Google Drive is a file storage, document creation and collaboration tool. Within Google Drive there are several document types:
Google Docs refers to the editor for Google documents. Similarly, Google Sheets refers to the spreadsheets editor, and Google Slides refers to the presentations editor. Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, along with Drawings and Forms, are online documents that live in the cloud and provide real-time collaboration features. Note that the term "Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides" is sometimes used to refer to all the Google online document editors, including Drawings and Forms. (The term "Google Docs" also previously referred to all the editors; you might still find that to be the case in some situations, but that usage is being phased out.)Google Drive is the place to access all your files, including Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, and Forms, as well as local files that you sync to the cloud. If you used Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides prior to April, 2012, Google Drive replaces and enhances what you've previously known as the Google Documents List.
Click here to learn more.
With Google Drive, your data is always backed up on the web, so no matter what happens to your devices, your files are safe. You get the same business-grade data protection and security advantages that you get with Google Apps, as described in Google Apps security and privacy.
All your non-Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides files in your local Google Drive folder, (such as PDFs, Word documents, and Excel spreadsheets), are always accessible when you’re offline. To see your cloud-based Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides when you’re offline, you can enable Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides offline for Chrome browser users.
On Android devices, files you mark available offline will be available even when you don’t have a wifi or cellular connection.
Google Drive supports SSO (Single Sign-On). Once SSO users install Google Drive for Mac/PC and try to authenticate with Google Apps, Google Drive will redirect users to enter their SSO password online. After this, no special steps are required to use Google Drive.
Customize Google Drive by changing your online settings or desktop preferences at any time.
Google Drive on the web settings
Change any of the following online settings in drive.google.com by clicking the gear icon in the upper corner and selecting “Settings” from the drop-down menu:
- Time zone
- Bold any updated items
- Show right-to-left controls
- Turn on offline access to Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Try it now. Change your online settings.
Google Drive for your Mac/PC preferences
Adjust any of the following preferences on your computer by opening the Google Drive settings menu.
- Disconnect account: Connect your Google Drive desktop folder to another Google Account (not recommended).
- Buy more storage: Purchase additional Google Drive storage.
- Only sync some folders to this computer: Select which My Drive folders to sync to your computer. De-select the folders you don’t want to sync.
- Sync Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides files: Sync all Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides files inMy Drive to your computer.
- Visit Shared With Me to sync shared items: Add files and folders from My Drive to Shared with me to sync to your computer.
- Start Google Drive automatically when you start your computer: Launches Google Drive and starts syncing My Drive to the Google Drive for desktop folder on your computer.
- Send crash reports to Google: Share your feedback about how Google Drive performs on your PC or Mac (we won’t collect your personal information).
- Misc: Show file sync status icons.
- Proxy: Switch between "Direct connection" and "Automatically detect proxy" settings.
Google Drive, Gmail, and Google+ Photos give you 30 GB of or unlimited storage, so you can keep your files, emails, and photos accessible from any device, anywhere. If you reach the free storage limit, everything in Google Drive, Google+ Photos, and Gmail will still be accessible, but you won't be able to create or add anything new over the free storage limit.
Google Drive and Google+ Photos: If you've reached or exceeded the free storage limit, you won't be able to sync or upload any new files, and syncing between your Google Drive folder and your Drive on the web stops completely. You'll still be able to create Google documents, since they don't take up any storage space. For Google+ Photos, you will only be able to upload new photos and videos under certain size limits.
Individually allocated online storage for personal files and documents
Users leverage the Drive web UI, the locally installed Google Drive sync client, their mobile devices/tablets, and the Google document editors/apps to manage, edit, share and sync their files.
Users start with 30GB of personal storage space, but additional space can be purchased.
It's what Drive is best at doing.
No. A centralized repository to maintain and view an organization’s published, curated and Updatable assets, files or documents.
Document ownership model does not translate from the traditional file system.
