Google Workspace Migration Timelines
G Suite Legacy Free Edition & Google Sites
What to Do? Where to Go?
January 6 2023: Looks like google sites dates changed AGAIN ... no emails that I've noticed but a new warning message on main classic sites page that seems to indicate the end is finally near:
"Editing in Classic Sites will be turned off starting on 1/30/23. Act now to review and migrate from Classic Sites to New Sites. Learn more"
November 30 2022: A little surprised that I have not seen an email warning that editing will be disabled in classic Google Sites STARTING TOMORROW (1 Dec 2022)! Dates were moved according to https://workspaceupdates.googleblog.com/2022/05/classic-sites-new-sites-timeline-update-may-2022.html.
August 1 2022: This page may now be moot - Google Workspace transition plans, timelines and deadlines seemed to have finally settled. See https://support.google.com/a/answer/60217.
2022 struggles with flurry of Google Workspace announcements, product changes and deadlines ... Originally working very hard to migrate a handful of tpedersen.net web sites to the latest version of Google Workspace Sites before older 'Classic' Sites are eliminated ... when another email announced that Google will be eliminating the Legacy Free Edition and begin charging on a per user/month or suspend our services.
Simply attempting to come to grips with timelines, options and alternatives. It may become cost prohibitive for the dozen or so family users and hobby sites.
Here's my collection of notifications, dates and such. Info may be helpful to others.
*New* Classic Google Sites deadlines (again)
Jan 30: Ability to edit classic sites will be turned off, remaining classic sites will be migrated
No changes to timelines, couple of new notices and FAQs for G Suite Legacy Users
Dates/timeline and deadlines seem to have finally settled
1) Emails sent to Inactive Accounts - 2 warnings in June and suspension in early July email
2) A new update to Admin Console Notice (IF active account hasn't already transitioned)
3) Update to Workspace Admin Help page @ https://support.google.com/a/answer/60217
Much better communications beginning May 24 (or so), emails to admins, inactive accounts notified .... see below
May 17 2022: Big Day! I'll have time for a summer vacation!
1) Sites: From Google Workspace Blog - Extended Timeline for Migrating Classic Sites to New Sites! Now December 2022!
2) No email, but banner in G WS Admin Console extended Transition Period for Legacy Free users to June 27 (see below)!!!!!
**** AND allows Non-Business Users to Opt-Out of the Transition!!!! It was JUST THAT EASY!!!! ****
Latest Deal/Special Offer
(Learn More Button)
Pricing Deal as of May 17
Wow! I'll need to find a new Hobby. Done with all of this!
No Way Back?
It looks like this may have been relaxed too for personal usage. As of 17 May .... from https://support.google.com/a/answer/60217:
Official: From https://support.google.com/a/answer/60217:
The tpedersen.net domain was created using the original Google Apps in late 2006 or early 2007. It has tied together family communications, personal websites, & hobbies for many years. The original Google Apps had a "Family and Groups" tier that was free (like gmail) - looked like this in 2007 w/ Tagline: Google innovation. Powerful solutions. No cost.
The cost has been $10/year for the past 14 years - which was really for Google managed domain registration. My Google Apps Standard service includes 200 users w/ 15g of storage/user (Yes, it was nuts!). The Google Apps Standard Agreement included T&C for the Family and Friends Tier, most notably section 18:
The Google Apps service evolved into more of a commercial/paid product over time but original users have always been grandfathered into the latest offering ... Google Apps -> Google Apps Premier (I think) -> G Suite Legacy -> Google Workspace G Suite Legacy Free Edition (or something along those lines!) ... a long history, lost track. check Wikipedia Google_Workspace article.
(Extracted from emails, notices and such ... April Changes in pink, May Changes in blue, June in green, November in red)
May 17, 2022:
G Suite Legacy Free transition deadline extended to June 27. Businesses MUST transitions, Personal users must Opt-Out
Google Sites migration from Classic to New extended AGAIN!
Now: December 1, 2022 for editing Classic Sites & January 1, 2023 for full migration (Classic sits will no longer be viewable)
April 1, 2022:
April 7, 2022:
email: "join a waitlist in the Google Workspace Admin Console for a no-cost option in the coming weeks."
