Exclude data that doesn't need to be migrated

To speed up a migration with the data migration service, you can exclude some data from your legacy account.

Note: You can’t change the migration settings after the migration starts. To do so, exit the migration and start the migration process again.

Before you begin

The following options to exclude some data appear in your Google Admin console when you set up your migration. Find these options under Migration Start Date or Migration Options. For details, go to Migrate data.

Exclude old email messages or calendar events

Applies to all legacy environments for email migrations and to Exchange for calendar event migrations.

If you don't want to migrate old email messages or calendar events, specify a start date for the migration. Under Migration Start Date, choose an option:

  • Select a given time period.
  • Select Custom Date and choose the date of the earliest email message or calendar event you want to migrate. (The service migrates data to the current day.) 

The migration begins with the most recently dated events or messages.

If you’ve migrated data from a specific start date, then decide to include data from an earlier period, complete a full migration from the earlier date. The service automatically checks every message before migrating it, identifying and eliminating duplicate messages.

Skip deleted or junk email

Applies to all legacy environments.

If you don't want to migrate deleted mail or junk email messages, under Migration Options, uncheck the following boxes:

  • Migrate deleted email
  • Migrate junk email

Exclude folders from a migration

Applies to all legacy environments.

You might not need to move all folders in your migration. For example, you might skip your users' personal email folders.

Exclude folders

Under Migration Options, check the Exclude the following folders from the migration box.

Specify the folders in a comma-separated list

  1. Under the box, in a comma-separated list, add the folders that you want to exclude (for example, Sent Items,MyFolder).
  2. Add only top-level folders.

    The system excludes any subfolders in the folder. If you add the folder and subfolder together to your list (for example, MyFolder/MySubFolder), neither is excluded, because the subfolder isn't first in the label hierarchy. You can’t exclude subfolders on their own.

Don't migrate certain Gmail labels

Applies to data migrations from an existing Google Workspace account.

Before you begin

Tell your users to complete these steps: 

  1. Open and sign in to their existing (old) Gmail account.
  2. At the top, click Settings ""and thenSee all settings.
  3. At the top, click Labels.
  4. Next to the label for the data that they want to exclude, uncheck the Show in IMAP box.

Exclude labels

Under Migration Options, check the Exclude the following folders from the migration box.

Specify the labels in a comma-separated list

  1. Under the box, in a comma-separated list, add the labels that you want to exclude.
  2. Add All Mail to the list. If you don't, messages containing the excluded label that also have the All Mail label are migrated.

    Example: All Mail,Inbox,Starred,Sent,Label1,Label2

  3. If your label corresponds to a folder, add only the highest folder level.

    Any subfolders in the folder will also be excluded. If you add the folder and subfolder together to your list (for example, MyFolder/MySubFolder), neither folder is excluded because the subfolder isn't first in the label hierarchy. You cannot exclude subfolders on their own.

Skip secondary calendars

Applies to Exchange for calendar events migrations.

If you’re migrating calendar events and you don't want to migrate secondary calendars, under Migration Options, make sure the Migrate secondary calendars box is unchecked.


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.

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?

Need more help?

Sign in for additional support options to quickly solve your issue