Backing up your files with Google Drive

Most people think of Google Drive as an easy way to share files with other people or to work on the same file from different computers. In addition, Google Drive provides a cost-effective way to back up some of your current files.

There are two methods of using Google Drive to help you back up files:

  1. Make a copy of files you want to back up and move the copies into your computer's Google Drive folder. The copy will be synced to when your computer connects to the Internet. This method's advantage is that you are not changing the way you are using other folders on your computer. The disadvantage: you have to make a copy and move it into the Google Drive folder for it to be backed up.
  2. Move the files you want backed up directly into your computer's Google Drive folder. You can move entire folders into the Google Drive folder. This method's advantage: Every time you save a file, it is automatically synced to The disadvantage: Moving files into the Google Drive folder may not match how you have your computer files organized.

Unlimited free storage space

  • You can store and sync an unlimited number of files using Google Drive for free (with a 5 TB per file size limit).
  • Google Docs (Google documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, etc.) don't count against your Google Drive file limit.
  • Files owned by others and shared with you don't count against your Google Drive limit.
  • You can store just about any type of computer file in your Google Drive folder.

Automatic syncing

Google Drive automatically syncs the files that are in your computer's (local) Google Drive folder with those stored at

  • When you are connected to the Internet and save a file in your local Google Drive folder, the file is automatically synced to
  • If you're not connected to the Internet, Google Drive will automatically sync any new or changed files in your computer's local Google Drive folder the next time your computer connects to the Internet.

More information

Visit our Known issues with Google Drive page to learn about some of Google Drive's limitations.

For complete information about Google Drive, go to's Google Drive Support Web site.

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