Interaction with web UI and Drive client can result in documents showing up in unexpected places
Shared documents don’t natively sync with the Drive client
30G combine mail and drive for every user
Any native Google docs do not take up quota
Yes, you can import the following types of documents into Google Docs:
- Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx)
- Microsoft Excel (.xls, .xlsx)
- Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt, .pps, .pptx)
- Rich Text (.rft)
- Plain text (.txt)
- HTML (.html)
- PDF (.pdf)
- Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop (.ai, .psd)
- Autodesk AutoCad (.dxf)
- Apple Pages (.PAGES)
- Scalable Vector Graphics (.SVG)
- PostScript (.EPS, .PS)
- TrueType (.TTF)
- XML Paper Specification (.XPS)
- Comma-separated values (.csv)
- Tab-separated values (.tsv)
- OpenDocument Text (.odt)
- OpenDocument Spreadsheet (.ods)
- StarOffice (.sxw)
Google Docs is an online word processor that lets you create and format text documents and collaborate with other people in real time. Here's what you can do with Google Docs:
- Upload a Word document and convert it to a Google document
- Add flair and formatting to your documents by adjusting margins, spacing, fonts, and colors — all that fun stuff
- Invite other people to collaborate on a document with you, giving them edit, comment or view access
- Collaborate online in real time and chat with other collaborators — right from inside the document
- View your document's revision history and roll back to any previous version
- Download a Google document to your desktop as a Word, OpenOffice, RTF, PDF, HTML or zip file
- Translate a document to a different language
- Email your documents to other people as attachmentsTo learn more about Google Docs, click here.
Google Sheets is an online spreadsheet app that lets you create and format spreadsheets and simultaneously work with other people. Here's what you can do with Google Sheets:
- Import and convert Excel, .csv, .txt and .ods formatted data to a Google spreadsheet
- Export Excel, .csv, .txt and .ods formatted data, as well as PDF and HTML files
- Use formula editing to perform calculations on your data, and use formatting make it look the way you'd like
- Chat in real time with others who are editing your spreadsheet
- Create charts with your data
- Embed a spreadsheet — or individual sheets of your spreadsheet — on your blog or websiteFor more information about Google spreadsheets, check here.
Google Slides is an online presentations app that allows you to show off your work in a visual way. Here's what you can do with Google Slides:
- Create and edit presentations
- Edit a presentation with friends or coworkers, and share it with others effortlessly
- Import .pptx and .pps files and convert them to Google presentations
- Download your presentations as a PDF, a PPT, or a .txt file
- Insert images and videos into your presentation
- Publish and embed your presentations in a websiteFor more information about Google presentations, click here.
Google Forms is a useful tool to help you plan events, send a survey, give students a quiz, or collect other information in an easy, streamlined way. A Google form can be connected to a Google spreadsheet. If a spreadsheet is linked to the form, responses will automatically be sent to the spreadsheet. Otherwise, users can view them on the “Summary of Responses” page accessible from the Responses menu.
You can create a form from your Drive or from any existing spreadsheet.
For more information about Google Forms, click here.
- Image or PDF files obtained using flatbed scanners
- Photos taken with digital cameras or mobile phones
For best results, the image or PDF files need to meet certain requirements:
- Resolution: High-resolution files work best. As a rule of thumb, we recommend each line of text in the documents to be of at least 10 pixels height.
- Orientation: Only documents with horizontal left-to-right text are recognized. If you've accidentally scanned or captured a document in a different orientation, please use a program to retouch and edit images to rotate them before uploading to Google Drive.
- Languages, fonts and character sets: Our OCR engine supports a number of character sets, but support for non-Latin character sets is still experimental. You can select the language of your document from a drop-down menu. You'll get better results if your file includes common fonts such as Arial and Times New Roman.
- Image quality: Sharp images with even lighting and clear contrasts will work best. Motion blur or bad camera focus will decrease the quality of the detected text.File size limitations
- The maximum size for images (.jpg, .gif, .png) and PDF files (.pdf) is 2 MB. For PDF files, we only look at the first 10 pages when searching for text to extract.
