How to Set Up Google Drive Cloud Storage

Introduction

Google Drive allows you to share your files easily between all your devices, as well as access them from anywhere in the world on any other computer you can access.

This guide will walk you through setting up the Google Drive client software on your devices, to make it easier to get to your files from everywhere.

Google Drive

1 Account Check

In order to use Google Drive, you will need an account with Google.

This is the same account you use with an Android phone or tablet, or any other Google service. It is all based off a GMail account, which usually ends in @gmail.com for a personal account.

You may also use a business account, which may end in your company's domain, instead.

If you are unsure if your business account is also a Google account, contact your company's I.T. department and ask what services are available to you.

Check Your Google Account

It's easy to check if you already have a Google account your browser is already signed into.

This section is to help you check if you have a Google account. If you already know if you do or don't have an account, it is safe to skip these instructions.
  1. Open your preferred browser.
    Main Desktop Browsers.
  2. In the address bar at the top, type in accounts.google.com and press enter or return.
    Chrome browser with address highlighted.

If Your Browser Is Already Signed Into Your Google Account

You will either be asked for a password, or shown your account information.

Google accounts password prompt.

Google Accounts logged in.

If Your Browser Is Not Signed Into Your Google Account

You will be asked to sign in. If you wish, you can try to sign in with a Google account you remember, or proceed below for help creating an account.

Google Account sign in.

? Do you already have a Google account?

  1. Yes
  2. No

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Google Drive allows you to share your files easily between all your devices, as well as access them from anywhere in the world on any other computer you can access.

This guide will walk you through setting up the Google Drive client software on your devices, to make it easier to get to your files from everywhere.

Google Drive

In order to use Google Drive, you will need an account with Google.

This is the same account you use with an Android phone or tablet, or any other Google service. It is all based off a GMail account, which usually ends in @gmail.com for a personal account.

You may also use a business account, which may end in your company's domain, instead.

If you are unsure if your business account is also a Google account, contact your company's I.T. department and ask what services are available to you.

Check Your Google Account

It's easy to check if you already have a Google account your browser is already signed into.

This section is to help you check if you have a Google account. If you already know if you do or don't have an account, it is safe to skip these instructions.
  1. Open your preferred browser.
    Main Desktop Browsers.
  2. In the address bar at the top, type in accounts.google.com and press enter or return.
    Chrome browser with address highlighted.

If Your Browser Is Already Signed Into Your Google Account

You will either be asked for a password, or shown your account information.

Google accounts password prompt.

Google Accounts logged in.

If Your Browser Is Not Signed Into Your Google Account

You will be asked to sign in. If you wish, you can try to sign in with a Google account you remember, or proceed below for help creating an account.

Google Account sign in.

For our next step, we need to determine what kind of device you are using.

There are 2 main Operating Systems for personal computers currently available, Windows and macOS.

