Google have a habit of shutting down services, and one of them, unfortunately, is the very popular Google Reader. Google Reader will be closed from 1 July 2013, and we all have until that date to backup our Google Reader accounts and find an alternative! Google has announced that there are two reasons why they are shutting down the RSS reader service: the usage of Google Reader has declined and as a company they want to focus their energy in fewer products. To make sure there will be a safe transition, they have made the announcement three months in advance, so that we, the customers, have enough time to back up our account and find alternative solutions. Before you find an alternative and move your feeds into it, your need to backup your current Google Reader account and then keep the folder safe so that you’ll then be able to import it into your new app. Backing up Google Reader In order to backup your Google Reader feeds follow these steps: 1. Go into your Google Reader account, login and click on the gear situated on the right-hand side of the page. 2. Select Reader Settings from the gear menu. 3. Click on the Import/Export tab in the Google Reader Settings page. 4. At the bottom of the page you will see a link to Download your data through Takeout – click it. 5. You will be redirected to Google's Takeout service. You might be asked to login again to your Google account, so do it if required. 6. On Google Takeout service make sure the Choose Services top button is selected. Click on Create Archive button situated at the bottom of the page, in order to create a backup of your Google Reader account. 7. Check the download pop-up/screen and there you will see the progression of your backup folder. The Google Reader files of your account will be in a ZIP file and can be downloaded on your PC/Mac. 8. Press the Download button and this way your Google Reader files will be transferred to your computer. I use the default download settings in my browser, so my zip file was saved to the "Downloads" folder on my Mac. Depending on your settings, your file may be saved in a different place. 9. Find out where the downloaded zip file is on your PC/Mac. The Reader folder will contain a lots of of .json files and a subscriptions.xml file. You can ignore (but not delete) the .json files. 10. Now your Google Reader backup is done! When you find a new RSS client, open it and use it to import the subscriptions.xml file that you just downloaded and extracted. Now all this is done, we still need to find an alternative for your RSS feeds. There are a lot of really good apps for both Mac and PC, like Flipboard, Feedly and NewsBlur. You have until 1 July to do this transition, so there are a few months left, but take advantage of them soon so that you don’t lose your subscriptions! Did you find this article useful? Share it, don’t keep it just for yourself!