How to use a Google Backup and Sync desktop app like a pro

(Credit: Tom McNamara/

In a universe where we have a high-speed tie to a internet in a pockets whenever we’re in a flattering populated area, storing files online instead of usually on your device isn’t usually endorsed to emanate excess for critical papers and media. It’s also really available to be means to send chunks of your life into a cloud and download them years later, maybe on a other side of a world, on a opposite device.

If you’ve been holding off on regulating cloud storage, it can indeed be flattering candid to use, once you’ve figured out how to navigate a mobile app that fundamentally comes along with these services. Taking Google Drive as an example, let’s travel we by all a ways we can store, download, share and generally get a many out of cloud storage.

SEE: How to use a practical private network (VPN) to boost your internet privacy

Some basis about Google Drive

By default, we get 15 gigabytes of space for free, though this cloud ability is common opposite that Google account, that also includes Gmail (download for iOS or Android) and Google Photos (download for iOS or Android). If you’re usually saving content documents, afterwards you’ll substantially never run out. But PDFs, media files and backups of whole folders can fast pull we to a cap, in that box you’ll need to cocktail for a monthly subscription.

Thankfully, a subsequent step adult gets we 100GB for usually $20 a year, that works out to $1.67 a month. If we ever wish to take a demeanour during your options, daub a hamburger menu symbol in a top left of a Drive app and afterwards daub a Storage territory during a bottom to see Google’s storefront.

Getting a paid subscription also grants we a ability to supplement adult to 5 other family members to your cloud storage account, and we get entrance to reward tech support and a occasional understanding (like $5 off a squeeze in a Play Store). You can switch between opposite skeleton during any time, and a changes will take outcome right away.

Your Google Drive is also permitted during any time by a web browser during Since we can use your browser to download files from Google Drive to your device, it can be a permitted approach to send essence from your phone to a laptop or desktop PC.

Deciding on how to correlate with your Google Drive comment

There’s dual categorical ways to capacitate Google Drive storage for files on your computer: You can download Google’s giveaway Backup and Sync desktop app, or we can entrance Google Drive from a web browser as formerly mentioned and usually click-and-drag your files from your mechanism into a web browser window.

Note that a Google Chrome browser (download for iOS or Android) can accept both particular files and whole folders, since Mozilla Firefox (download for iOS or Android) is singular to particular files.

Clicking-and-dragging is permitted for unscheduled record transfers, though a Backup and Sync app lets we report uploads and downloads, so it’s value an explanation.

Assuming that you’re regulating Windows, Backup and Sync should be permitted from your Start menu after you’ve downloaded and commissioned a desktop app. Just daub a Windows pivotal on your keyboard, form backup and sync and click a hunt outcome labeled “Backup and Sync from Google.”

It might take a notation for a desktop app to load. When it does, click a “Get Started” symbol and follow a on-screen instructions to bond your PC to your Google Drive account.

Setting adult a Google Backup and Sync desktop app

By default, a desktop app will name your Documents and Pictures folders, and whatever files and folders are sitting on your desktop. You can uncheck a boxes subsequent to those locations to omit them, that is arguably a good thought for your initial knowledge with a app. Otherwise, we could be inadvertently stranded with gigabytes of uploads right away.

If we click Choose Folder, we can name flattering many any folder on your computer. If we usually wish to emanate a folder to sync files with Google Drive, instead of subsidy them adult to a cloud for archival purposes, a desktop app’s setup routine will give we that choice shortly.

Also note that your print uploads will use “original quality” by default, since Google’s space-optimized “high quality” choice will not count opposite your storage limit, in sell for a little rebate in picture quality. Unless you’re a pro photographer, we’d suggest “high quality” for now. You can change this any time.

And by default, your picture uploads will go to Google Drive instead of Google Photos, unless we check a box during a bottom of that setup screen. If we take a lot of pictures, we’d suggest enabling a Google Photos choice to assistance keep your collection orderly and searchable.

When you’re finished creation your choices, click a Start button. This completes a information backup territory of a desktop app’s setup. On a subsequent screen, we name if we wish a folder whose essence will invariably sync with your Google Drive account.

(Credit: Screenshot: Tom McNamara/

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Backup folders contra sync folders

The disproportion between a backup folder and a sync folder is that changes we make to a synced record in a cloud will be automatically reflected in a chronicle of a record that’s in your sync folder on your computer. If we cgange or undo a record in a cloud that came from a backup folder, it will be easy with a record on your PC a subsequent time Google checks for an refurbish to that file.

So if we don’t caring about syncing and we usually wish to use Google Drive for redundancy, we can uncheck a box subsequent to “Sync My Drive to this computer” and click a Start symbol on a bottom right. If we confirm to sync, a app will open your Google Drive sync folder during this point, and we can start boring files and folders over.

The desktop app in your complement tray

To conduct Google’s desktop app, click a idol in your complement tray that has a cloud with an arrow indicating up. This will open a compress window where we can see a email residence compared with this account, how many Google Drive space you’re regulating and how many space we have left.

To a right are shortcuts to your sync folder, a web browser chronicle of Google Drive, Google Photos and a three-dot menu for handling a desktop app itself. To change a desktop app’s settings, click a three-dot menu and name Preferences.

Note that a desktop app in your complement tray will keep a using list of your many new files. This is designed to make those files easier to share, that we do by clicking a idol to a right of your record of choice.

This opens adult a same share dialog that we see in Google Docs. By default, a Backup and Sync app will concede this record to be edited by a recipient, though we can change that in a dialog window by clicking a drop-down menu depicting a coop with a little downward-facing arrow subsequent to it. This will give we dual other options: “can comment” and “can view.”

As prolonged as we leave a Backup and Sync app in your complement tray, it will sensitively do a pursuit in a background. To tighten a app, click a complement tray icon, afterwards a three-dot menu, and afterwards name “Quit Backup and Sync.” It will take a few seconds to determine that there’s no evident work still left to be done, and afterwards it will close.

Be certain to check behind subsequent week after a Presidents’ Day break, since we’ll be articulate some-more about how to use Google Drive in a web browser and around a central mobile app.

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