There can be times when we want to change our Google account due to various reasons mostly because our mail ID may look funny, confusing, embarrassing, or even just too long to remember. As we cannot change the Gmail ID, all we can do is create a new Google account, but most of the data like contacts, emails, photos, files from your old account won’t get transferred, at least not automatically.
Nonetheless, there is a way to migrate as much account data as we can, manually. Fair warning, it can take hours or even days to download, depending on the size of your data in the account. However, the actual migration of data will only take a few hours. Also, there are a few requisites that you need to know about before starting.
Things to know before transferring data
- There is no automatic process that magically transfers all your data. You need to manually export and import data into every Google service.
- Third-party apps that you have logged in with Google Sign-in will not work. You can manually change that in the apps’ settings.
- You can only transfer data like Contacts, Mails, Calander events, Drive files, Photos, bookmarks, etc. However, you cannot transfer data such as the YouTube channels you’ve subscribed to, Tasks, Keep notes, Playlists, etc.
- The apps, movies, music, books, etc that you have purchased with Google Play app would not be transferred including the Google Play Balance.
- For your YouTube Channel, Adsense, Analytics, etc there are few workarounds that allow you to transfer, we’ll come to that later in this article.
Transferring data from one G Suite account to another
First of all, if you have a G Suite account, then you can transfer the data to a new G Suite account with a three-step automated process. In case, you don’t know about G Suite, an email address which is like firstname.lastname@example.org is probably a G Suite address, whereas email@example.com is probably a regular account.
If you are using a regular account, then you skip down to the next step.
- Create a new G Suite Google account,
- Open Vault me on a web browser, log-in with your OLD ID in ‘Change from’ section & with your NEW ID in ‘Change to” section,
- Choose what data you want to transfer and start your copy.
The copying process may take time depending on the size of the data. This process will work on the server, so you can switch off your computer and come back later. It copies all your data organization too including folders and labels. You will get an email on both old and new mail IDs once the process is completed.
Transferring Data from one Google Account to another
The previous method only works for the G Suite users, Unfortunately, there is no automated process if you have a normal Google account. You’ll have to do everything manually. Let’s get to it.
First, create your new Google account. Take time and choose it wisely, because you know changing Gmail ID often is not an easy process.
Next, open your old Google account in a new tab. Here, we need to download the data linked with your Google account, this is known as Google Takeout Archive and you can include everything in it. Log-in to your old Google account, go to the account settings > Data & Personalisation > Download your data in the ‘Download or Delete’ section. Alternatively, you can click on this link to directly go to the final page.
This page will show all the data linked to your old account ranging from auto-fill, location history, shopping list, to your contacts. Check all the data you want to transfer and click the ‘next step’ button.
Choose file type ‘Zip’, select the download destination, and click Create export. It may even take days if you have a lot of data on Google.
Once the export is completed, download and extract the zip file on your computer. This Google Takeout Archive has all the data you need to seamlessly migrate to a new Google account. Once you have extracted the zip, you can find the Google Takeout Archive folder like this.
Next, we need to upload these data to the new Google account. However, since Google doesn’t let you import all the data at once, so you’d need to import it to each service individually.
Import Contacts to New Google Account
Let’s start with contacts. On your new Google account, go to Google Contacts, click on import on the left sidebar. Select the ‘.vcf’ file in the Contacts folder of Google Takeout archive. All your contacts will be imported to the new account. Easy.
Importing Emails to the New Gmail Account
Technically the Google Takeout Archive has all the emails and contact information from your old account but you would have to use Thunderbird service to import all that data. I find this alternative method easier as you can simply import emails to your new Gmail account from the Gmail Settings page itself.
To import emails on your new Gmail account, open Gmail on a web browser and log in with your new Google account. Click on the Settings button in the upper-right corner > Accounts and Import > Import mails and contacts. It will prompt you to enter and sign-in to your old account in the pop-up. Once you do that, it will sync all the emails, contacts, etc to the new Gmail account. You will also receive emails on your old account as well as the new account for the next 30 days. You can, of course, disable this option in Settings.
Importing Google Drive Files
The files are downloaded as-is from the old Google Drive account and retain the hierarchy as well. This makes importing the old Drive account data to the new account effortless.
To import Drive files, log-in to your Drive account linked with the new Google account. Click on New in the top-left corner > Folder Upload and select the Drive folder in the Google Takeout Archive. All your old files will be uploaded to your new account. Simple, right?
Importing Calendar Events & Reminders
To import Calendar events and Reminders, go to Google Calendar on your new account > Settings in upper-right corner > Import and export and select the calendar file in the Google Takeout archive. Click the Import button and all your events, reminders, birthdays, goals, etc will show up on the new account.
Importing Photos to Google Photos
Coming to the memorable Google Photos, click the upload button right at the top of Google Photos homepage. Select the Google Photos folder in the Google Takeout Archive and select all the photos enclosed in that folder. It may take a lot of time to upload depending on the number of photos. Once that is done, you would have successfully migrated your Google Photos to the new account.
Also Read: 10 Google Photos Tips and Tricks (2020)
Importing Bookmarks on Chrome Browser
Next, Bookmarks for browsers. I rely on these all day while browsing. To import the bookmarks to your new account, just open your browser > click the Options button on the top right corner> Bookmarks > Import bookmarks and Settings. choose Bookmarks Document file from the drop-down menu and upload the file in the Google Takeout Archive.
Google Takeout Archive only downloads bookmarks from the Chrome Browser. So if you use any other browser, your best bet would be to export the bookmarks manually and then import it to your current browser.
Importing Google’s Autofill Passwords
You can also import Autofill data from the browser. Go to browser settings > passwords under the Autofill section and click on import and choose the file autofill in the Chrome folder of Google Takeout archive. If the import feature is not available on the Autofill page, then turn on the Password import flag in Chrome flags.
Changing your YouTube Channel
Coming to the most important part, the YouTube channel. If you don’t make any videos, then it’s not an issue, but if you have a YouTube channel linked with your old account, then you can transfer the ownership to the new channel.
On the old Google account, go to YouTube Studio > Settings > Permissions > click on Invite and invite your new account ID as a Manager and Click Save. You will receive an email on your new account, accept the invitation and you are now the manager of your channel. You can post videos, invite other people, remove and edit stuff, etc but the only caveat is that you cannot delete the channel using the new account. For that, you will still have to use your old Google account. You can also change the associated AdSense account to your new Google Adsense account.
Though this is a bit long process, it is the only option we have. It may leave a few data like our YouTube subscriptions, keep notes, etc, you are getting a lot of most useful data like your contacts and files. By now, it is obvious that Google doesn’t like you to export and import or change your mail address directly.