Download your original YouTube uploads with Google Takeout

September 29, 2012

Have you ever uploaded a video to YouTube and realized later on that you lost the original files? Well thanks to a new feature in Google Takeout, you can now download your original files exactly as they were.

Previously, users were able to download videos that they had uploaded to YouTube, but there was a catch: they were transcoded, meaning quality was generally inferior to what they had uploaded. Thanks to the YouTube support added to Google Takeout a few days ago, you can now download your files just as they were before you uploaded them.

Liberating Your Data

Google Takeout was created by the Data Liberation Front, an engineering team at Google who builds tools to help you get your data back out of Google. Their mission statement is “Users should be able to control the data they store in any of Google’s products.  Our team’s goal is to make it easier to move data in and out.”

In addition to YouTube videos, you can use Google Takeout to download your Contacts, Picasa Photos, voicemails and texts from Google Voice, various documents from Google Drive, and more. You can even download data from your old Google Buzz account, if you happen to be one of the few people who actually used Google Buzz.

How to Get Started

To download your videos, just head to the Google Takeout website and select “Create Archive.” Initially this will start creating an archive of all your data, which can take a long time depending on how many Google services you use. Simply select the “Choose Services” tab, and then “YouTube.”

If you have uploaded a lot of videos, Google Takeout might take a while to prepare them for download. Luckily, there is an option to have the service send you an email when your data is ready to be downloaded.

Have you used Google Takeout to download any of your old videos from YouTube yet? How about any of the other tools in Google Takeout?

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