Migrating Stand Alone G Suite Account Into Multi-Domain G Suite Instance


I had a G Suite account that was tied to one domain, let’s call it source.com. I had a second G Suite account that had been set up to manage multiple domains (a much-ignored feature from what I can see online). We’ll call this domain target.com. In order to reduce costs, I wanted to migrate and manage the source.com users and associated data from within target.com .


The preparation is the most time-consuming part of this process. Having verified the steps with a Google Support guru I am assured this is the most fail-safe way.

Migrate Data

To set up the migration service that G Suite provides click the Data Migration menu option in the G Suite home menu.

  • Under Migration Source, select G Suite and click Start.
  • In the next screen set the configuration settings as you want.

Transferring The Domain

Once the Data migration service is complete you can now transfer source.com to target.com for management. The process is easy:

  • Log into target.com and navigate to the Domain section and add and verify the source.com domain.

Applying The Original Domain In You Multi-Domain Account

Now that the source.com domain has transferred over to target.com you can update the users added as part of the migration to use the source.com domain. The process is the same used above in the first section:

Transferring G Suite Drive Files

The Data Migration service offered by G Suite does not handle Drive files, as I mentioned above. The easiest way I could find to transfer files for minimal cost was to use Insync which is a Google Drive client that supports Windows, Linux and Mac OS. I have used Insync for years as a Linux client and it works really well.

Finalising The Migration

At this stage, all data should be migrated between the two accounts for each user and the final step is to reset all of the new user account passwords under target.com. You can then allow your users to log in and verify the success of the migration.

Wrapping Up

This is a pretty manual process which works fine for a small number of users. I migrated fifteen. There are programs out there that will automate the process for you at a cost. For my client the costs were prohibitive but the benefit was massive.

Experienced CTO, technical architect, board advisor & technical leader. I focus on building distributed applications & great teams.

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