Google Takeout logo

Google Takeout is a handy service which allows you to download a copy of your data stored within Google products. Unfortunately, not all popular Google products are supported yet. Up until today, for example, two popular Google services used to be notably absent from Takeout: Gmail and Calendar.

As announced in a post over at the official Google blog, users can now export their Calendar data in the iCalendar format and Gmail archive in the MBOX format, both readily acceptable by Apple’s OS X/iOS Calendar app and the stock OS X Mail program, respectively.

Google chairman Eric Schmidt recently posted a guide on switching from iPhone to Android so I guess today’s news will appeal to Android/Google users looking to switch to the iOS platform…

As is the case with other Google products supported by Takeout, Gmail and Calendar exports offer additional features. For example, you can choose to export the entire Calendar data or just specific calendars.

In a similar vein, users can download a single Gmail archive or just a subset of labels. Note that you can export your Gmail three times a day and up to seven times total per week.

Google adds this on Gmail exports:

When you export your mail from Gmail, each message’s labels are preserved in a special X-Gmail-Labels header, in CSV format. While no mail client recognizes this header now, most mail clients allow for extensions to be written that could make use of this data.

As before, you can also download a single archive file for multiple products with a copy of your Gmail, Calendar, Google+, YouTube, Drive and other Google data.

If you were looking to break all ties with Google, today’s development makes it easy to export crucial Gmail and Calendar data and switch to other services with less friction.

Google Takeout (Calendar and Gmail)

Gmail archives are provided in the MBOX format that is supported by popular email clients, including Microsoft’s Outlook 2011, Mozilla’s Thunderbird and Apple’s OS X Mail program. And after you import your Gmail to Apple’s Mail, you could easily copy all messages to iCloud Mail and have them available across your iOS devices.

If you were exporting only certain labels rather than the whole Gmail archive, each label will be contained in its own mbox file. Keep in mind that labels in Gmail are applied to entire threads, not single messages, meaning you may receive duplicate copies of some messages when exporting multiple labels.

The iCalendar format is supported across a bunch of popular PIM programs and platforms, including the stock OS X/iOS Calendar apps. Again, copying this exported Google Calendar data to your iCloud Calendar within the OS X Calendar app makes it readily available across iOS devices.

Google notes that the ability to download Gmail messages will be rolled out over the next month while Calendar data is available to download for everyone today. Indeed, I was able to export Calendar data at press time, but not my Gmail message archive.

  • Jonathan

    In a way, they’re supporting the switch? Wow.

    • Julian Gigola

      they have to

      • Jonathan

        Why? I don’t get it

      • Julian Gigola

        to show that they are open minded I guess. And I guess it’s not for the peeps who are switching iPhone! It’s for the users to backup their info elsewhere, to feel more protected about their privacy and the chance if something happens to their account (Forgetting their Password, getting hacked, and etc.)

      • Jonathan

        Ah, that would make sense then.

    • chumawumba

      Apple would never do that

      • why you want to switch from apple to google

      • WolfgangHoltz

        Because Google is so much better. But Apple could never do the same because they have not a clue of what exist outside their own walls.

      • Cameron Chao

        you must be pretty dumb to think they have no clue what exists outside of their own walls.

      • Bona Poun

        #dare2bedifferent I been with apple since the OG iPhone and third gen iPod, I loved apple products. I seen the iPhone evolved right in front my eyes, I just wasn’t feeling the new features of the 5s and I wanted something different. Having an iPhone use to be an exclusive club via ATNT. But now, seems like everybody and there mothers got an iPhone.

      • TeddyBearStand

        No fun being a hipster.

      • Bona Poun

        lol. @the hipster comment. Says the guy with the iPhone, that everyone has.

      • TeddyBearStand

        I am saying you’re a hipster hahaha who cares what everyone else has? More people to iMessage with is a good thing.

      • Bona Poun

        I know you were and I called you one back, haha clearly your definition of hipster is not the same as mine. And clearly your a big apple fan boy. Lol

      • TeddyBearStand


  • Bona Poun

    I actually switch from iPhone to android recently and I gotta say I’m pretty happy about the move

    • WolfgangHoltz

      I haven’t made the switch yet but have at least decided the next phone will have Android and Samsung to provide the hardware.

      • Bona Poun

        I went with the nexus 5. Pure android experience. Samsung has awesome hardware but I wasn’t a fan of their bloated version of android.(touchwiz) Seems like they like to cramp crazy amount of features in their phones, some useful and some not so much.

  • sn1p3r

    You would switch from gmail to what?. There is no other service that can compare to it. I use ios, but will never leave gmail.