Options to preserve former employee data

If a user leaves your organization and you want to preserve their Google Workspace data, there are several alternatives for handling their information. This table outlines some options for storing email, Google Calendar events & resources, Google Chat, Google Contacts, Google Drive folders & files, Google Groups, Google Keep, Google Meet recordings, and Google Voice so it’s accessible to certain administrators, managers, or users in your organization.

Note: Administrators also can suspend a user temporarily, which blocks a user's access to your organization's Google services. For more information about what happens to a suspended user's data, go to Suspend a user temporarily.

Data source / option Google Takeout In-app export & import Data migration service Google Drive transfer During user deletion (3) Data Export tool Export with Google Vault Archived User license
Who can do it? User User or admin Admin Admin Admin Admin Admin Admin
Email       (1)
Calendar      
Chat         (1)
Contacts          
Drive folders and files, including Meet recordings   (1)(2)
Groups         (1)
Keep (1)         (1)  
Voice         (1) (1) (1)

Notes

(1) Export only; no import.

(2) Files only; no folders.

(3) When a user leaves your organization, you can delete their account. Super administrators can transfer a user's files and data to a new owner. If you don't transfer the content to another user, the content is deleted.

Export or migrate your data

The selections for each data source listed above are divided by role in more detail below. Additional product and manual migration options for both end users and administrators are also included.

Once the data is migrated, moved, or exported, admins should have access to the former employee’s data provided they have access to the destination account. Any special data access restrictions, such as for Archived User (AU) licenses, are outlined individually.

Note: While the use of these options requires no fee, Google Workspace license fees for the account holding the transferred data are still necessary. This includes AU licenses.

Expand all  |  Collapse all

Email
User option Learn how Notes
Google Takeout How to download your Google data

You can export your user data.

Admin options Learn how Notes
Data migration service Migrate email with the data migration service You can transfer the email data from the old user account to a new or existing user account.
Data Export tool

You can export all your organization’s users’ data.

Google Vault You can export a user’s email data for access outside Google Workspace.
Archived User license Manage former employees and their data

You can maintain your organization’s users’ data by using an AU license.

Google securely maintains the user’s data in standard Google production systems. The data remains preserved by any Vault retention rules and holds set by your organization. You can also search and export it.

Email forwarding Route users’ email to another address After preserving any email data, you can forward a user's email to another Google Workspace address.
Rename a user account Change a Directory user's name or email address You can change a work profile name or email address to a new or existing user account within the Google Admin console.
Calendar
User option Learn how Notes
Google Takeout How to download your Google data

You can export your user data.

User or admin options Learn how Notes
Manual in-app export & import Export and import events from a Google Calendar

You can export events from all your calendars, or just a single calendar, and then import them to another Google Calendar.

You can access the data provided you have access to the calendar, or you’re included on the event.

Transfer Google calendars or events you own to other owners Transfer Google calendars or events

You can transfer calendars you own to other owners. You can also transfer events to another owner or calendar.

You can access the data provided you have access to the calendar, or you’re included on the event.

Admin options Learn how Notes
During user deletion Delete or remove a user from your organization You can transfer calendars and calendar events to other owners. You can also release any calendar resources booked for events organized by the user.
Data Export tool

You can export all your organization’s users’ data.

Archived User license Manage former employees and their data

You can maintain your organization’s users’ data by using an AU license.

Google securely maintains the user’s data in standard Google production systems. The data remains preserved by any Vault retention rules and holds set by your organization. You can also search and export it.

Chat
User option Learn how Notes
Google Takeout How to download your Google data

You can export your user data.

Admin options Learn how Notes
Data Export tool

You can export all your organization’s users’ data.

Google Vault You can export a user’s Chat conversations for access outside Google Workspace.
Archived User license Manage former employees and their data

You can maintain your organization’s users’ data by using an AU license.

Google securely maintains the user’s data in standard Google production systems. The data remains preserved by any Vault retention rules and holds set by your organization. You can also search and export it.

Contacts
User option Learn how Notes
Google Takeout How to download your Google data

You can export your user data.

User or admin options Learn how Notes
Manual in-app export & import Export and import contacts from Google Contacts

You can export contacts to a CSV file and then import them to a new or existing user account.

Admin options Learn how Notes
Data Export tool Export your organization's data

You can export all your organization’s users’ data.

Drive
User option Learn how Notes
Google Takeout How to download your Google data

You can export your user data.

Manual in-app export & import Download and upload files from Google Drive

You can download Drive files to your computer and upload them to Drive in a new or existing user account.

Transfer ownership of Drive files to someone else Make someone else the owner of your file You can transfer files from the old user account to a new or existing user account. Transferring files doesn’t affect who has access to the files.
Move files to a shared drive Move content to a shared drive You can let file editors in your organization move content from My Drive or shared drives. If you move a file to a shared drive, only members of the shared drive and people the file is directly shared with can access the file.
Download Drive files programmatically Export and import files using the Drive API You can download Drive files programmatically to your computer and move them to Drive in a new or existing user account.
Admin options Learn how Notes
Google Drive transfer Transfer Drive files to a new owner You can transfer files from the old user account to a new or existing user account. Transferring files doesn’t affect who has access to the files.
During user deletion Delete or remove a user from your organization You can transfer Drive files and docs from the old user account to a new or existing user account.
Data Export tool

You can export all your organization’s users’ data.

Google Vault

Export data from Vault

You can export the Drive files owned and shared with a specific user. Folders aren’t preserved.
Archived User license Manage former employees and their data

You can maintain your organization’s users’ data by using an AU license.

Google securely maintains the user’s data in standard Google production systems. The data remains preserved by any Vault retention rules and holds set by your organization. You can also search and export it.

Groups
User option Learn how Notes
Google Takeout How to download your Google data

You can export your user data.

Admin options Learn how Notes
Data Export tool

You can export all your organization’s users’ data.

Google Vault

Export data from Vault

You can export a user’s groups mail data conversations for access outside Google Workspace. You export by group, but you can use search terms to export only messages sent by a specific account.
Archived User license Manage former employees and their data

You can maintain your organization’s users’ data by using an AU license.

Google securely maintains the user’s data in standard Google production systems. The data remains preserved by any Vault retention rules and holds set by your organization. You can also search and export it.

Keep
User option Learn how Notes
Google Takeout How to download your Google data

You can export your user data.

Admin options Learn how Notes
Data Export tool

You can export all your organization’s users’ data.

Note: While you can use the Data Export tool to export Keep data, there’s no way to import it into Keep.

Archived User license Manage former employees and their data

You can maintain your organization’s users’ data by using an AU license.

Google securely maintains the user’s data in standard Google production systems. The data remains preserved by any Vault retention rules and holds set by your organization. You can also search and export it.

Voice
User option Learn how Notes
Google Takeout How to download your Google data

You can export your user data.

Admin options Learn how Notes
Data Export tool

You can export all your organization’s users’ data.

Google Vault

Export data from Vault

You can export a user’s voice data for access outside Google Workspace.
Archived User license Manage former employees and their data

You can maintain your organization’s users’ data by using an AU license.

Google securely maintains the user’s data in standard Google production systems. The data remains preserved by any Vault retention rules and holds set by your organization. You can also search and export it.

Related topics


Google, Google Workspace, and related marks and logos are trademarks of Google LLC. All other company and product names are trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.

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