... ToDo ... Sometime between now and June 1, we need to find the 'waitlist'
April 10, 2022:
Offer for 6-Months Free and 6 Months at Half price ($3/user) on Admin Console
(See image in Lat
est Deals Section) :Changed April 13 (see below) $0 USD/User Apr 10, 2022 - Oct 10, 2022 $3 USD/User Oct 10, 2022 - Oct 10, 2023
April 13, 2022:
New offer for 4 Months Free and 4 Months at Half price Per Admin Console (See image in Latest Deals Section):
$0 USD/User Apr 13, 2022 - Aug 13, 2022
$3 USD/User Aug 13, 2022 - Aug 13, 2023
May 1, 2022:
G Suite legacy free users must upgrade to paid Google Workspace account per info on this page https://support.google.com/a/answer/60217- NOW JUNE 1st
June 1, 2022:
G Suite Sites: (previously December 1, 2021) - No more editing of Classic Google sites- Now December 1, 2022 G Suite Legacy Free: " If you take no action by Jun 1, 2022 , we'll automatically transition you to the recommended Google Workspace subscription. "
June 27, 2022:
G Suite Legacy Free timeline for transition extended to June 27, 2022:
July 1, 2022:
Sites: (Previously January 1, 2022) - Classic sites will no longer be viewable on web
January 30, 2023:
G Suite Sites: (previously December 1, 2022) - No more editing of Classic Google sites
G Suite Sites: Remaining Classic Google sites will be automatically migrated to New sites .....
Sites: (Previously July 1, 2023) - Classic sites will no longer be viewable on web- Now ??????
Where to go? What to Do?
// Still working on this part! //
Apple (another surprise): Use Custom Email Domain with iCloud Mail
Here's an active thread on moving domain from Gapps to iCloud
MS 365 Blog (Surprise!): A Special Offer For Small Businesses Using G Suite Legacy Free
Outlook.com (microsoft users): Upgrade Gmail to outlook.com in 5 Easy Steps
Google Takeout @ https://takeout.google.com/. Creates a big-ass zip file!
May be able to save sites: https://www.steegle.com/google-sites/how-to/export-with-takeout
Takeout Overview @ https://spanning.com/blog/google-takeout-is-it-a-good-backup-option/
Takeout Doc for Education @
Related News & Chatter
Reddit has some active threads:
Google Workspace (GSuite) @ https://www.reddit.com/r/gsuite/
From good old Slashdot:
01 February 2022: Ask Slashdot: Best Google Workplace (G Suite) Alternatives?
From Google Searches (more whining than options, alternatives or solutions)
Nocost Wait-list tracker @ https://piunikaweb.com/2022/04/20/where-is-no-cost-option-waitlist-for-g-suite-legacy-free-edition-users/
Hacker News thread @ https://9to5google.com/2022/01/19/g-suite-legacy-free-edition/
Here's a surprise: https://www.androidpolice.com/google-gsuite-free-legacy-class-action-investigation/
And attorney interest @ https://chimicles.com/google-legacy-g-suite-class-action-investigation/
Google Info & Places to Watch
Pricing/Plans @ https://support.google.com/a/answer/1247362
Guessing it would be $6/Month for every user .... YIKES! IT'S CLEANUP TIME (14 years of stuff!)
Google Workspace Blog (you can Subscribe) @ https://workspaceupdates.googleblog.com/
I HAVE YET to see mention of Legacy Free in this blog, it is updated at least a couple of times/week!
Google Workspace Admin help @ https://support.google.com/a/answer/60217
"Upgrade from G Suite legacy free edition".
Google Workspace Community Help
More if you search: https://support.google.com/a/search?q=legacy
This guy maintains a sites Timeline @ https://www.steegle.com/google-sites/classic-deprecation-timeline
Implications of upcoming webinars @ https://events.withgoogle.com/meet-the-expert-webinars/
Notifications (emails, blog, etc)
Important admin emails below. Many of the 'Legacy Free' domains I watch over have not received email notices!
Thu, July 25, 2022: Change to https://support.google.com/a/answer/60217 - Clarified 1st month no cost usage for Biz users, more instructions for personal use
Summary of changes
Google Workspace transition section:
Clarification that business users will get new security and collaboration functionality st no cost for at least one month ... previously "through August 1, 2022"
Section: What if I used G Suite legacy free edition for personal use
Better instructions on how to retain no-cost services for individuals and families
Couple of new/updated FAQ's in common questions section
How do I know I have a no-cost subscription for personal use?
