How to Use Google Drive

How to Use Google Drive

I was on the phone with my mom the other day and she was trying to send me a rather large file through her email. The attachment was taking quite a bit of time to load and I casually asked her, “Wouldn’t you rather use Google Drive for this?”

Without missing a beat, my mom responded, “What the heck is Google Drive?”

I smiled, “You know. It’s like having a USB flash drive anywhere you are.” She paused and responded thoughtfully, “Is that like sending it up to the cloud? How do you get into the cloud? Where does it go?” I chuckled. Even I’m miffed at the new technologies that are out there.

Google Drive is a great way to store pictures, files, documents, and any soft copy items that you may want to look up or share with someone at some point in the future.

The wonderful thing about Google Drive is that, unlike sending a document in an email, Google Drive makes it easier to find your document as you won’t have to search for that sent email with that specific document attached. It truly is like having a flash drive anywhere you are.

In our case, my mom had a very large file that I needed to sign and return to her. Here’s what she did…

  1. Log in to your Gmail account and scroll over to the upper right hand side of the screen. Click the square group of boxed icons (it looks like there are nine miniature boxes lumped together into one big box).

  2. Clicking the icon will open up the apps that are currently on your Gmail account. Google Drive is already preset into the apps on this list so you don’t have to worry about having to download any extra stuff – it’s already there for you.

  3. Once the box opens up, you’ll see the Google Drive icon. It’s a triangle shaped icon and has the word “Drive” directly underneath it. If you don’t see this icon, simply click on “more” button to show all of your icons.

  4. You can drag your Google Drive icon to any place within that app box. As you can see on the screenshot below, I like to keep my Google Drive icon at the very top left hand side as this is one of the apps that I use the most within Google.

  5. How to find Google Drive

  6. Once you click onto Google Drive, you’ll see the files that you already have loaded to Google Drive. You’ll also see two main options 1.) Create a document or 2.) Upload an existing document. In the image below, you can see this in the top left corner of the screen where the arrow is pointing.

    To upload your image or file, click on the ‘Upload” image where the arrow in the below screenshot is pointing. You will then be asked to select your file or drag and drop it into the respective box.

    Google Drive

    Note: You may be able to view items in your Google Drive even if you are not connected to the Internet. This is especially helpful if you are traveling or if you are in a location that does not have Internet and you need to find a specific file.

  7. Google Drive also allows you to create folders within the drive and even lets you set who you give permission to access the file. This is the type of folder that my mom and I created. She created the folder, added in her documents, and then added me to the “shared” users account. This allowed me to access the file folder from my Google Drive as well.

    Here’s a screenshot of what it looks like once a folder is created and you upload a file. Google Drive will ask you if you want to share the file, simply click “Upload and Share.”

  8. Upload a file to Google Drive

I then printed out the document that my mom had uploaded, signed my name where I needed to, and then re-attached it back onto Google Drive with a new file name in the same shared folder so she could find the latest document. And we were done!

Technology is much easier to use today than it was ten years ago. Unfortunately, not all of us have the ability to pick up every new technology that comes out and there definitely is a learning curve with every new tool. Hopefully, this helps make you feel more comfortable in using Google Drive for your photos and files.


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