Your Google account

Once you have graduated, you can continue to use your University Google account for approximately 18 months after your graduation. This gives you time to transfer your friends, family and business contacts to a new email address.

Your University Google account will be deleted which means all email will be rejected, with a notification sent to the sender. Any email forwarding that you’ve set up will no longer work. We recommend that you tell people your new email address before your University account expires. You should unsubscribe from any mailing lists, or update your subscription with your new email address.

Transferring your Google account content

You can transfer all your existing content by using Google Takeout, the backup service provided through your Google Apps account.

1. Make sure you’re logged into your Westminster Google apps account and then visit This will bring you to the advanced settings within your account.

2. Select data to include in your backup by simply clicking on the square green button on the right-hand side of every Google product listed. All products are by default selected, which means the backup would include all your Google apps content.

3. Select "Next" at the bottom of the page when you’re done with selecting the products and content you want to backup.

4. Select the file type in which you prefer the extracted file. Choose the delivery method of the archive file (Send download link via email, Add to Drive, Add to Dropbox, Add to OneDrive).

5. Click the "Create archive" button and the file will be sent to you via the delivery method you selected. Please note that archives may take a long time (hours, or in some cases days) to create so please make sure you allow plenty of time to transfer your data before your account is deactivated.

Once your backup has been successful you will receive a confirmation message from Google with the link to access and download the exported data.

Once you download your archives, you should be able to find a .zip file in the download location on your computer (eg the Downloads or Documents folder). You can use this .zip file to move all your data into a personal Google account by following the steps below.

How to import your emails to another Google account

Once you have downloaded your Google archive you might want to import your messages and contacts into a new Google account. You can do this with a third party application which will import the MBOX file which contains your Google archive into a new account. We suggest that you use Thunderbird to do this and follow the instructions below. Make sure you have created a personal Gmail account before following these steps.

Step 1: Setup your Gmail account with Thunderbird

  1. Download and install the Thunderbird email application from
  2. Launch Thunderbird and go to Create a new account: Email
  3. Click "Skip this and use my existing email".
  4. Enter your name, personal Gmail email address, and password and click "Continue"
  5. Make sure IMAP is selected and then click "Done" Thunderbird will automatically get your settings if using Gmail
  6. Now you will see your personal Gmail account in the pane on the left-side of the screen and you can open it to see all your emails

Thunderbird is now properly set up for your Gmail account.

Step 2: Install "ImportExportTools" Add-On for Thunderbird

  1. Download the ImportExportTools extension utility that works with Thunderbird
  2. On that page, locate the "Download Now", ensuring the download supports MBOX files. Save the file, make note of where you save the .xpi file
  3. In Thunderbird, go to the menu in the upper right corner and click on"Add-Ons"
  4. In the Add-ons Manager tab that opens, go to the gear icon, then "Install Add-on From File"
  5. Locate the .xpi file that you downloaded and follow the instructions to install it
  6. Restart Thunderbird

Step 3: Extract the .zip email archive file provided to you

  1. Download and extract the Gmail Export .zip file that Google sent you
  2. Once extracted, you will have a MBOX file named according to the corresponding label in Gmail

Step 4: Import the emails from the MBOX file for the label that you want to restore

  1. In Thunderbird, import the MBOX file to a local folder; in the navigation pane on the left, right-mouse click "Local Folders" and then select ImportExportTools > Import mbox file
  2. Choose the option to "Import directly one or more mbox files" and select 'OK'
  3. In the files browser, locate your MBOX files. Select the file that corresponds to the label that you want to restore and then click 'Open'
  4. All emails from that label will now be importing. Please be patient, as it will take a while to load all of the emails

Step 5: Copy the imported emails into your Gmail Account

  1. In Thunderbird, in the navigation pane on the left, expand "Local Folders" and then select the folder that has the name of the label that you are importing to Gmail
  2. In that folder select all of the emails contained in the folder, right-mouse click the selection, and select 'Copy to - <gmail_account> - <label_name>'. (where gmail_account is the email address of your personal Gmail account and label_name is the label that you want to import the restored emails to)
  3. All emails will now be importing to the label that you choose. Please be patient, as it will take a while to upload all of the emails to Gmail

Once this is completed then you can log in to your Gmail account online and you should see all of the emails restored to the label that you chose in your Gmail account.

Moving a Google Site

Note: The following set of instructions assume that the user has two Google accounts; a University Google account and a personal Google account.

Log in to your University Google account to follow these steps:

  1. To begin, open the site you wish to move.
  2. Go to More Actions -> Manage Site.
  3. Select the “Sharing” option under site settings.
  4. In the section titled “Invite people to join site as owner” type in your personal Gmail address. This account will become the new owner of the site.
  5. Make selections under Advanced Permissions as needed.
  6. Click "Invite these people". This will send an email to your account which willl include a link to the sites current location on the Westminster domain.

Now log into your personal Google account and do the following:

  1. In Gmail, find the email which includes the link to your site.
  2. This link will take you to the Education Domain log in page. At the bottom of the sign in section there is an option to “Sign in with a different account”. Enter your personal account log in and password here.
  3. Once you are logged in, open the site and click the More Actions --> Manage Site options.
  4. Select the General option.
  5. At the bottom of the screen in the Site Actions Section there is now an option to "Copy this Site". Select this.
  6. Type in the site name and take note of the new URL which should read: site name here)
  7. Click the button to Copy Site.

To remove the University account as an owner of the site:

  1. Go to More Actions --> Sharing and remove the Westminster account as an owner of the site.

The original Westminster version of the site can now be deleted.

Shared files in Google Drive

If you own any files or folders within Google Drive, which are shared with other people (eg shared research), you'll need to transfer ownership before your account expires, or they will be automatically deleted when your account gets deleted.

See this guide from Google on how to transfer file ownership in Google Drive. Be aware that changing the owner of a folder doesn’t change the owner of the files within that folder, so you will need to change the owner of these separately. However, you can highlight multiple files in a folder and change the owner of them all at once.

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