What happens if my account is suspended?
Clarification: "Additional Google services, such as YouTube, Google Maps, and Google Photos, will continue to be available."
Details on cancellation after 60 days of suspension ...
link to How to Cancel article @ https://support.google.com/a/answer/1257646
How to restore an account after it has been cancelled via account recover form @ https://support.google.com/a/contact/recovery_form
How non-commercial users can resubscribe during suspension
What can I do if I get an error when I try to revert to a no-cost option?
A new/interesting table of potential Errors and Solutions for those attempting to revert to no-cost option
Fri, July 1, 06:40 PM email [to Inactive Accounts]: Your Google Workspace account has been suspended and will soon be closed
Thu, June 16 12:24 AM email [to Inactive Accounts]: Important update on the status of your Google Workspace account
Tue, May 30, 2022: 3:26 PM email: Important update on the status of your Google Workspace account
Tue, May 26, 2022: 5:15 PM email: [Action Required] Upgrade your G Suite legacy free edition subscriptions to Google Workspace by June 27, 2022
Tue, May 24, 2022 email [to Inactive Accounts]: [Action Required] Upgrade your G Suite legacy free edition subscriptions to Google Workspace by June 27, 2022
May 16: No-Cost Waitlist notification disappeared from Google Admin Console
April 27: Interesting Chat with Google Workspace Support - Legacy Free Users w/ original Google Apps Family & Groups may be left alone?!?! Still Free?
Thu, April 7, 2022 email: [Action required] Upgrade to get started with Google Workspace
Thu, Apr 7, 2022 12:49 PM
Mid March 2022: Call-out to help #Nonbiz users removed from Google Workspace Help Article
Wed, Mar 2, 2022 email: Important information about your Google Sites migration
Mon, Feb 28, 2022: 4:12 PM email: Registration of tpedersen.net successfully renewed
Mon, Jan 31, 2021 email: [Action Required] Upgrade to a Google Workspace subscription
[Action Required] Upgrade to a Google Workspace subscription
The Google Workspace Team <email@example.com>
Mon, Jan 31, 2022 at 11:09 AM
Reply-To: The Google Workspace Team <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Aug 6, 2020 email : [Action Required] Migrate your classic sites to new Google Sites
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 5:27 PM
Aug 6, 2020 email: [Action Required] New Google Sites is becoming the default option for website creation
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 6:53 AM
May 22, 2019 email: [Action Required] Introducing two improvements to new Google Sites footers
Wed, May 22, 2019, 10:49 PM
Fri, Dec 7, 2012 email: Google Apps customer notice
Thu, Apr 28, 2011 email: Update on changes to google apps
Sat, Dec 11, 2010 email: Your Google Apps account now works more like a full Google Account
Thu, Feb 28, 2008 email: A new offering from Google Apps: Google Sites
Current Plan and To Do List
It is a little difficult to plan because the final Google Workspace timeline, pricing and capabilities have been every slow to develop.
The current plan is to attempt to bring the TPedersen.net down to a single user and moving all Google sites, storage and email chatter under this single workspace account just in case good old "Don't Be Evil" Google resists the urge to care for it's longstanding "Family and Friends" user base - keep it as cheap as possible until I find an alternative.
Our primary domain originally had email users for every family member *and* a number of special users - GApps Standard included 200 users w/ 15gb of storage/user. GApps users that I'll need to deal with:
Active email-only accounts: migrate age-old/active email accounts to new/easy to remember email addresses
Stand-Alone Super Admin account: Eliminate original Super Admin Accounts used only to setup/administer
Google Home Accounts: Accounts setup expressly for Google Home or Nest will need to go to gmail
Google Drive Accounts: Accounts setup/used only for google drive storage
<Possibly more as I stumble through this>
Notify other Legacy Free Users
Over the years I have hosted many friends and family members on my domains and helped MANY MORE set up their own FREE Google Apps Standard organizations and domains - I could kick myself! Many of these probably don't check for emails on admin accounts or visit the Google Admin Console ... sooo, I'll forward the latest email to those I can think of and point them to Google Support for help!
Google Legacy Free Death March article @ https://support.google.com/a/answer/60217
Google Workspace Support info @ https://support.google.com/a/answer/1047213
It also looks like they will also need to be logged in as GApps Administrator to see much of this or to get help.
