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Copy content from your school account to another account

If you're using a Google Account through your school, you can copy and transfer your files to another Google Account. This process lets you:

  • Back up your files from time to time
  • Keep important files when you graduate, switch schools, or leave for another reason

If your Google Account isn't through your school, you can download your data instead.

If you get an error message, your school might not be able to use this tool yet. Please try again in a few weeks.

What you can copy

You can copy and transfer these kinds of files from your school account to another Google Account:

  • Email in Gmail (not contacts, chats, or tasks)
  • Documents that you own in Google Drive (except files in the "Google Photos" section of Drive)
  • Documents in My Drive

The original files stay in your school account. Any changes you make to the copied files don't affect the originals.

My Drive files that aren't copied

A file in My Drive won't be copied if either of the following are true:

When the copy process is done, you'll be notified by email about any files in My Drive that weren't copied.

Copy & transfer your files

Each time you copy files from your school account, a new set of copies is created in your Google Account.

Create an account

If you haven't already, create a Google Account. Your new email address will be your username@gmail.com.

Prepare your files

To copy content that other people have shared with you, add those files to My Drive.

Start the copy process

  1. On your school account, go to Transfer your content.
  2. Enter the email address of the Google Account where you want to copy your content.
  3. Select Get code.
  4. On your Google Account, check your Gmail inbox for a confirmation email from Google. In the email, select Get confirmation code. A new tab will open with a code.
  5. On your school account, go back to the "Transfer your content" page. Enter the code, then choose Verify.
  6. Choose the content you'd like to copy, then select Start transfer.

Details about the copy process

  • The copy process usually happens within a few hours, but it can take up to a week.
  • Copied files might appear in batches on your Google Account during the copy process.
  • When your files are finished copying, you'll get an email at your Gmail address.
See your copied files

To see the files you've copied, sign in to Gmail or Google Drive with your Google Account.

  • Gmail: Copied content will have a label with your school account name and the date you started the copy process.
  • Drive: Copied content will be in a folder labeled with your school account name and the date you started the copy process.
What changes on copied files

There are a few important changes that happen on files copied from Google Drive:

  • You automatically become the file owner of all copied files. (The owners of the original files remain the same.)
  • Copied files aren't shared with others. (You can always choose to share them.)
  • Comments are copied, but revision history isn't.
View transfer history

To see details about content you've copied in the past 30 days:

  1. Go to Transfer your content.
  2. Select Manage transfer history.

Download files that aren't copied

To save your content from other Google products, you can download your data.

For example, you can download your Gmail contacts, your YouTube videos, and your photo albums in Google Photos.

Fix problems

Error message on "Transfer your content" page

If you see an error message on the "Transfer your content" page, your school might not have turned on this feature. Check with your administrator to find out more information.

Don't see "Transfer your content" page

The "Transfer your content" option is available only to Google Accounts through a school. Make sure you're signed in to your school account.

Confirmation code doesn't work

If you can't get a confirmation code or the code doesn't work, here are a few possible reasons.

  • Code expired. Codes stop working after 24 hours.
  • Code was already used. Each code can be used only once. You need to use a new code each time you copy files.
  • Code was replaced. If you request a code more than once, only the most recent one works. Try again and make sure you've entered the most recent code.
  • Confirmation email was forwarded. If the confirmation email was forwarded to another account, selecting "Get confirmation code" won't work. Sign in to the Google Account where the email was sent and try again.

Tip: To get a new code, on the "Transfer your content" page, select Resend code.

Can't copy files

If you're having trouble copying your files, here are some possible causes.

Not enough storage

  1. Sign in to the Google Account where you want to copy your content.
  2. Check your storage space.
  3. If you don't have enough storage, you can clear storage space or buy more storage.

Tip: If you've copied your content before, you can delete old copies to make more room.

Restricted settings

The file owner might have restricted the file's settings. Or your school might not allow files to be shared with outside accounts.

Delete copied files

The copied files are grouped together by labels in Gmail and by folders in Drive, so you can easily delete them.

Learn how to delete emails in Gmail and delete folders in Drive.

Change a file's owner

If you're the owner of a file in Google Drive, you can transfer ownership.

For example, if you'll graduate soon and you own documents for a student club, you might want to transfer ownership to another student.

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Nick is an Accounts expert and the author of this help page. Leave him feedback below about how to improve it.

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