Google Drive gives you a place to save your files online in the Cloud. What does this mean? It means that you can access your files from any device that can connect to Google Drive.
You can even bring your Microsoft documents into Google Drive and edit them in the Drive. So, overall, Google Drive is a great place to save your important documents so you can access them whenever and wherever you need them.
This quick guide will show you what you need to know to use Google Drive to get you started.
Where to Find Google Drive
There are a couple of different ways that you can find Google Drive. The fastest and most common way is to go to the search bar and type in “drive.google.com,” and you’ll be taken directly to the Google Drive Website.
Or you can go to the Google Drive app launcher located in the top right corner of your Google Chrome internet browser window (see the highlighted section in the picture below).
When you click this icon, you’ll be able to see all your Google apps, and you’ll see Drive is the app that looks like a triangle. If you click the Drive icon, you’ll be taken to Google Drive.
You will need a Google account (i.e., Gmail account) so you can log into Google Drive.
Once you’re on the Google Drive website, you’ll be asked to log into your Google account. If you already have a Google account and you’re already signed in, you’ll just have to click your account name and log in. Otherwise, you can click “Use Another Account” to sign into a new Google Drive account or create one.
How to Upload Files
You can upload files a few different ways in Google Drive. The first way that we’re going to show you to upload file docs involves these steps:
- Go to “New” at the top left corner of the screen.
- Then click “File Upload,” you’ll be taken to a new window that shows all the files on your computer that you can upload into your Google Drive storage.
- Pick the file that you want to upload and click “Open.” You should see down in the right-hand corner a box that shows you that the file is uploading to the Drive folder.
- Once the file is done uploading, you should see it pop up in your Google Drive. You may even be able to see a preview of the file.
- If you double-click the file, it will give you a full preview of what’s in the file.
The second way to upload files in Google Drive includes these steps:
- If you right-click on the open space in your Drive, you should have a menu pop up that has an option for “Upload Files,” click that option.
- Find the file that you want to upload and click “Open.” You should see a box showing that the file is uploading in the bottom right-hand corner.
- Once the file is done uploading, you should see it pop up in your Drive. Double click the file for a preview.
If you have more than one file that you want to upload simultaneously, going through each file and uploading can be tedious. So, Google Drive has made it easy by giving you the option to upload a folder of files at one time. The steps are the same as if you were uploading a single file, except that you click “Upload Folder.”
Another way to upload folders or files is to drag and drop them into your Google Drive from your desktop.
Deleting and Restoring Files
If you have a file or a folder that you want to delete, there are a couple of ways to do that. The first way involves clicking on the folder or file; an option bar will pop up above the file. Then, to delete the file, simply click the trashcan image.
Alternatively, you can right-click on the file and click the trashcan icon there to delete the file.
When you delete a file from your Google Drive, it goes into your Drive’s trash and will remain there for 30 days unless you physically go in and permanently delete it. The trash for your Drive is located on the left-hand option bar at the very bottom. After clicking on the trash icon, you’ll find all the files that you deleted that are waiting 30 days before permanently deleting.
If you want to restore your file, you right-click on the file and click the “Restore” option. This will put your file back into your Drive for you to use. If you want to delete the file permanently, right-click on the file and choose “Delete Forever.”
Installing the Google Drive Extension
To get the most out of Google Drive, we recommend installing the Google Drive extension for Google Chrome. To get the extension, go to the Chrome Web Store and look for the Google Drive extension. Once you find it, click, “Install” and the extension will install.
Now, when you find an image that you love on the internet, you can right-click on it and hit “Save to Google Drive” to instantly save the image to your Drive.
If you want to save a webpage or backup to your Drive, you simply go to “File” and then click “Print.” You’ll notice that one of the printer options is to save the page to your Google Drive. Choose this as your printer and then click “Print.”
Creating and Editing Files
You can create a new file on your Google Drive by clicking “New” or right-clicking in the black space in your Drive and choosing the type of document you want to create (i.e., Google document, Slide, or Sheet).
You can also upload Microsoft documents and edit them in your Drive. After uploading your Microsoft document, double click on the file to open it in Google Docs. You’ll notice by the name of the file it will still say “.DOCX,” this is how you know that you’re editing a Word document.
For a more detailed tutorial on how to use Google Drive, check out this video.