How-To: Export Google Hangouts Archive

I had to export my Google Hangouts conversations with a certain person to a spreadsheet. You would think Google could do this, but it’s nowhere as easy as it should be.  Google isn’t entirely unhelpful, however – they do provide all of your Hangouts messages – albeit in a user-unusable format.  So I had to write a tool to do it.

First, we need to get the data from Google.  This part, they make pretty easy, via the Google Takeout service.  This service will wrap up whatever Google data you want into an archive.  Click the link or navigate to https://www.google.com/settings/takeout (you’ll have to log into Google a couple times during this process, for security reasons) and click the “Select None” button.  Then, scroll down, and check the switch for “Hangouts”.  Scroll down, click “Next” and follow big-G’s instructions.  Download your archive and unpack it somewhere.  That Hangouts.json file has all the goodies in it.

Second, we need the tool I wrote to parse it.  Head on over to my github repository for it.  Clone the repository somewhere on your hard drive.  Then use maven to build it.

git clone https://github.com/tom-monaco/hangouts-json-to-csv.git
cd hangouts-json-to-csv
mvn package
cd target

Copy the generated .jar file to wherever you put your Hangouts.json file.  Then run the converter and pipe the output to a csv file:

java -jar hangouts-parser-1.0-SNAPSHOT.jar > ~/Desktop/hangouts.csv

Import your CSV into your spreadsheet program of choice, filter the data, sort it how you’d like, and voila!

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