how to use google drive cloud storage.
Google Drive is an online storage facility that you can use for free with a Google account. If you already have a Google mail or Gmail email address, then you've got a Google account.
If you don't have a Google account, then it's easy and free to create one How to Create a Google Account.
Using Google Drive you can upload a copy of virtually any file or folder to the cloud for safekeeping. The only real caveat is that you're limited to 15GB of free storage. However, that's still a lot of photos and documents.
Drive has many more features than simply online storage and backup, but in this guide, that's really what we're going to be looking at.
There are two ways to upload files/folders to your Google Drive. You can simply Drag & Drop, or use the Upload option.
To access Google Drive, open your browser (go onto the Internet) and then from the Google home page, click the Google Apps icon in the top right corner.
If you're already signed into your Google account, Drive will automatically open.
If you're not signed in, you'll be prompted to choose which account to sign in with.
Click your account and then enter your Google account password
And we're in.
The amount of storage space that you have is displayed in the lower left-hand corner.
You get 15 GB for free.
You can bookmark (or Add to Favourites) this page for quicker access.
adding files/folders to google drive - drag & drop.
Google Drive works like a folder on your computer, except it's on the Internet (in the cloud).
When you first access it, it's empty. You haven't saved any files or folders into yet.
To store, or backup, files/folders, you can use Drag & Drop or the built-in Upload tool.
As an example, I've got a folder on my Desktop called ABBA that I'd like to backup to Google Drive (I'd be devastated if I lost this folder).
I'll Drag & Drop it into my Drive.
Move your mouse pointer onto the file/folder, then hold down the left mouse button.
With the left mouse button still held down, move your pointer toward the browser window.
You'll see that the file/folder moves with the mouse.
When you've got the file/folder into the Drive area, release the mouse button.
You'll see the file upload progress indicator appear.
Depending on how large the file/folder is that you're uploading and the speed of your Internet, it may take some time to complete.
A green tick will appear when the upload has completed.
You'll also see the file/folder appear in your Google Drive.
So to be quite clear here, in my example, I haven't moved the folder to Google Drive, I've created an exact copy of it on Google Drive.
The original folder is still right there on my Desktop.
But now I've got a backup copy of it stored in the cloud.
Which means that, if anything ever happens to the folder on my computer, I can get it back by downloading my backup from Google drive.
adding files/folders to google drive - uploading.
Dragging & Dropping files/folders to Google Drive isn't the only way to backup your stuff.
Sometimes it's going to be easier or more convenient to use the Upload facility.
On the menu that opens, click either FILE UPLOAD or FOLDER UPLOAD, depending on what you're going to backup.
File Upload allows you to upload individual files but won't allow you to upload complete folders.
Folder Upload does the opposite.
So it's important to make the right choice.
As an example, I've got some pictures in my Pictures folder I want to backup.
On the menu, click File Upload.
The standard Windows Explorer window opens allowing you to navigate to the location of the files that you want to upload.
In my example, the files are in my Pictures folder, so I'd click Pictures in the left-hand panel.
If you had documents to back up in your Documents folder, you'd click Documents in the left panel etc.
You'll see the progress of your files being uploaded.
When green ticks appear, the upload is complete.
To add more files and folders, just keep going, either dragging and dropping or using the Upload facility.
If you're backing up lots of stuff, then do keep an eye on the amount of storage space that you've got left. Remember, the first 15 GB is free, but after that, you'll need to buy more space.
To see the current price that Google is charging, click the BUY STORAGE button. You're not committing yourself to anything, you'll just see what deals Google is offering.
At the time of writing this article, you can have 100 GB for £15.99 per year. Keep in mind that this is a recurring cost.
backup & sync - google drive.
There is another way to backup your files to Google Drive. It's a program made by Google called Backup & Sync.
Backup & Sync is completely free to use and can help you to keep up to date copies of your files stored in the cloud.
What it does is to continually synchronise the folders that you've chosen to backup with your Google Drive.
