Using Google Drive to Backup Files

Google Drive can be utilized as a good method of backing up your files. In this article we will explore a couple of ways to use Google Drive for this purpose and explain some of the pros and cons.

Backup files using the Google Drive app for Mac or Windows
This method of using Google Drive as a backup is probably the most convenient as it syncs files as changes are made automatically.
1. Install the Google Drive app (please refer to this article for step by step instructions) 
2. Navigate to your Google Drive folder on your computer by choosing "Home" from the "Go" menu (note this will only be available if you are on the desktop)

3. In the list of folders, you should see one titled "Google Drive"

Note: Anything you place in this folder will sync with your Google Drive account. Meaning, if you placed a document or folder from your desktop into this folder, then went to and logged into your account, you would see that it is available there. Additionally, if you make any changes to the document, while it exists in your Google Drive folder, those changes will be synced and backed up to your account.

4. For easier access to this folder, it is recommended that you place a shortcut on your desktop or in your dock
5. To place a shortcut on your desktop, right-click the Google Drive folder and select "Make Alias" from the menu. Or you may choose "Make Alias" from the "File" menu.

6. You will now see a new icon titled "Google Drive alias". This may be dragged to your desktop

7. Now that you have the Google Drive folder on your desktop, it is time to start dragging and dropping files and folders into it. 

Note: You do have unlimited storage space on Google Drive but be aware that large files may take a long time to sync. If you cancel the sync, it will pick up where it left off the next time you are connected to an internet connection

8. To check the status of your file sync, you can check the Google Drive icon at the top of your screen, it will either say "Sync complete" or tell you how many more files it has before it is completed.

9. After you have placed all of your important files in this folder, make sure to keep them there. Once they are removed from the folder, they are also removed from Google Drive and are no longer syncing. 

Note: Inside this folder, you can organize your files by creating other folders to place them in. These folders will be reflected in your Google Drive account. Additionally, if you were to create and or organize files and folders in the Google Drive interface, this will be reflected in the Google Drive folder on your desktop.

Note: Only files and folders that are in the web based "My Drive" folder will be synced. Any files and folders that are shared with you by another user will only exist in the "Incoming" folder and therefore will not be synced. You may copy files and folders from the "Incoming" folder to your "My Drive" folder and then they will be synced. This must be done through the web based version via a web browser.

Backup files using the web based version of Google Drive
This method of backing up is more of a manual way to upload files and folders to your web based version of Google Drive and does not automatically sync files on your computer or changes to them.

1. Navigate to and log into your account
2. By default, you will start in your My Drive folder

3. You may upload files and folders simply by dragging and dropping them any where on the Google Drive screen. As soon as your files hover over the screen, you will see the screen change to a blue circle that will accept files

4. After dropping files or folders into "My Drive" a status window will appear telling you how long the upload will take

5. Once complete, you will see your files and folders now appear under "My Drive"

Note: Remember, this is a manual process and any changes you make to the original file on your computer will not be reflected in Google Drive until the updated version has been uploaded and vice versa.