History Computer has compiled a lot of content around the data practices for many of the largest tech companies in the world. We have gone into a lot of detail across various pieces that explain exactly what to do in order to download your personal data from a company.
Here’s how to download your data from the tech giants, plus some linked articles that go into specific detail (and have some photos) on each one if you find you need it. Enjoy!
What Does It Mean to “Download Data”
Many of the companies that we use in our everyday lives, companies like Google, Apple, and TikTok, store, sell, and use our data as a part of their primary business model. Due to some of the privacy issues that stem from our personal data being collected, a whole suite of tools has been developed that enable users of a platform to access the data that has been collected on themselves. Often, the process of getting that data is referred to as “downloading your data.”
In the following article, we’ve compiled a basic outline of the companies that you may need to download your data from, from a few of the largest tech companies around. We’ve also provided some links to some much more detailed content for further information and help with downloading the data.
Quick Links to Detailed Guides:
- How to Download Your Data from Google
- How to Download Your Data from Instagram
- How to Download Your Data from Twitter
- How to Download Your Data from TikTok
How to Download Your Data From Google
Google is one of the biggest tech giants in the world, and it collects a lot of data on its users. Whether you use Google Search, Gmail, YouTube, Chrome, Maps, or any of its other products, chances are Google knows a lot about you and your online activities.
Google also gives you a way to access and download your data easily. You can use a tool called Google Takeout, which lets you select the apps and services you want to get your data from, and customize the format and size of the files. You can also choose to export your data once or on a recurring basis.
Downloading your data from Google does not delete it from their servers, but it allows you to have a copy of it in a readable format. You can use it for backup, analysis, or migration purposes. Depending on the amount and complexity of your data, it may take from a few minutes to a few days for Google to prepare and send you the files. You will receive an email notification with a link to access and download them when they are ready.
For Google specifically, it’s important to know that they have multiple products that have data stored. No matter the application, the tool that is used to get your data from Google is going to be Takeout, you just need to ensure that the application with the data that you are looking for is checked.
How to Download Your Data From Instagram
Instagram is a popular social media platform that allows you to share photos and videos with your followers and friends. You can also explore and interact with other users’ content, as well as use various features like filters, stickers, stories, reels, and more.
Instagram also collects and uses your data for personalized ads and other purposes. You may want to download your data from Instagram to see what information they have on file about you, or to have a backup of your posts and messages.
Instagram allows you to download your data on mobile phones or in their browsers. The process is quite similar for both options. You need to request the data file from the settings menu, and then wait for Instagram to send you an email with a download link. It can sometimes take up to 14 days for Instagram to prepare and send you the file.
Downloading your data from Instagram does not delete it from their servers, but it gives you a copy of it in a zip file. You can use it to view or transfer your data to another platform.
Here is a brief video that explains how to download your data from Instagram:
How to Download Your Data From Twitter
Twitter is a popular social media platform that allows you to share your thoughts and opinions in 280 characters or less (something that used to be known as “microblogging, although the term isn’t really relevant anymore). You can also follow other users, join conversations, and see what’s happening in the world.
Twitter collects and uses your data for various purposes, including personalizing your experience, showing you relevant ads, and improving internal services. Twitter allows you to download your data on their website by using a tool called Twitter Archive. This tool lets you request and download a zip file of your data, which includes your profile information, your tweets, your direct messages, your media, your followers and following lists, and more.
Downloading your data from Twitter does not delete it from their servers, but it gives you a snapshot of your Twitter information, starting with your first tweet. You can use it to view or archive your data offline.
How to Download Your Data From TikTok
TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms in the world that is built around allowing you to create and watch short videos with music, filters, and effects. Like most other social media apps, you can also follow other users, join challenges, and discover trends.
TikTok collects and uses your data for similar purposes to the other social apps, including personalizing your experience, showing you relevant ads, and improving their services. You may want to download your data from TikTok to see what information they have about you, or to have a copy of your videos and messages.
TikTok allows you to download your data on their app by using a tool called Download Your Data. This tool lets you request and download a zip file of your data, which includes your profile info, your activity, your app settings, and more.
Downloading your data from TikTok does not delete it from their servers, but it gives you a snapshot of your TikTok information. You can use it to view or archive your data offline.
Here is a brief, step-by-step video for further reference:
Downloading your data from tech giants is a good way to see what information they have about you and how they use it. It also allows you to have a backup of your content and messages in case you want to delete your account or switch to another platform. All of these applications, at least in the US, have built tools to enable you, the user, to take more control of your privacy and have some awareness of the data that is being collected on you.
The process is similar for each platform, but there may be some differences in the format and content of the data files. Make sure you check out our individual guides in order to get the most information and help (along with helpful photos) on how to download your data from each platform.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©iStock.com/hapabapa.