Back in October, Google said it was building a migration tool to let users move their Google+ circles and profile from one Google account to another – say, from a personal account to an Apps account for work. It took a few months, but Google released the migration tool on Thursday. It’s pretty tricky. Here’s how to use it.
1. Choose which account is the “source” and which account is the “destination.”
Yes, that’s weird and confusing. The migration tool takes all your circles, connections and profile info from a “source” account and moves them to a “destination” account, replacing the info that’s there.
So if you’re moving your personal Google account – SoAndSo@gmail.com – to your Google Apps account at work – SoAndSo@yourcompany.com – remember that the Gmail account is the “source” and the yourcompany.com account is the “destination.”
2. Make sure you’ve activated Google+ on your “destination” account.
You’ll need to “upgrade” the destination account to Google+ to make the transfer. If you haven’t done this, simply turn on Google+ for the destination account. You don’t have to fill in any info.
3. Log into the “source” account.
Remember: That’s the one you’re moving away from.
4. Request a transfer on Google Takeout.
Go to google.com/takeout, the portal for exporting your personal data from your account. Select the new “Circles” tool.
You’ll be asked to sign in multiple times to protect your information.
Once you get to the transfer tool, enter your destination account’s email address and sign in to that account as well.
5. Confirm the transfer.
Once you confirm, there’s a seven-day waiting period before the transfer begins, during which you can cancel the transfer by clicking “Cancel transfer” at the bottom of the Google+ homepage on either account.
Once the transfer begins, it can’t be cancelled or undone. You can’t use the migration tool for these accounts again for six months.
6. Put your Google+ life on hold and wait for the transfer to complete.
Google says “transfers typically take about 48 hours.” During the transfer, neither account will be able to share on Google+, add or remove people from circles, or block or ignore people. People who have either of your accounts in their circles won’t be able to add, remove, block or ignore them during the transfer.
After the Transfer
Your circles and connections, as well as your profile info, will all migrate to the new account. However, your posts and comments are not transfered, nor are the Google+ pages you manage. They’ll still exist, but they’ll be tied to the old account.
When other people visit your old account’s profile, they’ll be secretly redirected to the new one. However, you can still see both accounts depending on which one you’re logged into.
If you don’t need the old account anymore, you can downgrade it to turn off Google+.