You may need to transfer your Google Drive files to another account for various reasons, from graduating to changing your Gmail address after marriage.
But whatever your reasons are, you definitely wouldn’t want to risk losing your content, its organization, or formatting due to an inefficient copying process. And this reframes the question from “How do I transfer Google Drive to another account?” to “How can I transfer Google Drive to another account efficiently and securely?”
There are several ways to transfer your Google Drive to another email address, and we’ve tested them all. In this article we provide you with step-by-step instructions and explore the limitations of each method so that you can choose the option that works best for you.
But before we dive into details, here’s our quick summary: the only quick and reliable solution from all described below is the automatic option. To migrate your Drive files from one Google account to another automatically, use VaultMe. This method involves no manual work and provides accurate results.
VaultMe is an easy option that will save you hours of your time. But if you are ready for some challenge and have enough time on your hands, you can try one of the manual methods too.
How to copy your Google Drive to another account online using VaultMe (automatic option)
VaultMe is an online app that automatically copies Drive documents between the accounts.
Here’s why you should consider VaultMe as your primary option:
- VaultMe is fully automated and works online.
- It saves the structure of the copied Drive. All your files will stay organized in the new account!
- In addition to owned files, VaultMe can copy “Shared with me” folders and files from one Google Drive to another. It can also copy the contents of shared drives.
- VaultMe will copy all Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides to another Google account in their native formats.
- The VaultMe app is easy to set up and requires no technical knowledge. To transfer your Drive to another Google account, connect your two accounts to the app, click “Start” and the app will do the rest!
How to transfer your Google Drive to a new account manually
Manual Option 1: Download and upload Drive files manually in a browser
In this section we explain how you can download your Drive files to the hard drive and then upload them to your new account manually.
Here’s what you can do:
Go to your old Google Drive account in a browser and download your files and folders to the computer.
You can select individual files and folders and click the “Download” button or use Google Takeout to download an archive of all your files at once (except for the files that are shared with you).
Go to your new Google Drive and upload the files.
Click the plus icon in the upper left corner and select “File upload” or “Folder upload” to upload your content to the new account.
But before you start, consider the following:
- Google Takeout will download only the files that you have created or uploaded yourself. The files that other people have shared with you will not be exported. If you decide to use Google Takeout, you will need to download shared files manually from the “Shared with me” section of your Drive.
- The download and upload process will run slowly and may take up to several days or sometimes even weeks (depending on the number and the size of your files).
- You will need to keep the computer powered on during the whole process. Sudden interruptions to the internet connection and/or power supply may cause the files to not copy over.
- When you download multiple files (either manually or using Google Takeout), Google puts them in archives. To recreate the structure of your Google Drive in another account, you will have to unzip the archives and re-organize the files before you upload them.
- If you have a large account (over 10 GB) and decide to use Google Takeout, your archive will be split into several parts. If some of them fail to generate properly, the archive will have to be requested again.
Manual Option 2: Download and upload Drive documents using “Backup and Sync”
Please note that this method involves downloading and installing additional software.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Download and install “Backup and Sync”.
- Connect your old Google account to the app.
- Sync your Drive files and folders with the hard drive (this will download them).
- Connect your new Google account to the app.
- Drag and drop the content from one Drive to another.
- To copy the files or folders, hold the Ctrl key when you drag and drop them. Otherwise “Backup and Sync” will move the content from one account into the other.
The limitations of this method include the following:
- Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides and other documents created online are represented in your Google Drive desktop app as links and not the actual files. If you drag them to the new Drive, they would still be pointing to your old Google Drive account.
- “Backup and Sync” will not show the files and folders from the “Shared with me” folder. To save these documents, download them from the “Shared with me” section of your old Drive in a browser and then upload them to the new account.
- The desktop apps for cloud drives are not optimized for working with large accounts. If you have a large account (over 10 GB and/or over 10 000 files), the process may take weeks and may fail to complete eventually.
- You’ll need to make sure that you have enough storage space on your hard drive for a temporary copy of your old Google Drive account.
- You’ll also need to have stable internet access and keep your computer turned on during the copying process.
You can transfer your Google Drive contents to another account in 3 different ways, but only one of these options is fully automated.
Use VaultMe if you want to avoid any manual work, preserve the structure of the copied account, and receive predictable results.
If you have enough free storage space on your computer and a good broadband connection, you may use one of the manual options. But you should be prepared for slow processing and inaccurate results, especially if you have a large Drive account. Remember that copying shared files and folders manually may be a challenge.