When processing your document, we attempt to preserve basic text formatting such as bold and italic text, font size and type, and line breaks. However, detecting these elements is difficult and we may not always succeed. Other text formatting and structuring elements such as bulleted and numbered lists, tables, text columns, and footnotes or endnotes are likely to get lost.
OCR can take longer than other uploads into Google Drive. Image files (.jpg, .gif, .png) can take up to 30 seconds and PDF files (.pdf) can take up to a minute.
You can have as many documents in a folder as you desire, but you should know that a folder in Drive can only display up to 2000 files in the web interface. Items beyond that will not show, but can retrieved using search.
Avoid placing more than 2000 files in a single folder
If you'd like to include a link to a URL in your Google spreadsheet, simply enter the URL in the cell. Whenever this cell is selected, a small pop-up dialog appears. Click the URL from the dialog. If you want a cell to include a URL without a hyperlink, click Remove in the window that appears when you point your mouse to the link. If you want to add the hyperlink again, right-click the cell and select Show hyperlinks.
If you'd like to include a link to a specific URL, but you want this link to be indicated by text (for example, instead of "www.google.com" appearing in your cell, you want the viewer to be able to link to Google.com from the phrase "search the web"), enter this hyperlink formula into the cell:
=hyperlink("www.google.com";"search the web")
Replace "www.google.com" with the URL of your choice, and "search the web" with the text of your choice. After you've done this, only the text linking to that URL appears in the cell. Click the text to open the pop-up dialog again with the URL.
If Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides is appearing in a language you don't understand or don't want to use, you can change the language by following these steps:
- In your Drive, click the gear icon in the top right and select Document settings.
- On the Settings page, click the drop-down menu beside Language.
- Select the language you want to use.
- Click Save.
Here are the languages that you can choose from in Google Docs:
Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English (US), English (UK), Filipino, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malayalam, Marathi, Norwegian, Oriya, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukranian, and Vietnamese.
Note: You may need to enable cookies to ensure that your language selection doesn't change. If you're using Google Chrome, follow these instructions to allow cookies. If you're using another browser, follow the instructions in your browser's help center to allow cookies:
Windows Internet Explorer
Not at this time.
Yes, you can share via Google Groups.
Individual files can be organized, but if folders are shared, you should not attempt to re-organize - just "Add To Drive" and leave it at that.
Can we see all changes made to a document (who, what, and when) and revert back to an earlier version if needed?
For native Google documents, revision history is built right in. For native docs being sync'd via Drive client, you can right-click the document in the Web UI and select "Manage Revisions" to see previous saves (it won't be as detailed).
When sharing to a group of 200 or more members, the shared document does not automatically show up in those members Shared with me.
Provide users with the links to the document/folders they need.
Sharing a folder will immediately be available to users accept when sharing documents or folders with a complicated hierarchy of subfolders or to a huge group of people, the document could take up to 48 hours to appear in Shared with me section of those users.
Send link of document/folder(s) directly to users
Flatten folder hierarchy to reduce the time for permissions to be inherited down
Inheriting permissions to subfolders when they are applied at the root folder cascade down through the subfolders when the permissions are 1st applied. However, if a user's access is explicitly removed within a subfolder, re-adding her at the root folder doesn't re-add her back to the permissions of said subfolder.
Explicitly re-add the removed user back to the subfolder
When you install the Google Drive for Mac/PC sync client, it creates a folder on your computer named Google Drive. Anything you put in this folder is synchronized with Google Drive on the web, and also becomes available on all your Google Drive devices.
Google Drive provides bi-directional sync. Changes you make online are reflected on all your devices, and vice-versa.
If you choose not to install the sync client, Google Drive on the web is the place to access your Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, plus any files you manually upload to Google Drive. You can also still access your Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and uploaded files via mobile apps.
Google Drive for Mac/PC supports only HFS+ (on OS X) and NTFS (on Windows). There is currently no support for network volumes (e.g. SMB or NFS) or other file systems such as FAT32.
When Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides are synced down to my computer, how will they appear on my computer? Can I edit them on my computer?
Synced Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides are stored on your computer as files that are essentially pointers to the web documents. These small "pointer files" have Google extensions (such as .gdoc, .gsheet, and .gslides), and do not count toward your storage quota. If you open these files on your computer, the Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides open up in your default web browser, where you can edit them online as usual.
To open Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides when you're offline, enable Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides offline for Chrome browser users.
Where are my synced files actually stored? Are they being removed from my computer and stored online exclusively?
Files will remain in your Google Drive folder on your computer, and a synced copy is also stored online. The exception is Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, which are just pointers on your computer to the web resources, as described above.
Your non-Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides files still exist on your computer, as usual. Future changes to the files will no longer sync, because your computer won't be able to authenticate with Google Drive.
However, because Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides files are just pointers to web resources, a valid user name and password will be required to access them.
Google Drive for Mac/PC currently does not throttle bandwidth, so it might consume the bulk of your Internet connection at times. If this becomes an issue, you can select Pause from the Google Drive for Mac/PC menu at any time to pause the sync.
Multiple revisions of a file are available online, but only the latest version is available on your computer. The online revisions are not counted toward your storage quota unless you’ve explicitly decided to keep older revisions.
When a file in Google Drive on the web is included in multiple folders, is it downloaded once or to multiple local folders?
Google Drive downloads the file in each location on your local machine, but only one version counts against your storage quota.
Each user gets 30 GB free storage (15 GB for Google Apps free edition, a legacy product) and additional storage can be purchased. Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides do not count toward storage quotas. This storage is available for Google Drive, Gmail, and Picasa Web Albums.
The maximum individual file size that can be synced in Google Drive is 10 GB for files that aren't converted to Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. (Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides have different size limits.)
No, files that have been shared with you never count toward your storage limit, even if you move them to My Drive and sync them. (Files you sync do take up space on your hard drive.)
Google Drive storage is for users and Google Cloud Storage is for developers.
You can sync all items in your Google Drive on the web or, if you don't have sufficient storage on your computer, you can choose to sync only a subset of folders in your Google Drive. See Choose what syncs to your computer to learn more.
The user can still access any files already in Google Drive, but they'll receive a warning and won't be able to add additional files until they are under quota or have their quota increased.
The two match pretty well on 85% of the feature set. For more advanced, high volume data services, keeping documents in native format is recommended.
What is the difference between uploading folders/files and the sync process you went through earlier?
Nothing really. One syncs from you local computer, the other from the web interface. You do have the option from the upload in the web interface to convert your documents to the corresponding native Google document.
How does google spreadsheets compare to excel 2010? Is it wise to convert when i am used to working with complex functions and macros?
Most likely more advanced features will not convert. You can always make a copy of the document and try the conversion to see how close it will get you.
This is what the local Drive client is for - to keep those documents in native format and edit them using Office natively.
Can Google Docs handled "linked" files. (eg one excel sheet gets data from another excel file?) or is this functionality lost when converting?
If transferring from Excel to Google Sheets, those links will be lost. Google has it's own method to link sheets (importRange() function)
Is there a summary list of functionality that is lost during conversion - esp with complex Excel sheets
I have received a word document with graphs in Gmail. If I download the doc, all info is there, but if I open as a Google Drive, the legends and additional info from the graphs are gone!
More complex items in a document don't always transfer properly. This is where using the Drive sync client and opening in Word is recommended.
You can, but if you lost anything in the original transfer, it probably won't come back.
Keep it native
When I try to uploaded a word document with tables, the format has not been maintained. Google doc did not maintained the merged cells. Is there anything we can do about that?
Keep it native
Yes, but using the Drive client in this scenario is preferred.
Files that are uploaded or synced into Docs in their native file format (not converted to Google Docs) are limited to a 10GB file size.
When users work on files together (E.g. MS Office) without using the Sync client, they need to download them locally to their desktop, edit as needed, and then re-upload the file.
