There are several benefits to using a cloud storage service like Google Drive, including simpler file sharing and having a remote location to back up your work. Google Drive’s popularity is based on practical collaborative features and built-in integrations with Google’s family of goods and services, in contrast to rivals like DropBox and Apple’s iCloud service.
You already have 15 GB of free storage on Google Drive if you have a Google account. How can you utilize all that room, then? Our tutorial covers all the fundamentals, including how to use Google Drive to upload and view files on any device and all the tools that facilitate easy teamwork.
The functioning of Google Drive
You may upload and save various file kinds, including documents, images, audio files, and videos, to Google servers or the “cloud” using Google Drive. Drive can free up space on your smartphone or as a backup solution.
It’s crucial to remember that Google Drive is designed to function well with Google to comprehend why it is so well-liked. The integration with Google’s office suite of cloud-native programs, which will appear familiar if you’ve used Microsoft Office before, is another of Drive’s greatest features.
These applications—including Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and other tools—will attract most consumers. They offer straightforward tools that enable real-time communication and allow you to create and edit documents.
The most popular Google Drive applications are listed below:
Keeping files: Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Photos all come with 15 GB of free storage space from Google by default. If you ever reach that cap, you can always upgrade to a Google One account to pay for more space.
File sharing: Until you share a file, it remains private. However, you may invite people to download, modify, or view your files and documents.
File access from any device: You can access files from a computer, tablet, or smartphone. There is also offline access accessible.
Comprehensive search: Drive can identify text and photos in scanned documents, simplifying finding files.
Secure data storage: Drive files are encrypted using AES256 or AES128; other Google services also utilize this security technique.
If you don’t already have one, you must create a Google account to use Google Drive.
You can access Google Drive for free when you sign up for a Google account, along with other Google services like Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Photos.
Go to drive.google.com to access Google Drive in your browser after creating an account (or logging into an existing one). You will then be taken to Drive’s user-friendly and intuitive web interface.
You’ll probably want to start by learning how to upload, create, manage, and share files as you get more familiar with all that Google Drive can do for you.
You must upload files to Google Drive to access them. You can use two simple methods to upload files using the web client.
The first approach, dragging the file or folder from your desktop and putting it into the browser window, is the easier of the two. The second choice is to select “File upload” or “Folder upload” when you click the “New” button in the top-left corner of the screen.
The “New” button can start a fresh file, document, spreadsheet, or presentation. Select the appropriate app from the dropdown option based on your requirements. Whenever a new file is created, it is automatically saved and available on your Drive.
You might want to organize your files after you have enough of them. The simplest way to manage your Drive is to create folders, much like how you would organize things on your desktop. On the web interface, go to your Drive, choose “New,” then “Folder,” and create a new folder.
You can drag and drop files into the folder after giving it a name; it can be found under “My Drive” on the pane to the left of your screen.
The simplest way to remove a file is to right-click on it if you no longer require it and want to keep your Drive organized. Upon doing so, a context menu will appear. After that, choose “Remove.” Alternatively, you can click the trash symbol in the upper-right corner of your screen after selecting the file you want to remove.
The ability to share files and folders with others is Google Drive’s main selling point. Drive makes sharing simple, enabling sharing both films and full Drive folders. Right-click a file or folder on Google Drive to open the context menu, then select “Share” from the menu.
From there, you can choose whether people can edit, comment on, or view the file and add collaborators by adding their email addresses.
You may collaborate with others in real-time by allowing multiple users to edit any files you generate in Drive simultaneously.
The Google Drive website
The fact that there are numerous ways to access your Drive should be noted now that the fundamentals are out of the way. You can use Drive outside your web browser and from a desktop or mobile device to access the cloud.
Anyone who wants fast access to their files from anywhere must have the Google Drive mobile app, which is accessible for iOS and Android.
You may use the app to view, download, upload, and delete files from your mobile device.
You must download the standalone mobile app to create, edit, and organize files. Each program has built-in offline functionality so that it can run independently without an internet connection, but it is also made to integrate easily with the Google Drive app:
- Download Google Docs for mobile devices
- For iOS or Android, use Google Sheets
- Google Slides for Android or iOS
Back-Up and Sync is a Mac and PC program that makes it simple to back up data to Google Drive if you prefer to work on a desktop rather than in a web browser. The desktop client streamlines the backup process and effortlessly interacts with Google Drive. It’s not only simple to use, but it’s also simple to install:
Installing Backup and Sync on a computer
A fresh Google Drive folder will be produced on your computer after installation. You can access any files or folders you move into this folder from any location and on any device because they are automatically posted to Google Drive.
Google Drive hints and techniques
There are many user-friendly tools and features in Google Drive, but finding the ones that suit your requirements and preferences takes regular use. Here are some pointers for both new and experienced users.
Good news if Gmail is your primary email service provider: It fully integrates with Google Drive.
You can attach a Google Drive file by selecting the Google Drive symbol from the bottom toolbar when writing a message.
Gmail, on the other hand, makes it simple to save attachments to Drive. You can download the attachment or save it to Drive by hovering your mouse pointer. Select the folder by clicking the Google Drive icon.
Drive offers the option to view and modify files without an online connection, which is another helpful tip. While you may always download files or folders to your computer directly for offline use, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides can also be viewed and edited offline, with any changes automatically synchronized when a connection is once again available.
Go to your Drive and click the gear icon in the upper right corner of your screen to enable offline mode. You can enable offline mode by selecting the box next to “Offline” once in your settings.
Although Google Drive supports a wide range of file formats, if you want to edit files there, you’ll need to convert them first. By doing this, you’ll be able to share the file with others quickly and gain access to features that let you work together in real-time.
You can convert the following types of files to Google Drive format:
- Texted records (.doc, .docx, .html, .txt, .rtf, .pdf)
- Spreadsheets (.xls, .xlsx, .ods, .csv) (.xls, .xlsx, .ods, .csv)
- Presentations (.ppt, .pps, .pptx) (.ppt, .pps, .pptx)
Right-click on the file, select “Open With,” and select the suggested app to convert it to Google Drive format. For instance, you can convert a Microsoft Word document into a Google Doc document.
Services and apps for Google Drive
There is much to learn about how Google Drive integrates with apps and other Google services.
Docs, Sheets, and Slides, the three main components of Drive’s office suite that serve as alternatives to Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, were already discussed. Even though the majority of users will be content with utilizing these apps, Drive also supports and connects with other Google services like Google Jamboard.
Even though Google’s suite of office tools is excellent on its own, you can customize it to meet your needs using add-ons. You can use Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms to accomplish more, thanks to various useful add-ons.
Open or create any file, then select “Add-ons” from the toolbar at the top of your screen to begin exploring add-ons. To view what’s available, go to the Chrome Webstore.
Integrations with third-party apps
Drive is designed to operate smoothly with hundreds of third-party programs in addition to add-ons. This means you can divide and combine PDF files, digitally sign documents, make diagrams, and more from within Drive.
If you’re a productivity freak, you can connect Drive to various productivity applications for a more fluid workflow. Here is a little example:
- Drive for Google for Slack
- for Evernote, Google Drive
- Drive for Asana on Google
- AirTable and Google Drive
- Trello for Google Drive
Google Drive is a potent cloud storage tool at its core. But with time and the correct skills, anyone, from students to business professionals, can use it to become a vital productivity tool.
Check out our top advice for maximizing Google Drive if you’re seeking more ways to improve your Drive experience. Additionally, you may go to the G Suite Learning Center to obtain comprehensive guidance for everything on Google Drive.