Learn everything about how Google Drive works

In order to get important work done, you need to share some files with others in your office, but since you are not very familiar with the wide world of computers, you have no idea what tools to use. Your colleagues have suggested you use Google Drive, but this is the first time you've heard of this tool.

How do you create a Google account?

The first thing you need to know is that in order to use Google Drive, you need to create a Google account. This preliminary process is essential in order to use the cloud storage service developed by the Mountain View company. In case you haven't done this preliminary procedure yet. Please also note that creating Google accounts will also be useful later on, as you can also use the created account to access all other Google services such as Gmail and Youtube. To create a Google account, you need to log in to the google.com page and click on the Sign in link on the top right. On the page that opens, you need to click on the More Options item and then click on the Create Account button in the menu that opens. At this point, you'll need to fill out the form that will be offered to you and follow the instructions that will appear on the screen to properly complete the process of creating a Google Account. If you already have a Google Account, you can skip this step.

How do I access Google Drive?

As for the practical operation of Google Drive, you need to know how to use this service via the web, through the browser you use to surf the Internet. To access and start using Google Drive, you must first log in to the service's homepage. Once displayed, click the go to Google Drive button to access the service via the Google account you created earlier. On request, access the service by entering the login details (email and password) for your Google account. All you have to do is wait until you are connected to the service. If you're done, let's discover the tools provided by Google Drive. If this is your first time using Google Drive, a short tutorial screen will appear upon login to explain some technical details. You should know that for storing photos and documents, you have 15 GB of free online storage space. If you run out of free space, you can extend it for a fee by subscribing to the Google One service. With this subscription, in fact, you can get a minimum space of 100 GB and a maximum space of 30 TB. In addition to those indicated, there are other projects for Google One. The usefulness of Google Drive is that you can upload files to it in order to create backup copies that can be accessed online from any computer and you can also create folders to group several items. Finally, all uploaded files can be shared with other users in a very simple way. Once you have finished the tutorial, press the "Go to Drive" button to continue on your own.

How to download files and folders with Google Drive?

Once you understand the technical features of the service in general, you see the first useful tool of Google Drive: the file and folder upload service. To share files with Google Drive, the first thing you need to do is press the blue "New" button in the top left corner. At this point, the choices are given by the Folder button (to create a new folder on Google Drive), Upload Files (to upload a file from your computer to Google Drive) and Upload Folder (to be used to directly upload a folder of files to be stored on Google Drive). Select the desired option based on what you need to do (for example, upload a file or folder) and wait for the file or folder to be uploaded to Google Drive. To upload files or folders with Google Drive, you can also use drag-and-drop, which involves clicking on a file from your computer and then dragging it to the central area of Google Drive that you have open via your web browser. Once the file (or folder) has loaded successfully, it appears in the main section of Google Drive, the one called My Drive.

How do I share files and folders with Google Drive?

Once you've uploaded a file or folder to Google Drive, you can share it with other users. Locate the content you've uploaded to Google Drive that you want to share. Right-click it to open the Google Drive sharing options menu. To share the file in question, now click on the Share... item (Little man symbol). On the screen that opens, you now have to enter the name or email address of the person you want to share the file with. Then enter this information in the People text field on the Share with Others screen. In the sidebar, however, note the pencil symbol. If you click on it, you can change some of the sharing options, and you can choose whether the person(s) you're going to share files with can make changes to them (can edit them) or whether you want them to only be able to comment (can comment) or just view (can view). When you are done, confirm your choices by pressing the "Finish" button. For more customization options for the files you want to share, click on the Advanced item at the bottom right. You have a few additional tools that you can see under Owner Settings. In particular, you can check the box Prevent editors from changing access and adding new people and/or Disable upload, print and copy options for commenters/viewers to restrict particular actions in the file you are going to share. To confirm your choice, press the Save Changes button. Please note, however, that the people you shared the file with on Google Drive will only be able to view and possibly edit it by logging into the cloud storage service via their Google account. Want to share a file with Google Drive but your colleagues don't have a Google account? Don't worry, all is not lost. Click the file sharing button again following the steps in the previous lines and in the Share with Others screen, click Get Shareable Links. This way, anyone who has the link will be able to view the file and possibly edit or download it. All shared files and folders will be displayed on the main Google Drive screen (My drives) but will also be available in the Shared with me section that you can find in the Google Drive sidebar.

How does backup and sync work?

If you want to know more about Backup and Sync, the official Google Drive desktop client that allows you to share files with Google Drive directly from your computer, then take a few minutes to read this part of the tutorial. Backup and Sync is a very useful tool that allows you to synchronize all the files on your PC online. To use it, you need to log in to this web page and click on Download Backup and Sync, then on Accept and Download. Once downloaded, launch the file by clicking on it. Then click Yes if you are prompted to run the installer. As you will notice, the software installs automatically and you don't have to do anything else but click on the "Start" button. To install Backup and Sync on Mac, you need to open the dmg package you downloaded and copy it to the macOS Applications folder, and then you also need to start it. After that, the other processes are the same on Windows and Mac. Once you press the "Start" button, you will need to log in to your Google account, entering your email address and password in the appropriate text fields. Once you are logged in, press the Ok button, this will take you back to the My Laptop screen section, where you can manually choose which folders to sync online to Google Drive. To continue, click Next. On the next screen, also choose whether you want to sync all your Google Drive folders or just some of them locally on your PC, and then click Start. You can manage these sync preferences at any time by returning to this backup and sync screen called Preferences.

How to share files with backup and sync?

Now that you have set up backup and sync on your PC or Mac, there are ways to share files on Windows and Mac. From Windows, tap on Windows Explorer, click on Google Drive in the sidebar. sNow that you see all the files on Google Drive, you can drag the file to your PC in the Windows Explorer > Google Drive window you have open. Once the file is uploaded to the cloud folder, right-click it. Then choose Google Drive, and click the Share item in the menu that appears on the screen. On a Mac, to access the Google Drive folder where you can download and share files, you need to click on the Finder icon that is attached to the Dock, and then click on the Google Drive entry in the left sidebar of the window that appears.

Google Drive for Android and iOS

You can also enjoy the features of Google Drive on your Android iOS smartphone or tablet by downloading the application from the App Store or Google PlayStore. To share a file with Google Drive via the Android and iOS app, you need to tap on the file you want to share, then tap on the icon with the three-dot symbol at the top. Now tap on the item, Add people in the menu that appears, and then choose the people you want to share the file with. You can also make the file available to everyone via the Get Links item. Once you've done that, just follow the instructions for the web version of the service, to take advantage of the other features of Google Drive.
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