Once setup, it's completely automatic, so you don't have to remember to upload any files or folders, Backup & Sync will do it for you.
You can download Backup & Sync here
Or simply Google it.
When you get to the download page, scroll down a little and click the link to download Backup & Sync for individuals.
Note, it may just be a tech issue, or possibly something with my PC, but when I tried this using a small screen, the option to download disappeared.
I couldn't find any other way to download Backup & Sync, but hopefully, by the time you read this, the problem will have resolved itself.
Install Backup and Sync, either from your browser, or from wherever you saved the installation file to.
Click the CLOSE button to continue.
The first thing we'll need to do is to connect Backup & Sync to your Google account.
Enter your email address in the box and then click the NEXT button.
choosing folders to backup & sync to google drive.
Once Backup & Sync has connected to your Google account, it'll be time to choose which folders you want to be backed up.
By default, the Desktop, Documents and Pictures folders will be selected.
However, on your Google Drive, you only get 15 GB of storage space for free, and backing up everything in these 3 folders could well exceed that limit.
It all depends on what you've got on your computer.
Click Got It to proceed.
The Desktop, Documents and Pictures folders are preselected for backing up.
Beside each folder, you'll see how much space each folder will require.
In my example, the Desktop will need 194 Mb, Documents will need 97 MB and Pictures just 1 MB.
Adding them all up comes to 292 MB, well below my 15 GB limit.
What you'll have on your computer will obviously be different to mine. I hardly have anything at all (it's a test computer, not my real one).
If you want to or need to, you can deselect any of the folders by clicking in the box beside the folder's name.
Note that you can change your mind later. You can add or remove folders to be backed up easily.
Click NEXT to proceed.
Click the START button.
Backup & Sync will then synchronise (backup) your selected folders to your Google Drive in the cloud.
Depending on how much data your backing up and the speed of your Internet, it may take a while to complete.
check that your files/folders are in your google drive.
Since we're using Backup & Sync to back up our most important files, it's well worth checking that it's actually worked.
Open your browser and then go to Google Drive. Sign in if you need to.
Inside Drive, you'll notice a new folder has appeared in the left-hand panel, COMPUTERS.
backup & sync settings.
Because we want to use Backup & Sync to save our most important files into the cloud, we'll have to change a setting within the program. It's easy to do, but it is essential that you do this.
The Backup & Sync icon can be found on your taskbar, near the clock.
If you can't see there, it may be in your hidden icons panel. Click the upward-facing arrowhead and you should be able to see it.
Find the Backup and Sync icon and then right-click on it.
A menu will open.
Left-click the Settings icon, which is 3 dots arranged vertically.
On the preferences page, in the Google Drive section, click the downward-facing arrowhead beside "Ask before removing both copies".
A small menu will open.
Select "Never remove both copies".
If you don't do this, then when a file gets deleted from your computer, it will also be deleted from your Google Drive backups. And that's not normally what we want.
The whole idea of using Backup & Sync to back up our files is to protect them from accidental or malicious deleting.
By using this setting, if a picture on your computer is deleted, it won't be deleted from your cloud backups, allowing you to retrieve it later when you realise it's gone.
adding or removing folders from backup - backup & sync.
The Preferences page is also where you can add or remove folders from the backup.
To change which of the default folders is backed up, simply click in the box beside it.
A tick means it will be backed up, and an empty box means it won't be.
A Windows Explorer window will open allowing you to navigate to whichever folder you want to be included in the backup.
Select the folder and then click the SELECT FOLDER button.
summing up google drive.
Google Drive provides you with 15 GB of free storage space for your files and folders. Compared to most other online storage facilities, that's quite generous.
For many people, it'll be enough to cover at least their most important stuff. And that's the way to use it.
If you need more space, then the pricing is competitive with other providers, but do remember that it's a yearly cost.
Other than that, whether you use it by manually dragging and dropping files into Drive from your browser or by installing Backup & Sync to automate the process, it works pretty well as a basic cloud backup solution.