By now every should know that Google Plus will be shutting down all personal accounts by April 2nd, 2019. If you didn’t… now you do. 🙂 Also by now you should have received an email from the address you used to create your account giving you the opportunity to request a file you can download that contains everything you uploaded on the site.
For context, this is the 3rd site I’ve done this sort of thing for. I’ve shown you how to do it for Facebook and I talked you through it briefly while addressing Instagram, so now it’s Google Plus’ turn. Unfortunately for me, after April 2nd this post won’t be evergreen anymore; sniff! The things I do for my readers. lol
The process is easy enough if you follow the instructions Google gives you for it. All you do is click the button in the email and it takes you to a page where you can decide what you want or just ask for everything. I decided to go the everything route because I wasn’t sure what all would be included. I’ve uploaded articles, some images, and of course my YouTube videos automatically. I once ran a leadership group that, after the early days pretty much fizzled out. I was also part of other groups and such that I couldn’t remember, especially since I killed my account months ago.
Google said it could take up to 48 hours to pull everything together, at which point they’ll send an email with a link to where you could download everything to your computer. Mine took about a week to compile, which made me wonder if I had tons of stuff because I was one of the early adopters.
The file size was 36MB, which is way less than the 900MB file from Instagram and the 1.2GB file from Facebook. It turns out I’d uploaded way fewer actual files than I have for the other two sites. I didn’t get anything that indicated all the videos that automatically posted, and nothing concerning any of the blog posts I uploaded, which pulled in images.
What took so long then? It gave me html files of all the Google Hangouts I participated in… and not only the ones I actually participated in. If I signed in to observe one, I got a link for it. Links files are tiny of course, but what Google did was put each link into its own folder along with the date I participated. As I was looking through some of the folders, my mind kept asking me “who’s this?” and “I signed into this?”
It seems I had a period where I was checking a lot of things out, starting in 2012 and ending some times in 2017. Every video I created that was the result of a Google Hangout (which I used to create many of my early videos while I was traveling) is also shown, but since it wasn’t a true hangout the only information it gives me is the title, the one sentence intro I wrote and the participant’s name and email address… which was me. There’s not a lot of use I can get out of anything like this, but I asked for it.
The images are interesting also. Instead of grouping all the images into one big folder I got 5 distinct folders with lots of little folders in them, most of which don’t contain anything except a .csv file telling me I uploaded… something it can’t show me. Once again, that’s not very helpful. However, a few folders contain images that were part of Google Photos that I could never retrieve, so that’s something… I think.
Overall, there’s a lot of fluff and nonsense that’s a part of my request for all the stuff I’ve done during 7 years on the Google Plus platform. It’s going to take a while to get through it all, and when I’m done I’ll have very little to show for it… which means I’m putting it on the back burner for now. Still, it was worth seeing what they have on me, and intriguing because, since I actually had 2 Google Plus pages, it gave me information from both of them in the one file, so I didn’t have to do the process twice.
If you know you uploaded a lot of images and can’t get them back, this is definitely something you should do. Otherwise, let it die with the platform and slowly step away…