Windows
Windows runs on computers produced by multiple companies, such as Lenovo, Asus, Dell, Toshiba, Hewlett Packard, Acer, and Sony.Windows 10
macOS
Apple is the only company that makes macOS computers.macOS Mojave
  1. Open your preferred browser.
    Main Desktop Browsers.
  2. In the address bar at the top, type in google.com/drive/download, then push enter on your keyboard.
    Browser with address bar highlighted.
  3. Under Personal, select Download.
    Google Drive download page with Download under Personal highlighted.
  4. You will be prompted with the Terms of Service for Google Drive. Carefully read the documents presented from the links. When you have finished reading these documents, select Agree and download.
    Google Drive Terms of Service prompt with Agree and download highlighted.
  5. Once the file has completed downloading, open the file.
    Download complete and highlighted.
  6. Windows will ask if it is okay to install. Select Yes.
    UAC prompt for Google Drive Install with Yes highlighted.
  7. The Google Drive client will download and install automatically.
    Google Drive Installing.
  8. Once installation is complete, select Close.
    Installation complete with Close button highlighted.
  9. A short description of what Google Drive does will be shown. Select Get Started.
    Google Drive setup with Get Started button highlighted.
  10. Sign in with your Google account.
    Google account sign in prompt.
  11. A message letting you know that Google Drive will back up your files in the folders you select is displayed. Select Got It.
    Continuous backup message with Got It button highlighted.
  12. A list of the folders Google Drive will back up is displayed. The default selections are usually ideal for most people. Select Next at the bottom.
    Drive backup folders with Next highlighted.
  13. A message letting you know that Google Drive will create a special folder that is specifically easy to access across all your devices. Select Got it.
    Google Drive folder description with Got It button highlighted.
  14. Make sure Sync My Drive to this computer is checked. Select Start.
    Google Drive Setup with Sync My Drive and Start button highlighted.
  15. Google Drive will now be accessible from your System Tray in the corner of your screen, near the clock. Look for the small cloud symbol, and select it.
    Google Drive in System Tray highlighted.
  16. This will show the status of Google drive, and if it's syncing anything. Select the folder icon on the top.
    Google Drive status with folder highlighted.
  17. This will show your Google Drive folder on your computer. Files copied here will be quickly accessible from all devices you have Google Drive setup on, such as other computers, smartphones, and tablets.
    Google Drive folder.
Once you have the Google Sync client setup on your home computer, any files you place into the Google Drive folder will be accessible from any other computer with an Internet connection, provided you have your username and password.
  1. Open your preferred browser.
    Main Desktop Browsers.
  2. In the Address Bar at the top, type in drive.google.com and press return or enter.
    Browser with address bar highlighted.
  3. Sign in with your Google username and password.
    Google Drive sign-in.
  4. You will see your files here, and you can open, download, work on, and upload them from the webpage.
    Google Drive main page.
  5. When you are done, if the computer you are using is public; such as at work or a library, it's best to sign out. Select your user icon in the top right, and select Sign out.
    User menu with Sign out highlighted.
  1. Open your preferred browser.
    Main Desktop Browsers.
  2. In the address bar at the top, type in google.com/drive/download, then pushreturn on your keyboard.
    Browser with address bar highlighted.
  3. Under Personal, select Download.
    Google Drive download page with Download under Personal highlighted.
  4. You will be prompted with the Terms of Service for Google Drive. Carefully read the documents presented from the links. When you have finished reading these documents, select Agree and download.
    Google Drive Terms of Service prompt with Agree and download highlighted.
  5. Once the file has completed downloading, open the file.
    Safari Downloads with installer highlighted.
  6. The disk image will mount, this may take a few moments.
    Disk image opening.
  7. Drag Backup and Sync from Google to the Applications shortcut.
    Backup and sync installer with both icons highlighted.
  8. The program will copy to your Application folder.
    Application copying.
  9. Select Applications, then select Backup and Sync from Google.
    Applications with Backup and Sync from Google highlighted.
  10. Backup and Sync from Google will ask permission to run. Select Open.
    Permission to open dialog with Open highlighted.
  11. A welcome screen will open. Select Get Started.
    Welcome screen with Get Started highlighted.
  12. Sign in with your Google account.
    Google account sign-in prompt.
  13. A quick introduction screen is displayed. Select Got It.
    Introduction screen with Got It highlighted.
  14. Select the folders you'd like to backup to Google, most people will choose their Desktop, Documents, and Pictures. Once you've made your choices, select Next.
    Backup options with all folders selected and Next button highlighted.
  15. Another introduction screen is displayed. Select Got It.
    Sync folder introduction with Got It highlighted.
  16. Make sure Sync My Drive to this computer is selected, then select Start.
    Drive sync with sync my drive and start highlighted.
  17. You can access Google Drive from the icon next to the clock in the top-right. You can see the status of Google Drive sync here, such as if it's updating files. Select the Folder icon.
    Google Sync with folder icon highlighted.
  18. This will show your Google Drive folder on your computer. Files copied here will be quickly accessible from all devices you have Google Drive setup on, such as other computers, smartphones, and tablets.
    Google Drive folder view.

To continue, we need to know what Operating System your smartphone or tablet has.

There are 2 main Operating Systems for smartphones currently available, Android and iOS.

