Data Protection Centre/Google Workspace/How to Backup Google Sites


In this article

  • Where is Google Sites data stored?
  • Backup to another Google account 
  • Export using Google Takeout 
  • Retain using Google Vault 
  • Backup using third-party backup tools

How to Backup Google Sites

5 Jan 2022
7 min read
Google Sites is a popular website builder that helps in building team websites and project sites. Sites can include data from other Google apps such as Sheets and Docs, and do not require a designer or programmer.
This article explores the different ways you can backup Google Sites, with flowcharts and steps to configure each method.
Use the diagram below to directly navigate to a particular section:

google sites backup flowchart

1. Where is Google Sites data stored?

When a new Google site is created, it is automatically added to Google Drive. Similar to Docs, Sheets and other Google apps, the owner of the site can give view/edit access to other collaborators who can edit the site in real-time. The site can then be published either publicly, or to certain members of the team or company.


1. Google announced that from January 1, 2023, classic Sites will no longer be viewable. To continue to view the sites, you must have converted and published them to the new Google Sites experience before January 1, 2023. 

2. Vault is only supported for new Google Sites. The backup methods explained in this article are applicable only to new Google Sites. 

2. How to backup Google Sites?

Google Sites can be backed up in four ways: 
Backup to another Google account 
Export using Google Takeout 
Retain using Google Vault 
Backup using third-party solutions 

2.1. Backup to another Google account

You can share your site with another Google account to make it accessible from another location. If you delete your site accidentally, it will be available in the second account. 
  • Step 1: Open the site you want to back up. Click the ‘Share with others’ button.

backup 1
  • Step 2: Add the second Google account to which you want to back up the files. Set the sharing permission to ‘Editor’ and click ‘Send.’

backup 2
The site has been shared with the account. An email with the site link is sent to the second account.


  • Since it is a completely manual process, users can forget to share a new site. Hence, this is not a recommended backup option for businesses looking to avoid data loss.

Pro tip

Third-party solutions such as SysCloud automatically backup all sites for both deleted and suspended users, at no additional cost.

  • If the other user accidentally deletes the shared site from their account, the site is permanently deleted.

2.2. Backup Sites data using Google Takeout

Google Takeout is a Google Workspace application that helps you make an external copy of your Google Sites by manually exporting and downloading the data. The files are exported in HTML format for the pages, and other formats if images or other attachments are present. The backup taken using Google Takeout will be available in your system as a zip file. 
Before downloading new Sites data using Takeout, copy or move the site to an existing or new Drive folder. 

Note: Takeout will only allow you to select top-level My Drive folders to export, so the sites you want to export need to be in one of those folders.

How to export Google Sites data using Google Takeout?

  • Step 1: Login to your Google account using your super admin credentials.

  • Step 2: From the Google waffle icon, select “Account.”

takeout 1
  • Step 3: Select “Data and Privacy” from the left-hand side menu bar.

takeout 2
  • Step 4: Under the “Download or delete your data” section, select “Download your data.”

takeout 3
  • Step 5: Select ‘Google Drive’ (as new Sites are stored in Drive).

takeout 4
  • Step 6: Click on “Next step”. 

  • Step 7: Select the following:  

    • Under the “Delivery method” you can choose to add the downloaded data to your Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Box, or receive a link to the archive, in your email. 
    •  Under “Frequency of export” you can choose to export the files once or once every 2 months. 
    •  Under “File type & size,” you can choose between .zip or .tgz for the file type. After choosing all the options, click “Create export”. 

takout 5

Once the archive is ready, you’ll receive an email notification, or you can check the status on your Takeout page by selecting the “Manage exports” option.

  • Step 8: Click the “Download” button next to the created archive. 

Limitations of Google Takeout

  • Google Takeout is not a backup solution. The users must download their data manually. If internet access is lost, the download progress is interrupted and cannot be resumed. You will have to begin all over again!  

  • Google Takeout does not allow you to download files owned by someone else. 

  • Exporting data using Google Takeout can fail sometimes, making it an unreliable tool for backup. 

  • Even with a .tgz format, the maximum limit for an archive download is 50 GB/day

  • You might end up with incomplete downloads while exporting larger files or folders. 

2.3. Backup Sites data using Google Vault

Google announced that from April 2021, new Google Sites will be supported by Google Vault. This means that admins can use Google Vault to set retention policies for Google Sites, perform searches of Google Sites data, and export Google Sites content. Similarly, if an organization uses Google Vault to hold Drive files, it will be applicable to Sites as well. 

Google Workspace administrators can set two types of retention rules in Google Vault: 
Default retention rules 
Custom retention rules 

To learn more on how you can create retention rules in Vault, check out our in-depth article on ‘A Guide to Google Sites retention’. 

Limitations of Google Vault

Google Vault is a retention solution that is intended to preserve critical business data for legal and litigation purposes. It does not qualify as a backup solution as data can only be exported, and not easily restored to the Google account. Moreover, it does not include capabilities such as single-click restore, automated backup, cross-user email restore, to name a few, that are essential in a cloud backup tool.

2.4. Backup deleted Sites data using third-party backup tools

Third-party backup tools such as SysCloud help businesses backup their Google Sites. Once backed up, the Sites data can be recovered whenever needed.

How to backup Google Sites using SysCloud?

Note: Due to API unavailability for New Google Sites, SysCloud backs up Classic Google Sites only.

  • Step 1: From the SysCloud Backup dashboard, click on the ‘Sites’ card. Alternatively, you can navigate to the ‘Archives and Restore’ page from the Backup menu.

sys 1
  • Step 2: Select the owner of the site you want to recover.

sys 2
  • Step 3: Under the ‘Sites’ tab, select the sites you want to recover and click ‘Export’

sys s3
  • Step 4: Once the files are exported, you can navigate to the ‘Export Report’ tab to download them.

step 4 sys

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In this article

  • Where is Google Sites data stored?
  • Backup to another Google account 
  • Export using Google Takeout 
  • Retain using Google Vault 
  • Backup using third-party backup tools

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