Discussion on Limitations of Google Vault & Possible Alternatives

Limitations of Google Vault During Archiving and Its Substitutes

Published By Siddharth Sharma
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On November 24th, 2023
Reading Time 5 Minutes Reading
Category G Suite

The limitations of Google Vault are not confined to the archiving domain but extend to it being an inferior backup option as well. These problems are built directly into the system, as they go against the fundamental design of the service. Google Vault, first and foremost, is an e-discovery tool to be used during investigation and data catalog creation. Any other alternative use is purely a coincidence and thus does not receive any direct support from Google itself. Therefore, via this write-up, we inform users why not to use Google Vault as a backup system and provide the alternatives as well. Let’s start our discussion by learning why users still choose to archive data in Google Vault even when it’s not designed for such use.

Why Users Archive Their Data in Google Vault

Unaware of Drawbacks: The most basic reason is that the employees might be unaware of the role that Vault plays. To deal with this issue, conduct an informational seminar throughout the organization informing each and every employee about the dos and don’ts of Google Vault.

Familiarity with UI: As Vault is a part of Google’s ecosystem, users may start to use it due to the similar design. This gradually results in employees being entirely dependent on Vault for all backup and archiving scenarios, no matter how big or small. Introduce a company-wide policy to prevent the misuse of the Vaults archiving feature. Moreover, administrators can limit access to the vault by applying strict need-to-know criteria.

Confusing Naming Scheme: Not all blame is to be put on the users themselves, as the naming convention chosen by Google in this case does not fully fit the service. In the physical world, vaults are used in banks and museums to store important information. So users might have put two and two together to assume that the digital Vault offers the same service as well.

Easy Searching: In the end, one of the core reasons why Vault is so popular among professionals for storing and backing up data is how easy it is to search for any information. Considering it is the brainchild of the same people behind the world’s most popular search engine, searching is something that has always been the USP of all Google products. Including Vault. 

No matter what the reason might be, the truth is that Google by default only recommends using Vault as an e-discovery application and nothing more. However, despite this recommendation, users continue to use Vault as an archiving and data backup system. Let’s see the drawbacks and other negative aspects of not following the industrial guidelines.

Drawbacks of Using Google Vault as a Backup Platform

High Risk of Data Loss: Google itself is under no obligation to preserve the data stored within the Google Vault. According to them, it is just an e-discovery tool. Therefore, users who keep their data might lose years of hard work without warning.

No Versioning Capability: Another one of the many limitations of Google Vault as a backup is the lack of versioning. This feature is essential in any modern storage software and gives a clear-cut indication that Vault is not designed for this purpose.

Limited Customization Options: Vault is an e-discovery tool at its core; therefore, almost all data types are stored in a similar manner. This is not feasible for a backup scenario that heavily depends on compartmentalization and separate sections for different data types.

Easy Way to Move Out of Google Vault & Into O365

Whenever organizations face a scenario where they have to migrate Google Vault to the Office 365 environment. They turn to the one and only SysTools Google Vault Migration Solution. With the tool’s top-of-the-line features and game-changing UI, anyone can move their Vault data to the Microsoft 365 ecosystem.

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The following are the features that allow the tool to achieve such excellent results:

  • Apply the admin credentials and move the data from multiple user accounts.
  • Directly shift the Vault data to the safe and secure Office archive area.
  • Apply workload, date, and user-level filters to move only selected data.
  • Get real-time updates on the operation from the dashboard present in the tool.
  • A variety of mapping options to make it easier to join the source with the target.
  • Generate both detailed and summarized reports of the ordeal after data transfer.
  • Ability to bring in newly arrived data, failed items, or retry the entire operation again.


Now we hope users are aware of the various limitations of Google Vault as a backup. Moreover, they now know why not to use it in a professional setting. As mentioned earlier, most users are simply unaware of the fact that Google itself forbids them to archive their data in Vault. And we might soon remove the functionality altogether. That’s why users need a quick way to transfer their data to a better alternative. For moving their data, users can take advantage of the automated utility discussed briefly in the writeup.