Android Smartphone
Android smartphones are produced by multiple companies, such as Samsung, LG, Motorola, Sony, Nokia, Lenovo, and HTC.Android Home Screen
iOS Smartphone
Apple is the only company that makes iOS smartphones.iOS Home Screen

Install Google Drive

  1. Open the App Store.
    iOS App Store
  2. Select Search in the bottom right corner.
    App Store Search Button.
  3. Type in google drive, and select Google Drive from the list.
    App store search with Google Drive highlighted.
  4. Select Get for Google Drive.
    Google Drive app store page with Get highlighted.

Configure Google Drive

The first time you launch Google Drive, you will need to sign into your Google Account.
  1. Launch Google Drive.
    Google Drive
  2. A welcome screen will open first. Select Sign In.
    Google Drive welcome with Sign In highlighted.
  3. You'll be asked to use your Google account to sign in. Select Continue.
    Drive requesting permission to use Google.com to sign in with Continue highlighted.
  4. Type in your Google email address, then select Next.
    Google Sign in with email address and Next highlighted.
  5. Enter your Google password, then select Next.
    Google sign in with password and Next highlighted.
  6. You'll be asked if you wish to use your iOS device to authorize sign-ins to your Google account. When you sign into Google from any other device, you'll be asked to look at your phone, and authorize the sign in. This provides additional security to your Google account. Select Allow.
    Google two-factor setup with Allow highlighted.

Use Google Drive

  1. Launch Google Drive.
    Google Drive
  2. Here you will see the files you've saved on Google drive. Select a file to view or edit that item.
    Google Drive main page.
  3. For further features, select the Menu in the top-left corner.
    Menu
    • My Drive - Shows you the Quick Access to your main files, as well as all your files below. This is the default item shown.
      My Drive
    • Computers - Show the files from whichever computer you select from the list.
      Computers
    • Shared with me - Show files shared with you on Google Drive.
      Shared with me
    • Recent - Shows files that were recently added or changed.
      Recent
    • Starred - Shows files that you have marked as important in Google Drive.
      Starred
    • Offline - Show files you've marked to be copied to your iOS device, even if you are offline. They are automatically synced when you are online.
      Offline
    • Trash - Show items you've recently deleted so you can retrieve them if deleting them was in error.
      Trash
    • Notifications - Show recent changes and additions to files on Google Drive.
      Notifications
Google Drive is installed and automatically setup by default on Android phones.

Verify Google Drive Is Up-To-Date

  1. Launch the Play Store on your smartphone.
    Google Play Store.
  2. Select the search bar at the top.
    Google Play Store with Search bar highlighted.
  3. Type in google drive, then select Google Drive from the list.
    Search for Google Drive with Google Drive highlighted.
  4. If an update is available, select Update.
    Google Drive store page with Update highlighted.
  5. Once updated, or if no update was available, select Open to open the app.
    Google Drive store page with Open highlighted.

Using Google Drive

  1. Launch Google Drive.
    Google Drive
  2. You will see the files you have on Google Drive here, as well as any folders you've created.
    Google Drive.
  1. Open your preferred browser and in the address bar at the top, type accounts.google.com/signup and press Enter or Return.
    Chrome browser with address bar highlighted.
  2. Enter your First and Last name. Choose a username and password and enter that as well. Once filled in, select Next.
    Create Google Account with First and Last name, Username, password and password conformation, and next button highlighted.
  3. Enter your phone number, then select Next.
    Verify phone number with phone number and Next highlighted
  4. You will receive a text message with a 6-digit security code. Enter it here, then select Verify.
    Verify phone number with verification code and Verify highlighted.
  5. You'll be asked for your personal information. Fill in each prompt, then select Next.
    Account Information with Phone number, recovery email, birthday, gender, and Next button highlighted.
  6. You'll be asked if you want to attach your phone number to your Google account for additional features from Google. Carefully read what is being offered, then select Skip or Yes, I'm in.
    Attach phone number with Skip and Yes I'm In highlighted
  7. Carefully read the terms and conditions, using the scroll bar to show them all. When you have read and understood everything, select I agree to continue.
    Privacy and Terms with scrollbar and I agree highlighted.
  8. Your Google account is all setup! You'll be shown your Google Account page, with further options to customize and secure your Google account.
    Google Account setup
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