When re-uploading the revised file, users right click on the file in the Drive web interface, go to Manage revisions, and then upload the latest version from their desktop
Files that are uploaded or synced into Docs in their native file format (not converted to Google Docs) are limited to a 10GB file size.
Mobile apps for Android and iOS devices provide on-the-go access to your Google Drive. You can use these apps to find and open your files, share them, star them, or anything else you can do with Google Drive online.
Google Drive for Android: You can find the Google Drive Android app at the Google Play Store. See Google Drive on Android phones and tablets to learn more, including supported Android versions, installation instructions, and user help.
Google Drive for iOS: You can find the Google Drive iOS app at the App Store on your device. See Google Drive on iPhone and iPad for requirements, installation, and user instructions.
Other devices and mobile browsers: See Google Drive on other devices and mobile browsers to learn more.
Yes... click here to learn more.
Yes of course. Click here to learn more.
It depends... click here to learn more.
Access Google Drive even when you're not connected to the Internet.
Internet outages and long plane rides shouldn't prevent you from working in Google Drive. Set up offline access so that the next time you're offline you'll still be able to view Google documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and drawings, shuffle folders around, and edit files stored in your Google Drive folder.
Set up offline access
Follow these steps to enable offline access on your computer. Keep in mind that offline access is available only when you’re using Chromeor a Chrome OS device. If you use Chrome OS, there's no need to complete these steps, as offline access is already set up for you.
- From drive.google.com, click More on the left-hand side of the screen.
- Select Offline Docs.
- Setting up offline access is a two-step process. First, click the blue button that says Get the app. If you already have the
4. You'll be taken to the Chrome web store. Click Add to Chrome in the upper-right corner of the browser window.
Once the app is installed, you'll be taken to a Chrome page with the Google Drive app icon. To return to Drive, click the Google Drive icon.
5. On the right side of the dialog on the Offline Docs page, click the blue button that says Enable offline.
Only one Google account per Chrome profile can set up offline access to Drive. If you are unable to set up offline access because another user has already done so, you can create a new Chrome profile and then follow the above steps to add offline access for your account. Learn how to create a new Google Chrome profile.
If you're using Chrome OS and you're unable to set up offline access because another user has already done so, sign in as another Chrome OS user.
Google documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and drawings
You can view Google documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and drawings without an Internet connection. You can also edit Google documents, presentations, and drawings while offline. View access isn't available for Google forms. Learn more about using Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drawings offline.
You can also view files such as PDFs, Microsoft Office files, and images, from your Google Drive folder even when you're disconnected from the Internet. Any changes you've made to synced files while offline will sync to all devices with a time stamp when you reconnect to the Internet.
If you no longer want to access your Drive offline, click the gear icon in the upper-right corner of your browser window and select Stop using Docs offline.
Do you have more than one Google account, such as a personal @gmail.com account and your @company.com account?
Do you want to keep your documents from the two accounts separate from each other without having to constantly log out of one account and into the other?
Do you want to keep your bookmarks, themes, and settings separate from everyone else’s?
You can add new users to Chrome to keep personalized copies of Chrome on the same computer.
- Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar and select Settings.
- In the “Users” section, click Add new user.
- A confirmation dialog appears, choose a picture and enter a name for the new Chrome user. Note: When you add a new Chrome user a desktop shortcut is created by default. If you don’t want a desktop shortcut uncheck the “Add desktop shortcut” checkbox.
- Click Create.
- A new window for the user appears, with a picture you've chosen for the user in the top corner. Here, you can sign in to Chrome with a Google Account to associate the account with the user. Once signed in, all the bookmarks, apps, extensions, theme, and browser settings for the user will be synced to the account.
Create as many Chrome users as you have Google accounts you would like to easily toggle between.
After adding the first user account to Chrome, you should see the icon you chose in the upper left corner (PC) or upper right corner (Mac) of the Chrome window now.
In order to switch from one account to the other, simply click on the current icon and select the icon of the account you would like to switch to.