Export search results

From any screen in the Google Apps Vault interface, click the word Vault in the upper left to display Retention, Matters, and Reports in the left pane. These are the items that appear when you first sign in to Vault.

You can export search results for any account, including those that aren't on litigation hold. The exported file format of the exported results depends on the data type you export. Each set of results you export also includes a metadata file, an exception report, and file checksums.

To export search results:

  1. From your list of search results, click Export results.
  2. Type a name for the export.
  3. Click Begin Export.

The Export page appears and displays the status of your export. You can continue working within Google Apps Vault while the export is in progress. When your export is complete, you'll see a green checkmark next to name of your export.

To download your exported search results:

  1. After the export completes, click View completed files under the name of your export. If your export completed and you don't see this link, refresh the page.
  2. Click Download next to a file to download it.

Export files are available for 15 days, then they are automatically deleted. If you do not download files before the 15 days are up, perform your search and export again.

The Gmail data format

Gmail data is exported to an MBOX (.mbox) file. MBOX is an industry-standard mailbox format that stores one or more exported messages in a single text file. Google Apps Vault exports data to a single MBOX file, up to just under 10 GB, which you can transfer to physical storage. If you export more than 10 GB of Gmail data, Google Apps Vault creates multiple MBOX files. You can open a MBOX file in:

  • Some email programs, such as Mozilla Thunderbird. If your email program can't open MBOX files, you can convert the files to another format—such as PST (Microsoft Outlook Personal Storage)—using a third-party tool.
  • A text editor, such as Microsoft Notepad or Wordpad. Usually, you'll be able to see the headers, sender, recipients, subject, and body text for each message. However, file attachments appear in their encoded form only, so you can't view them in a text editor.
  • Some litigation support systems. Some of these systems include email conversion tools.