Your Digital Departure

Saying “Goodbye” to people and places and packing up to move can be difficult and messy, but hopefully you will have some great celebrations and moments of closure before you leave.

The steps below are meant to help you spend as little time as possible sorting and packing up your AAS digital life so that you can be sure to leave important work here and take it with you as well. If you have files on the AAS server or on the hard drive of an AAS desktop computer, you can attach an external hard drive or upload files to a cloud-based account. Other than the Outlook portion just below, the bulk of this post is aimed at helping those who have principally used Google Drive for storage.

Outlook email

Since many of us use Outlook email regularly to receive and send attachments, you might want to review your message to look for anything you want to keep. The quickest way to review ONLY THOSE MESSAGES WITH ATTACHMENTS is to type HasAttachment:yes into the Search Mail and People field. You can learn more search shortcuts here.

attachment search





moreNotice that you might want to click Get more results at the bottom of the list to see further into your message history.



You can either forward messages to your personal email account, or if you have one at another school, send it there. Or you could also download the attachments and put them on a portable drive or upload into cloud storage to keep them.

Organize and sort your Google Drive

My Drive – If you are like me, you probably have some organized files/folders and others that are more scattered. So your first step to prepare to leave and move things is to get organized. Send unimportant stuff to the trash and sort key documents into folders. If you have been working in shared folders with department members or other colleagues, put everything in the logical place where it should remain. If you have files that are in many shared folders, jump down to Option 2 below.

To see all files/folders owned by you, type owner:me in the search bar at the top of Drive.

Shared with me – I sometimes hear people ask about cleaning up/deleting files/folders that they see in the Shared with me view. My response is always to simply LEAVE IT ALONE. There is no reason to try to organize or control this flow. From here you can add items to your own Drive if you need/want them. But otherwise Shared with me should be treated like a river that flows below as you view it from the shore or from a bridge above. Or maybe a sushi conveyor belt where you grab those things that you want. Controlling the river’s flow or eating all the sushi are impossible prospects, so just let things flow past.

Taking Google Drive files/folders with you

Option 1. Simply download Google Drive files in one folder

download drive folderIf you wish to simply download all of your Google Drive files/folders in one go so that you can put them onto a hard drive or upload them somewhere else, first put all of them into one folder. Name it “AAS To Go” or something similar. Then right click(Windows) or control-click(Mac) and choose Download.

This will save the folder and all its contents in a .zip format. This compressed folder will take up less storage and can be expanded again once you are ready to open and organize the files/folders elsewhere.

Option 2. Google Takeout

If you have lots of files and folders in many locations that will be tedious to organize, Google Takeout can be a better choice. This is also a better method for anyone who wants to download data from other Google Apps you have used at AAS, such as Chrome bookmarks, Blogger posts, Maps data, Google Photos images, and even YouTube videos.

To use Takeout, click on your image or initials in the circle at the top right corner of the Google Drive or Google Search window. Then click on My Account.accountOn the next page, click on Control your takeout

Then click on CREATE ARCHIVE.Create Archive

This will then open up a page with a list of all the possible Google apps/services you could have used with your account. Select the ones you want to archive. Google Drive, Blogger, Bookmarks, Maps, Photos, and YouTube will probably be the most common for AAS teachers. (Notice that this DOES NOT archive Google Classroom or Google Sites. Classroom cannot be transferred or downloaded, although all associated files can be. Your Google Sites can be copied out of the AAS domain in another way. See Paul for assistance.)

When you have selected the Google goodies you want to archive, click Next at the bottom of the list. Then you will get a choice of how and where you want your files to go. You can

  • have a link emailed to yourself, open it on your own device, and download everything there.
  • all data placed in your AAS Drive to download onto your own device, save on an external hard drive, or move it over to your own cloud storage.
  • send it to Dropbox or OneDrive if you already use those services personally or professionally.

send takeout

Option 3. Drive Migrator

One other option that is very useful if you are moving to another school that uses Google Drive is a tool called Drive Migrator. With this, you will prepare folders in your AAS Drive, and then it will create a copy in your new Drive. You must have the new account and password. This video will help.

FINAL STEP: Transfer Ownership

Lastly, before you go, you need to transfer ownership of all key curricular files/folders so that they will not disappear when your accounts are disabled. When you are fully prepared to transfer ownership, put everything to transfer into one folder. Name it something recognizable with a curricular label, e.g. G7 Humanities. Then you can use a Chrome tool to transfer ownership of that one folder and everything within it.

You must use Chrome. Click here to get Transfer Ownership.

Click Add to Chrometransfer ownership


Click Add app.add app





Open the app. transfer icon





Then select the folder you prepared, enter the email of the new owner — either an colleague or an AAS GAFE account ( for teachers), and hit Transfer folder. You will no longer be the owner of these files/folders but will continue to be an editor until your account is disabled.

transfer folder






We’ll miss you and wish you all the best in your future endeavors!