How to backup Google Docs and Spreadsheets ?

As someone who usually work on three different PCs and a laptop, i find Google Docs and Spreadsheets very convenient, due to the fact i can access my documents from each of my computers.

As time went by, i started to accumulate lots of docs and spreadsheets in my Google account, and i asked myself how should i backup them. I knew i could open each and every document and just save it as a Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Word document, as well as a PDF document, but i was looking for a more powerful method.

I searched a bit and found a nice Greasemonkey script that helped me to accomplish my task. Greasemonkey is a Mozilla Firefox addin that lets you modify the way your Firefox pages look and run.  Note that Greasemonkey scripts work only with Firefox, so if you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer, you will need to install Firefox before moving forward.

So here’s what you should do in order to backup your Google docs and Spreadsheets:

  1. Open your Firefox browser.
  2. In case  Greasemonkey is not installed, download it and install.
  3. Download and Install the Google Docs backup script. Note that the script is written in JavaScript, and your browser security settings might deny its install.
  4. Open Google Docs and Spreadsheets. You’ll notice a new download link available:>
  5. Select the format in which you want to backup your documents and spreadsheets (MS Office, Txt, CSV, PDF or Open office).
  6. Mark the documents or spreadsheets you want to backup by filling the checkbox located to their left.
  7. Click Download
  8. Click the documents or spreadsheets you would like to backup. The following dialog will appear:

  9. Choose Save to Disk and click OK. 

10. The document will be downloaded to your default Firefox download. From here, you can copy your files to your preferred backup location or to a backup device.

Important Note: In case you would like to make a mass download, i recommend that you use the Google Docs backup script in conjunction with DownThemAll (a nifty Greasemonkey script that allows you to download all links from a web page to your disk). In case you have DownThemAll installed, you can use it in step 6 to download all documents and spreadsheets you selected in one shot. Cool!


[tags] Firefox, Greasemonkey, Google Spreadsheets and Docs, Google Docs, DownThemAll [/tags]

Filed Under: How Tos and Tutorials

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  1. Nirmal says:

    Nice tutorial. Stumbled.

  2. [...] Use this Google Docs and Spreadsheets backup script to backup all your files in one click. It requires Firefox and a special FF extension called [...]

  3. Garden says:

    You really touch a good subject. Thanks for improving my knowledge

  4. jeff says:

    Thanks very much for this tutorial, which worked perfectly (other than that I had a bit of initial trouble with DownthemAll: you might add a note that users need to instruct that add-in to download the files themselves and to be sure to place them in a folder, NOT the desktop , which is the default). I appreciate the help!

  5. [...] are here. I tried it this morning, and it worked great. The hardest part is that you have to manually check [...]

  6. [...] layout. Greasemonkey  is a Mozilla Firefox addin that lets you modify the way your Firefox pages look and [...]

  7. If you are a Linux user then you can use these set of scripts

  8. [...] How to backup Google Docs and Spreadsheets Backup scripts using the Greasemonkey Firefox extension to download your Google Docs to your local machine (MS Office or Open Office supported among other formats). [...]

  9. Texttoscreen says:

    This is great! I use Google Docs for everything I do! But never knew how to back it up.

  10. When I backup the data, does it backup the folders as well.

  11. [...] script that you can use if you are on Firefox. Long time ago i have put together a simple how-to on backing up Google docs. I suggest that you look into it and implement the instructions i provided for exporting Google [...]

  12. [...] How to backup Google Docs and Spreadsheets? (tags: google googledocs docs greasemonkey backup data firefox howto reference) [...]

  13. Franklyn says:

    Check out Gladinet Cloud Desktop at Its free and makes it very easy to backup google docs and spreadsheets. You can mount your google docs folders as local folders on your desktop and then move files back and forth between google and your desktop like you would with any other local folder. You can also create scheduled backups of local content to Google Docs or a Redundant Array of Cloud Storage.

  14. Fabrizio says:

    Try GDocBackup

    Freeware, opensource, runs on Win and Linux.

  15. ack says:

    Nice! Thank you.

  16. dom says:

    Very nice tutorial! Thx!
    If your looking for an application, that backups the data with one click, take a look at BackupGoo ( 
     It's a desktop application which performs a backup of all your stuff in your Google account (Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations, but also Contacts, GMail, Calendar, your Google Reader…).
    It runs on Windows, Linux and MacOS.
    And – yes – it's simple to use – you only have to hit one button and you are safe.

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