Google’s Album Archive is nearing its end, and it’s essential to safeguard your Hangouts images before it’s too late. In a recent communication, Google issued a somewhat alarming email to certain account holders, notifying them about the impending discontinuation of the “Album Archive” service.
This discontinuation specifically affects images shared through Hangouts, Google’s now-defunct messaging platform, and does not impact Google Photos. As the shutdown date of July 19 approaches, it’s crucial to take action to review your Album Archive data and export any content you want to preserve.
The key points of the article are:
- Google’s Album Archive is shutting down on July 19, 2023.
- This affects images shared through Hangouts, Google’s now-defunct messaging platform.
- You can view your stored content and export any photos you want to keep on the Album Archive website.
- You can also export your Hangouts data via Google Takeout.
- The Album Archive may no longer serve a practical purpose, but it can be a nostalgic stroll down memory lane.
To view your stored content, visit the Album Archive website, now the only way to access it. Here, you can browse most of the photos you have shared on Hangouts, taking a trip down memory lane. The archive also contains images shared on Google+, Google’s former social media platform. Some people may also find archived shared albums before Google Photos became an independent service after splitting off from Google+.
Google is killing Album Archive this week
When you visit Album Archive, a prominent banner at the top of the page provides clear instructions on what you need to do. It highlights the impending shutdown on July 19 and provides a link to Google Takeout, which allows you to export all of the images from your Album Archive.
Following this link will take you to the Google Takeout site, which allows you to automatically export your Album Archive. On the Takeout site, click the “Next step” button, select your preferred export destination (via email download link or directly to your preferred cloud storage), and choose the frequency of future exports. Choosing the “Export once” option is likely the best choice. For a more comprehensive understanding of the Takeout process, please see our comprehensive Google Takeout guide, which outlines how to export additional data from your Google account.
Although Album Archive may no longer serve a practical purpose with the demise of Hangouts and Google+, it continues to offer a nostalgic stroll down memory lane. I primarily used Hangouts to connect with my family, so revisiting old images shared during trips and vacations evokes fond memories—despite having likely stored all these images on Google Photos.
It’s worth noting that exporting Hangouts data via Takeout is also possible and appears similar to the Album Archive export, although it may lack certain metadata from Picasa albums. For individuals who were more actively engaged on Google+, the Hangouts-only export may omit images from some of their posts.