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Import message data to Google Chat from another service

With the Google Chat API, you can import data from another messaging service to Google Chat. During this process, the Chat app will import these messages into import mode spaces. After the process ends these spaces become standard Chat spaces.

About import mode spaces

  • Space and message historical timestamps from other services are preserved.
  • Users can’t access import mode spaces during the import process, and they receive no alerts or notifications from the space while data is being imported.
  • Data loss prevention rules are not enforced on import mode spaces.
  • To prevent issues with other features, data during migration is treated as temporary and can’t interact with archival features (such as Google Vault, Takeout, or the security investigation tool). 
  • After import, import mode spaces become standard spaces and can have their data archived, exported, retained, and managed by administrators as usual. There is no way to identify them as import spaces.

Step 1: Turn on Chat for your organization

In the Google Admin console, make sure Chat is on for your top-level organizational unit. For details, go to Turn on your Chat preference.

Step 2: Keep chat history for your users

We recommend you turn chat history on. If you have different forced chat history settings for different sub-organizational units, check that there are no conflicts in these settings. For details, go to:

Step 3: Confirm message retention

If the service you’re importing data from uses message retention, make sure you configure your Google Vault settings to match. For example, if your former service retained messages for 30 days before deletion, make sure Chat follows the same rules. Otherwise, Chat may remove messages earlier or later than expected. For details, go to Retain messages in Google Chat with Vault.

Step 4: Set up user accounts

Domain-wide delegation allows Chat apps to import user messages by re-creating them through Google Workspace accounts. Therefore, before data migration, you need to create Google Workspace accounts for your users. If you have a large team, we recommend adding users in bulk. For details, go to Add accounts for new users.

Note: Due to migration licensing constraints, licenses must be assigned to existing user accounts. Only accounts that meet the migration license criteria are eligible for migration. For Chat content and membership migration, only active user accounts with active licenses are eligible for migration.  

Step 5: Grant import mode access to apps

You must grant domain-wide delegation to the app’s service account to all Chat apps.

  1. Use this Chat API OAuth scope: 
  2. For the steps to grant access, go to Control API access with domain-wide delegation.

Step 6: Prepare your users

For a successful transition to Chat, inform your users about the migration and help them get started with Chat in the Google Workspace Learning Center.

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