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G Suite Data Migration Guide

API-based CASB  G Suite Best Practices 0 28299
G Suite Data Migration Guide

How to migrate data G Suite

So, you need to migrate data. Trivial, but still a tricky task. Even small blunders in the process may result in massive losses and leaks of important data. And given that you may need to migrate data quite often, you need to adjust this process and eliminate all possible risks.

To help you with that, we wrote this guide. Here you will find a list of reasons and tools for migration with all possible underwater stones you need to take into account.

Why you may need to migrate data in G Suite

Here are the most common reasons for data migration you may encounter.

Employee’s leave

Employees leave companies all the time. But they may keep access to important data, and you need to make sure they don’t harm your organization. Insider breaches occur every day. Usually, it happens in the form of theft or disclosure of confidential information by a current or recently departed employee. You must be fully armed to prevent that from happening.

So when you offboard an employee, there are 2 main things you need to do:

  • Use cybersecurity tools to identify and block data leaks at the early stages
  • Follow all the necessary procedures listed in this comprehensive step-by-step guide and get prepared for employee exit. Google migration tools will help you to transfer important data to a new account.

Migration from Office 365 to G Suite

While Microsoft Office is still a leading solution for enterprise, many companies today migrate to G Suite. There are a few reasons you may want to migrate from Office to G Suite:

  • The office has a sheer number of capabilities, but they feel a bit complex and counterintuitive. For large organizations, the game is worth the candle. But for small or medium businesses it is mostly not. 
  • Office’s storage is more expensive: $20 and $35 for Office compared to $10 and $25 for G Suite.
  • Better collaboration and integration tools. Office’s collaboration tools are not as intuitive as G Suite’s.


One wrong click is enough for your account to get hit by a ransomware virus. If so, you will need to immediately transfer backed up data from this account to a new one. Of course, if you haven’t backed up your files previously, there will be nothing left to migrate. To avoid this, take care of a decent backup beforehand. Also note, that once files got hit by ransomware, you should delete them even after the ransomware is removed.

But do not rush with the deletion. Some types of ransomware leave you a chance to restore previous versions of your files. Here is a small lifehack on how you can try to do that:

  • Log in to your Google account from different, not infected by ransomware system
  • Go to Google Drive and open a file you need to restore
  • Press on File > Version history > See version history
  • Find the version before the encryption
  • Press Restore this version

But be ready that there are already new versions of ransomware that took this loophole into account. In this case, if you haven’t backed up your data, you may be in trouble. 

Switching from free Gmail to G Suite

For small companies with 5-10 employees, paid G Suite is a must-have. Here are just a few reasons to migrate your Gmail data to G Suite:

  1. You own the email accounts of your employees. Otherwise, your employees conduct all their work correspondence from their personal emails. Which means they own all the contacts and can use them to benefit your competitor after leaving.
  2. You have access to all the files. If your employee quits the job or gets fired, all files they created under the company domain will remain with you.

But note: if your employee has permanently deleted files, to restore them you need to have them backed up beforehand. If you’re interested, here is how you can create a decent backup. If not, you have to contact Google support team to help you with restoration, which may take weeks.

  1. You have more storage space. In the free version, you have only 15GB, in the paid version of G Suite Basic you have 30GB for each user. If you need unlimited storage, you can upgrade to G Suite Business or Enterprise and pay $12 a month for each license. Or you can use third-party services like Spinbackup to get unlimited storage for only $3 a month per user.

Google Migration Tools 

Google’s G Suite provides native tools that allow organizations to have control over employees’ data. Sometimes they cover both backup and migration capabilities. And yet, the native functionality provided by Google for G Suite administrators has certain limitations. It creates unnecessary complexities and makes the process much less efficient and seamless. 

But since native Google migration tools are still basic and the most widespread options among companies, we’ll tell you what they are and how to use them. But we will mention some more efficient and convenient tools as well, so read till the end!

Data Migration Service

This is one of the in-house Google migration tools for transferring data directly from the admin console. The Data Migration Service supports G Suite Enterprise, Business, Basic, and Education accounts. 

migrate google account to g suite

But the service has its limitations and security concerns you should know about before you jump in: 

  • Can transfer data of only one user at a time
  • Separate procedures for migrating Emails, Contacts, and Calendars
  • Need to allow apps to access your data, some of which might be risky 
  • Need to enable IMAP for users
  • Have to create an app-specific password for 2-step Verification enabled accounts

Follow the links below to read Data Migration Service tutorials:

Google Takeout

Google Takeout is a handy one-time saver that is completely free and can be used for all native Google Apps like Google Drive, Calendar, Photo, Keep, etc. However, Google Takeout has a few disadvantages.

