A Complete Guide To Use Google Drive

With 15 GB of free cloud storage space, G-drive has been redefining personal cloud storage to a whole new level. Whether it is saving emails, photos, media or documents; Google Drive puts an end to all the storage management nightmares.

Using G-drive to its fullest potential can land you in a different domain of ease and convenience. Aimed at making it a most comprehensive guide to use Google Drive, this article will further help you understand the lesser known features of Google Drive that guarantee your mastery of G-Drive management.

The following are a few reasons why you should choose cloud storage like Google Drive over traditional storage devices:

Completely forget about Hardware failure: Unlike flash storage or traditional hard drives, storage on cloud does not involve the risk of hardware failure. You can always access your data online.

Collaborate and share more: Google drive does not require you to physically carry a disk to share files to another person. Just share the location and anyone from anywhere can access your information saved on Google Drive.

Wave good bye to manual back-up methods: By installing back-up and sync application on your desktop you can manage automatic back-ups of specific folders in your desktop or you mobile phone.

Virus-free Storage: With you data saved on cloud, you no longer have to concern yourselves with virus or malware effecting your information. Google is responsible for the security and protection of data on the drive. Once saved never re-think about data security.

More economical: Implementing cloud storage for capacities more than 20 TB is more economical than buying hard drives that carry the risk of hardware failure any minute.

To completely exploit and optimize the usage to its maximum, it is important to primarily understand the features of Google Drive:

Based on the functionality, following actions can be performed using Google drive:

All your work and personal information in the form of any file format can be saved on the Google Drive. Once the data is uploaded and saved, all you information on the drive can be accessed anytime, anywhere as long as you have connectivity to the internet.

There are two ways in which you can upload and store data on your Google Drive:

  • Through Web
  • Though Drive file stream on your desktop

This guide to use Google Drive has been compiled with various functions using either one of the above depending upon users accessibility.

How to upload files on Google Drive through Web

  • Log into your Google account and find Google apps on the left side of your profile picture
  • Click on the “+ New” icon on the left side of the screen
  • Choose File Upload or Folder Upload which will help you browse the file or folder you want to upload
  • Choose the appropriate folder or file and click on open
  • You can also drag and drop the files you wish to upload

Note: If you upload an edited version of a document that already exists on the drive, the latest file is saved as a version. Managing versions on G-drive is now easy as it could ever be.

How to upload files on G-drive using Drive file stream on your desktop

Drive file stream app once installed on your desktop will enable you to use Google drive as a local drive on your computer. As the name suggests all the data that you save on the drive can be streamed when the need arises.

  • In order to upload files on your desktop you first have to install Drive File stream on your computer
  • After thoroughly following the instructions you will find the Drive File Stream either on the top right (MAC) or bottom right(windows) of the screen
  • You will find Google Drive folder that is ready to have files uploaded after clicking on the Drive files stream icon
  • You can later efficiently sort and organize your Google drive

How to Access stored files on Google Drive

Google drive enables you to work with different devices on a particular document or file and save the progress in a single storage location. Hence learning how to access files from different devices and contemplating where all you progress is saved becomes really essential.

Access your files online:

There are three ways in which you can access your files online:

Web browser: By going to the URL drive.google.com on any latest web browser.

Computer application: By installing drive file stream on the computer.

Mobile phone or device: By installing the Google Drive app on your computers and tablets.

Offline access to files on your drive:
No matter how digitized the world might get, sometimes getting a hold of a WiFi connection might be the hardest thing. Keeping this in mind, you will need a way to access your drive when offline and that is exactly what you will learn in the following section.

  • Google Chrome browser:
    • Once you access Google drive through chrome find the settings icon and click on settings
    • From the default general screen check the box that says edit offline and you will be able to reorganize, edit and view documents when offline.
  • Using drive file stream app on your computer: With the help of drive file stream on your computer you can have offline access to Office documents and PDF’s
    • Go to Drive File Stream on your computer
    • Select Google Drive and right click on the folder or file you want to access offline
    • Now click on Drive File Stream and choose Available offline
  • Have your files Updated to latest version
    • From web:
      With progress in your work, documents or files that are not created in Google Sheets, Slides or Docs need constant updating.To upload the latest version of a certain updated document follow these steps:

      • Select the file you would want to update and right-click on it
      • Choose Manage versions
      • Now select Upload new version and choose the file you want to update as latest
    • From your computer: If you have drive file stream installed on your computer, this becomes very easy. Just browse for the file you want to update after opening drive file stream and apply your changes to it. The information is automatically updated.

Stay organized by moving files into respective folders

  • From web
    • Choose the file and click on three vertical dots on top right corner that say more
    • Find Move to option and then select the desired folder
    • And click on Move here or Move button
  • From computer
    • Just choose the files and move them into desired folder of your drive by drag and drop.

One of the biggest challenges while trying to organize Google Drive is getting rid of duplicate files, remove duplicates online and get Organized better.

Keep a copy of shared file

  • From Shared with me folder on the drive choose the file you would want to make a copy
  • Right click on the desired file and select make a copy
  • Now at the bottom a pop-up window with locate option is seen, select it
  • Then choose Move to after right clicking on the file

Navigate easily using various sorting options and filters

From web

You can choose from various sorting option or their combinations by clicking on the down arrow in the search box. ex: sort alphabetically, filter by Last edited by me, Last modified, Last opened by me, Name etc.

Share your files with others

From web

Choose the folder or file you want to share and click on share

Give restricted access or visibility to your shared files

After you click on Share, you can do the following from Share with others screen:

  • Type the Google groups or email addresses you want to share the file with
  • The entered email addresses can be made Owners/edit/comment/view depending upon your desire
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Tony Landry

Tony Landry is a Web Content Editor at Remo Software. He loves to write, edit, and manage content for users trying to troubleshoot and fix problems on Windows, Outlook, storage drives and Cloud storage networks.

He has published more than 200 articles in Remo Software blog. He actively engages in research and problem-solving techniques to consistently generate great web content. Fixing various hardware problems on computer and storage devices along with a great knack for fixing Outlook errors, Tony is also the fun-time IT guy for all his work friends. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and enjoys cycling.

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