For help logging into Admin Console may help here too! See https://support.google.com/a/answer/6335621
Eliminate Stand-Alone Gapps Admin Account
Instinctively, I setup all GApps domains with a Super User "Site Administrator" account. These were used for initial setup and to administer the domain - add/manage users, apps, etc. We'll eliminate these and simply assign Super Admin role to THEONE user to reduce subscriptions. Potentially an uneasy procedure so I tested it on an old/unused Gapps domain and took a few notes as I stumbled through.
Login as Site Admin one last time ... via https://admin.google.com/
Manage Domain: Double check Admin/Technical/Billing Contacts on your Domain Registration
Check email, drive and other services for any gotcha's (Can't think of anything)
"Add a user" to create THEONE User (or use existing user) ... considerations/reminders:
Choose THEONE Username/email address wisely - it may be the One-and-Only@<yourdomain>
Remember to give THEONE "Super Admin" Role in Admin Roles and privileges
Security->Account Recovery: Allow super admins to recover account
Apps->Workplace->gmail->Routing: Catch-all Address (to 'catch' email from deleted accounts)
Login as THEONE and delete original Site Admin account via Manage Users -> Delete
Popup: "Assign Primary Admin" Assign this to THEONE user and set contact email as needed
Data in gmail: Lots of complex options to Migrate the user's existing email
Data in other apps: "Transfer everything" to THEONE ... all goes into a gdrive folder named <admin>@<yourdomain>. Email when transfer is complete.
Get Rid of Other/Unnecessary Users
Our primary domain generated a pretty good collection of accounts over the years, originally email addresses for every family member, many play/test groups (Family Dogs was a good one) *and* a number of special users.
I worked through a User List in the admin console signed in as my final one-and-only account (THEONE). This helped move any doc/drive leftovers to one place.
Couple of notes as I stumbled through some of this:
Clicking on User Name in Admin Console list provides useful info ... Mail Storage, Drive Storage and Docs owned. Helpful when deciding how to deal w/ user
Last Sign in Date appears to be Account Login, this may be off for imap email users or those that never log into Gapps accounts ... not necessarily dead users!
I had some odd users that I totally forgot about - like DMARC_ME (dmarc reports) and SPAM_ME. I had to think through some of these and will either add an email alias to THEONE email account or simply let domain email catch-all deal with these. I'll also route catch-all to THEONE at least until things settle down.
Tools @ https://mxtoolbox.com were very helpful when digging around in domain and email setup
User Delete options:
Data in Gmail: Option to Migrate the user's existing email & ideas for ongoing emails: forwarding vs. reuse/alias to keep email address around
Other Data: Options to keep Drive/Docs and such. You end up with a <user>@<mydomian> folder on specified account ... I send it all of THEONE
The Delete response looks something like this:
The deleted user's license/subscription appears to end when the user is deleted even though the account seems to stick around for another 20 days. I'd also check the bill carefully because the Flexible Plan prorates subscriptions and Google is a tad Evil these days!
This part is the real pain and will may take some time. I have 95+ year old's who have used tpedersen.net email for more than a decade. We'll need to find them a new/easy to remember email service *AND* transition them off of GApps BEFORE we start getting charged - using the friggin moving target timeframe Google has set out! This also includes changing usernames on online services like Facebook, insurance, banks, government .... VERY difficult to find/change all of these so we will begin transitioning these guys as early as possible - April/May 2022.
Here's a running step-by step (so I can retrace my steps):
Set up replacement email address. Choose address and provider that is free and easy for them to remember (ISP or Cable provider, outlook.com, etc).
Few links/notes that I saved
Set up Auto-Responder and Forwarding on current email (Gapps domain).
