Even if you've never used it, chances are you've at least heard of Google Drive. This Google service houses many different tools and features, which can confuse many new users who are not used to the service yet. Therefore, we will make a very complete guide explaining how to use Google Drive.
This goes from explaining what the service is for, what it has to offer and how you can make the most of it. So, if you want to know how to use Google Drive, just check out our tips below!
What and how to use Google Drive
Before we talk in detail about everything that the Google service has to offer, it is worth mentioning what it is like to use the Google drive. Primarily, it functions as a cloud storage service.
You can save your files, photos, videos, movies, music and whatever you want there. Just as you can do with services like Dropbox and OneDrive, for example.
The difference is that it is also possible to create files of various types, with text documents and spreadsheets being the most popular. All of this linked to your Gmail account and can be synchronized with your Android smartphone.
The service is also free, although it has a paid version for anyone who wants something without limitations. Other than that, it is still worth mentioning that the service is always accessed on the web, but has applications for computers and mobile devices
Enough for just one of the company's many services, isn't it? Well, if you're even more curious about how to use Google Drive, we'll cover each topic mentioned below.
One of the main services of Google Drive will basically be a type of storage in the cloud. It can store almost any type of file you want for free.
Of course, there is a limit on the free version. If you haven't won anything special at any Google event, you end up with 15 GB of free space in the cloud.
To get more than that, you need to pay. Fortunately, the plans and prices are very interesting, as you can see below:
- 100 GB: R $ 6.99 per month or R $ 69.99 for the annual plan
- 200 GB: R $ 9.99 per month or R $ 99.99 for the annual plan
- 2 TB: R $ 34.99 per month or R $ 349.99 for the annual plan
None of this is necessary if you are going to use Google Drive more casually. This is especially true for those who are just going to upload some files or who are going to use it to create their documents online.
Possibly one of the most used tools in Drive is the well-known Google Docs. You can create and edit your text documents the way you need to, just as possible with Microsoft Word.
There are many options for formatting and inserting images, links and videos, for example. It is not as complete as what we see in the Office package, but a very interesting free alternative.
All your changes are immediately saved to the cloud, so you don't have to worry about losing the content. Other than that, you can always download the document to a file on your computer.
Google Drive spreadsheets are very similar to Microsoft Excel. You can choose spreadsheets ready for the most diverse situations, being possible to put only your desired data or information in place of the model.
There is also the option of blank spreadsheets for those who know exactly what they want to do with them. Although it is slightly limited in options compared to Microsoft's product, it is also great for online use at no cost.
Another tool similar to the one offered in the Office suite is the Google Drive Slides service. It's basically a PowerPoint, even if a little simpler.
It doesn't have that many themes, but it still has plenty of options on how to personalize your presentations. Everything is done using slides, where you decide the text, images, videos, audio, etc.
Another cool thing is that you can create multiple folders on your Google Drive. This way, it is possible to organize all your files in the way you prefer when using Google Drive.
Fortunately, it is possible to create folders within folders as well. This helps a lot who needs to save files of choice or work, for example, since they tend to be many.
We talk a lot about creating different files within Google Drive itself, but it is also possible to upload. If you have a text, video, image or audio file on your PC, you can put them all in the cloud.
Of course, this will be limited to the storage that is currently available. Still, the service is usually very fast, using the maximum upload speed you have at that moment.
With all this chat about creating and uploading files, it is worth mentioning also the sharing that comes with Google Drive. You can create shareable links to absolutely everything on your Drive.
Be it a Google Docs page that you created or a video that you uploaded to the storage service. In the case of files such as documents, spreadsheets and presentations, people can not only download the file, but can view it online.
If the edition is open, people with the link can also make their own changes. This is a great way to collaborate with your work or study colleagues when using Google Drive.
In addition to having a mobile application for Google Drive itself, the company also offers applications for some of the services within Drive. There are separate apps for Google Docs, spreadsheets, presentations and more.
This is great for those who always end up using only some of Drive's specific features. It’s worth mentioning that any of the apps you choose are automatically synced to your Gmail account.
So, everything you create and edit will be saved on your smartphone and on the web version at the same time. It is worth mentioning that this hardly takes up space, since the information is in the cloud.
We know that not everyone is excited about editing documents or uploading files on their cell phones. The good news for these people is that there is a desktop version for Google Drive too.
With it installed, you can download your main folders and files from Drive to your PC. Being connected to the internet, any edits or uploads that are immediately synchronized with the web version.
This is great for those who want to have an experience more similar to what we see with other programs of this type. It is also a good idea not to be distracted by your browser while you work.
It is horrible to think that you can lose an important file just because you hit the wrong key at the wrong time and accidentally deleted it. Fortunately, Google Drive has a trash can like any computer.
So everything you delete from Google Drive goes to that trash instantly. The items stay there for a long time until they are permanently deleted.
So, you still have a long chance of recovering any files you have deleted. Have it intentionally or not.
Considering that we are talking about a great storage service, it's good to know that there is good support for different file formats. Fortunately, this is not missing when using Google Drive. It currently supports the following formats:
- Compressed: ZIP, RAR, tar and gzip
- Audio: MP3, MPEG, WAV, ogg and opus
- Images: JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, TIFF and SVG
- Programming: CSS, HTML, PHP, C, CPP, H, HPP, JS, java and py
- Text: TXT
- Video: WebM, MPEG4, 3GPP, MOV, AVI, MPEGPS, WMV, FLV and ogg
- Autodesk AutoCad: DXF
- Illustrator: AI
- Photoshop: PSD
- Document: PDF
- PostScript: EPS and PS
- Excel: XLS and XLSX
- PowerPoint: PPT and PPTX
- Word: DOC and DOCX
- Edit files: key, numbers
Of course, it’s good to remember that new formats are added occasionally, so you’ll come across even more support when using Google Drive.
With this conversation about files in the cloud and automatic saving, you may be wondering about something very important. What if you want or need to use the service and don't have internet at the moment?
Fortunately, Google thought about this before and secured an offline mode for Google Drive. You only need to activate this mode on each of the devices that you may want to use that way in the future.
In this way, you can modify a text document at will on your PC and it will be synchronized in the online version when the internet is restored.
Did you like the tips?
Did you take advantage of our tips on how to use Google Drive in the best possible way? So don't forget to leave your comment telling us what you think of the tips and what is your most used Drive tool.