. This limit is the same for all files saved in Google Drive. Learn to Share files from Google Drive.

If a classic site is converted to a new site, it can only be shared with 600 email addresses. If the classic site was shared with more than 600 email addresses: 

  • Site owner email addresses are prioritized for retention, followed by writers and then readers.
  • Within each category (owners, writers, and readers), groups are selected before individuals.
  • If there are more email addresses in each category, random entries are selected until the limit is reached.
  • Once the limit is reached, the remaining email addresses are removed.

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