How to Use Google Drive on Web and PC | Tips and Tricks


To use Google Drive efficiently, we need to manage time. Many of the Gmail users don’t know that their maximum storage limit is 15GB per account. If you are using 5GB of mails, the remaining 10GB is empty. This is where you can make optimum use of the remaining storage space.

Google Drive is the cloud drive from Google, just like OneDrive from Microsoft. 

You can store files, folders, photos, videos, audio and other data in this storage. The Photos and Videos of “high quality” do not come under this storage. If you want to store the “original quality” photos and videos, it comes under Google Drive storage. This setting can also be changed in Google Photos. Google Drive can be basically used as a Backup Storage drive.

The usage of Google Drive is just simple as your Windows Explorer or File Explorer of Windows 7 or 8.1 or 10. But there are a few minor changes which you need to take care of. Before we dwell into backup plans, we need to know what are the features of Google Drive.

There are two versions of Google Drive. The Web App and the “Backup and Sync” software on your PC.

How to Use Google Drive in Web App of Chrome Browser

At a basic level, you need to create a Google or Gmail account. Then go to this location .

https://www.google.com/drive/

In the Web App the following features are supported.
1. My Drive
2. Computers
3. Shared with me
4. Recent
5. Starred
6. Trash
7. Backups
8. Storage

Whatever folders, files and data you sync with Google Drive on your PC, will be available in the My Drive folder.

When you do a sync of any folder on your PC, it will be available in “My Computer”. If you have multiple devices or if its another computer syncing to this Google Drive account, another folder for eg. “My Computer (1)” is created.

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If somebody shares documents, files, zip with you, it will appear in “Shared with me” folder.

To remember any file or folder, you can assign a “star” to it, making it important and convenient to recollect it again. All these files and folders appear under this “Starred” folder.

All the deleted items will appear in Trash.

If you have several mobile devices, then you might have created a Google account also on that phone. Generally, all your photos, call log, sms are backed up to this account. These appear in your “Backups” folder, including Whatsapp photos, audio, video, documents. etc.

What are the Options when you right-click a Folder

In the Web interface, when you click a folder you have the following options.
1. Shared
2. Get shareable link
3. Move to
4. Add to Starred
5. Change color
6. Search within <folder name>
7. Rename
8. View Details
9. Download
10. Remove

The most liked feature is the “Move to” and “Download”. Like in Windows Explorer and File Explorer, you will not find copy, paste and cut. But you can move files and folders to another location.

Note: Just like in File Explorer, you will not be able to find folder size directly. This is the most required feature, to check whether the uploaded folders are of the same size on PC.

But you can check which files are taking more storage, by clicking the link above Upgrade Storage. All the files with their respective file size in descending order are listed on the right hand-side.

When you right-click any file, the following options are available

The additional options available here are

  1. Locate
  2. Manage versions
  3. Make a copy.

You can directly open the location of the file using the “Locate” option.

If you have different versions of the same file, like in a coding or development environment, you can upload different versions of the same file.

Similarly, if you want to duplicate a copy, it can be done here. The View details function is not as expected and its an useless feature.

How to Upload a file or Folder in Google Drive Web App

There’s a big “New” button on the left-hand side of the web interface of Google Drive. When you click it, the following options are available.

  1. Folder
  2. File upload
  3. Folder upload
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When you select the first option, a new folder will be created in “My Drive”. To upload a file or folder, you will select the 2nd and 3rd options respectively. You just have to browse the location of the file or folder on your PC, and it will be uploaded to your “My Drive” in the web app.

The same options are also available on the right-hand side, when you click “My Drive” drop-arrow.

You can also create new Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Drawings and many more documents. One can also connect with different apps like My Maps, Sites, Pixlr Editor, Pixlr Express and other new apps.

When you want to edit any JPG or image, you can directly open that file using any of your connected apps.

You can also just drag and drop files and folders from your Windows Explorer of Windows 7 into the web interface. Then also they are uploaded in the same fashion.

What are the Pros and Cons of Google Drive Web Interface

If you want to know the size and other details, of the folders stored in Google Drive, it is not possible as for now. You have to either contact customer support through chat or email. They will run some background code and give you the details.

But if you want to find the folder size, directly in the web interface, it is not possible.

On the other side, you can find the top large files stored in your Google Drive. To do this, click the link above “Upgrade Storage” on the left hand side.

This feature is very useful when your Google Drive storage is almost completely full. You can look at the big size files and then decide whether to keep them or not.

How to use Google Drive on PC in Windows

First of all, visit the following website.

https://www.google.com/drive/download/

For personal use, you can download Backup and Sync.  Run the .exe file. During the installation phase it will ask to set the “Google Drive” folder location or take the default location. Generally, the “Google Drive folder location is in the system drive itself.

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But in the best of interest it is good to change to data drive, instead of operating system drive.

Then a Google Drive (typically with the same name) folder icon is created on the Desktop. At the same time, a label item with the same name is created in Favorites. This will appear below OneDrive in Windows 7.

The best thing about Back up and Sync of Google Drive is you can sync any folder with just a right-click. This will then appear under “My Computer” (a similar name if you have already one) in your Google Drive web app. This can then be moved to “My Drive“, if you want.

The best way to use Google Drive on PC, is to stop syncing of USB and SD cards. Otherwise, whenever you plug USB, DVD, CD, external HDD etc, the back up engine restarts and a pop-up message shoots asking whether to back up or not. This setting can be changed in the Preferences.

Also it can be annoying for the time taken to complete this task, if there are lot of files in Google Drive list.

Another way to upload files and folders to Google Drive is to just drop them in the default folder. (The location of which is set during the installation point). A green tick mark indicates that the folder or file is in sync with “My Drive” of Google Drive web interface and is uploaded to the account.

The below screenshots are of Google Drive in Windows 7.

Sometimes you see two arrows rotating which indicates that the sync process is still going on.

How to Use Google Drive on Web and PC | Tips and Tricks
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Meet the Author

Palla Sridhar

I love being a Microsoft enthusiast and Tech lover. I Completed my M.Tech in Civil Engineering from IIT Kanpur, INDIA. My interests include Blogging, Surfing, Cricket, Books and Social Networking. I find solutions to problems on Windows, Outlook and Office.

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