Google Drive – Web versus Desktop applications


So far, all of the work we’ve done in Google Drive has been through the web application. However, there is an additional tool that makes Google Drive much more powerful: the Desktop application. This app can be downloaded from Google, or it may already be installed on your computer. To find out, for a Windows machine click the Start button, then type in Google Drive. See figure to the left.

From there, you will be asked to log in to Google, asked if you want to report crashes to Google (you don’t have to do this one), and then asked if you want to start your Sync. Do it. When you do, you will see a little Google icon appear in the lower right corner of your screen that looks like this: When it shimmers, it means that your files are ‘syncing’.

Once you have completed these steps, you will have finished setting up Google Drive Desktop app. What it does is it creates a folder in your computer that (in theory) should always match your My Drive. Note that it does NOT include files from Shared with Me, so if you don’t see a file in your Desktop app that you know has been shared, then you probably just haven’t added it yet to your My Drive.

Remember that you can use Google Drive to both create Google Docs, but you can also store ANY kind of file you want in your 30GB of space. MS Office files, Adobe PDFs, OneNotes, they can all be uploaded in your My Drive. Without the Desktop app, you would have to save the file in one place on your computer, and then upload it separately to Google Drive. With the Desktop app, you can simply save files into your Google Drive Desktop folder and they will automatically upload and sync to Google Drive. You can still access these files if your internet connection dies – just open up the files and save them as you normally would. When your internet connection comes back, they will sync back with Google Drive.

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