Here are the problems with migration that Google Takeout can create:

  • With Google Takeout, you lose all your revision history, ownership of the files, and sharing settings.
  • The data migration is manual, which means, it should be performed by each user separately. Imagine saving all data from 70 employees, downloading all archives on local drives and trying to find files you need. You can spend days and weeks on this!
  • Your emails get exported in a nonstandard format – .mbox. Google does not support a direct import of .mbox files, so you can’t reimport your emails into a new G Suite email account. Here you can read how to import data in the .mbox format.

But if you still prefer this method, here are the steps you should take to:

1. First, log in to your Google account and click on Download your data. There you will see all apps that contain your data. All of them are selected by default, so to choose only particular files press Deselect all, and then put a tick beside the field you need.

terminated employee gmail account

2. To download some parts of your data, just leave all the data selected and uncheck the box near the files you don’t want to save. Then press Next step.

3. Customize your archive by choosing a delivery method, the type of export, the type and size of the file.

google apps suspend user

Done! The time it takes for Google Takeout to perform data export depends on the amount of data in the account. 

G Suite Sync for Microsoft Outlook 

This is not a migration tool, but a solution for those who want to synchronize their G Suite and Office ecosystems. This service is helpful for organizations who have switched to Google Accounts but would like to keep using Microsoft Outlook as well.

Your employees might have a hard time switching between the G Suite and Office 365 interfaces. If you feel more comfortable using Outlook interface, G Suite Sync for Microsoft Outlook can be a savior.

You need G Suite Sync for Microsoft Outlook to synchronize all your Google apps with Outlook. Your mail, calendar events, contacts, notes, and tasks can be synced between your new Google account and Outlook.

Note that this feature is available if you have G Suite or G Suite for Education account. 

Spinbackup as an all-in-one data migration and backup solution for G Suite organizations

By using native Google utilities you have to deal with multiple interfaces to do the same thing. Spinbackup is a powerful alternative for these in-house services. It not only resolves all complexities that come along with using native services. It also unites all required features for smooth and safe migration. 

Moreover, it has undeniable benefits for the G Suite-based organizations.

Here are 5 reasons why using Spinbackup instead of native tools will benefit your company and ease your work:

  • Your data migration is 100% secure thanks to cybersecurity tools 
  • You can restore single files as well as all files at once
  • No need to export all the data and then transform files into a usable format for reimporting 
  • Gmail, Calendar, Google Drive, Google Team drives, and other items are all restored from within the same interface
  • You can simultaneously transfer data of several users
  • Backup, migration and ransomware protection functionality


How to migrate data with Spinbackup

To perform migration within one domain, check out our comprehensive manual. To migrate G Suite data from one domain to another, follow these steps:

1. Click Domain Migration on the Dashboard.

2. Type the destination domain name and press Submit Request.

how to migrate gmail to g suite

After this step, you have to wait for the approval from the destination domain administrator. The request for migration will be on their dashboard and in the mailbox. They need to click Accept

3. Then, choose apps and accounts you need to migrate. If you press the Auto-assign button, accounts with identical names will be automatically matched. For example, the account support@domain1.com will be automatically assigned to the account support@domain2.com.

data migration tool g suite

4. After you assigned identical accounts, select the rest of the accounts. You can search for a specific user, using the search bar.

google migration tool

To assign a user, move the box with his/her name to the appropriate place.

g suite migration

5. When all the accounts for migration are selected, press the Start Migration button and confirm it by pressing Yes.

After the job is done you will see Migration completed.

6. Go to separate Migrated by Spinbackup folder in your Gmail. There you will find all migrated items with their initial folder hierarchy.


Let’s sum this up

Data migration is a vital task for your organization. It can be considered as successfully completed only in one scenario: all files transferred with no losses or confusion. Native Google tools can serve pretty well for this purpose. But “well” is not “great”. Unfortunately, Google tools’ flaws don’t let them make the migration process completely seamless. If you want a smooth and protected transition you will need some extra features.

Luckily, there are some advanced third-party tools like Spinbackup you can choose from. If you’re not excited about stressing out every time you have to deal with data, you should consider using a third-party service.

Spinbackup offers backup and migration tools with cybersecurity features. It will eliminate the flaws of native tools and benefit your company in 3 ways:

  • You get full control of your employee’s data from a single dashboard. You track all movements and forbid suspicious actions with only one click. This makes any insider leaks or data shares outside the company impossible.
  • You control apps that access your data. Your employees may easily grant access to risky apps, which can be used to steal your business data. Spinbackup will prevent that from happening. 
  • Your data is protected from ransomware, brute force attacks, and potential data breaches.
  • You can save, restore, and migrate your employees’ data from one dashboard. You get the automated backup in unlimited storage, immediate file restoration, and easy migration to other G Suite accounts. 



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