Log in to Gapps email account, and click on settings (Gear), then "See all settings"
Forwarding & POP/IMAP tab:
"Add a forwarding address" button, enter new email address
Popup Reply: Notification that confirmation code has been sent to new address
In a second tab or device: Check email at new address to get confirmation code and confirm the request (a big link to click)
Enter confirmation code in gmail forwarding dialog and verify
Select "Forward a copy of incoming mail" and "Keep <mygapps> Mail's copy in inbox"
Remember to "Save Changes" at bottom of form
This would be a good time to run a test: Use a 3rd email address to send/check forwarding @ old email
Use "Vacation Responder" to notify senders of address change via Settings->General:
Scroll down to "Vacation responder" and turn it on
Set First day ... last day not needed, leave it on for eternity
Set Subject to "We've moved to a new email address" (or similar)
Set message to something like: "Thanks for the email. Please take note that our email address has changed. This message has been forwarded to <newadd>@<newdomain> and we will reply as needed. Please update your email address book"
Responder can be sent to everyone or limited to people in contacts
Remember to "Save Changes"
Another good time for a test. Send & Check for responder and forwarded email
Remember: If you restricted response to "My Contacts", you must be listed in Google Contacts
Also: I had instances where Vacation Responder had to be re-set (mod message a tad and save) before the responder worked. It is a Google-Glitchy feature, but you can get it to work
Now to find online accounts and change email/login - Yeeeesh, this is bad! a mess
Google Home: No choice - move GApps to Gmail account
I have installed a number of Google Home Mini smart speakers to keep elderly friends company, especially during COVID lockdowns. For simplicity, I created email/user accounts on my Gapps domain since the gizmo required a google account - my user's don't use it for email or any other purpose.
Went around-and-around attempting to change the email address on Google Home App from mygappsdomain to gmail, could never get the invite to send ... what a pain in the a55! Ended up resetting the device.
Here's what I did:
Installed Google Home App (I used ipad version)
Temporarily created a WiFi Network with same SSID/Password as target home user so I could set these up remotely. I pickup the speaker, reconfigure it and drop it back off when it's done - no one breathing down my neck while I work!
Sing-along-Setup @ https://support.google.com/googlenest/answer/7029485
Data Saves using Google Takeout
I have a couple of older GApps Legacy organizations that still contain sites & docs I'd like to save ...
The Google Takeout tool appears to be better than a sharp stick in the eye here. It produces VERY large zip files and actually contained data I would have missed - photos/movies from old Android phone & tablet that are logged into one of the GApps account, for example - still used occasionally!
Prior to TakingOut, I did user cleanup, deleting/consolidating users down to a single GApps account (THEONE) again. Then a single Google Takeout to create archive and download the entire mess.
A few notes:
Google Account/Takeout can get pretty squirrelly when you've been logging in/out of multiple google accounts ... could be chrome too, but watch upper right to ensure you are TakingOut the user you intended to!
Google Takeout is @ https://takeout.google.com/: "Export a copy of content for backup or to use it outside of Google".
Create a New Report: I selected EVERYTHING for a 15 year-old Account that was pretty active for a number of years. 50 of 50 selected
Next Step button is waaaaay down on Create Report page
Delivery Method may need to be seasoned to taste:
- Used "Add to Drive" for an older/stale GApps organization because the domain was no longer active, email would likely fail.
- Chose "email link" for GApps account that didn't have available GDrive space ... Export was 10 zip files, just under 2g/zip, available for 7 days
- Interesting: You could also send to Dropbox, Onedrive or Box!
Frequency: Export once
File Type: .zip
Exports larger than 2GB to be split into multiple files
Landed on "Manage Export" page. It looks like you can track status of Export via https://takeout.google.com/takeout/downloads
The Takeout produced a gdrive folder called "Takeout" (of all places), containing downloadable zip archives named "takeout-yyyymmddT<probtime>-<seq>.zip".
More notes/observations from a quick pass thru Takeout Archive:
Data all looks to be consumable, logically formatted ... BUT it is an overwhelming amount of data. OK as an Archive
Ended up renaming Takeout downloads, adding account name to the FileID's. It becomes confusing when multiple Takeouts are underway!
Google maintains A LOT of personal information! Youtube watch history, web/browser activity, phone .... We used old GAPPS accounts for Google Signons in MANY places in an attempt to buffer real/personal activity from Google tracking. Time to re-evaluate - possibly create a special gmail account for this purpose.
Surprises & reminders:
Old android phone & tablet were associated with a GAPPs Legacy free domain (photos, movies & more!) ... devices will need to be re-assigned
Current devices that log into Youtube using age-old Legacy Free GAPPs account ... These devices will need to be logged into another account also
Google Pay is in here: Check for long-lost gift cards and such!
Found some long-lost friends in Contacts!
Last, but not least ... found the nice Browser-based Archive Browser in the LAST zip file!