guide with step by step and tips to enjoy the best of the tool – WAU

Google Drive is a cloud storage tool that offers a variety of utility applications, such as: spreadsheets, documents, presentations, calendar and more.

You certainly need access to your files away from home. Whether on a cell phone, notebook or work computer, it is common that we need to move our information back and forth, share and modify these documents.

Maybe you’re my age, and I used to carry floppy boxes around. Each with its glorious 1.44 megabytes of available space. Enough to store only or two photos, the ones you have by the hundreds on your phone and post on Instagram every day.

Maybe you’re younger, and you’ve spent your digital teenage years with pendrives hanging from the keychain, or rewritable CDs in your backpack.

Anyway, if you still use any of these methods, you are left behind, friend. With cloud storage tools, this is all a dinosaur thing.

To get you out of prehistory, we have prepared this guide. You will learn how to masterfully use one of the most complete systems out there today: Google Drive.

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What is Google Drive?

Google Drive is part of Google Apps, the application ecosystem that Google has developed to make life easier for everyone.

He is responsible for maintaining his synchronized files between different machines and the internet, in its space of storage with Google.

But reducing Drive just to storage space is an injustice.

After all, paired with the other apps in the ecosystem, it not only makes your files available, real-time collaboration and sharing their.

All of this in a very easy to use package, from your computer to your cell phone.

What does Google Apps include?

As I said, the balcony here is not the Drive itself, but its ecosystem. It is available free for individuals and it costs cheap for companies.

Thing $ 5 per user / month. Even with the unfavorable exchange rate, it is still a great cost / benefit.

In the package you find:

  • Gmail: one of the best email clients to date
  • Drive: cloud storage
  • Docs: Text editor, such as Word and Writer
  • Spreadsheets: Spreadsheet editor, there Excel
  • Presentations: To make slideshows, such as powerpoint
  • Hangouts: Chat, with voice, video and screensharing support
  • Calendar: To organize appointments and tasks
  • Contacts: Smart contact and email list

There are still tools for building web pages (Google Sites), a social network that almost nobody uses (Google+) and also controls and security systems for companies (Apps Vault and Admin Console).

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What are the benefits of Google Drive?

Probably the biggest strength of Google Drive is its very low entry barrier.

I mean, it’s very easy to start to use the product and benefit from it. It takes a few minutes for a user who is there for the first time to understand the general logic of things and start making good use of it.

With prices starting at zero reais, it is also a very economical alternative to other packages like Microsoft Office.

Even in your paid plans, storage is fairly priced and its ability to create, To edit and collaborate online documents is just amazing.

Another strong point is that practically any operating system is supported. In addition to running smoothly right from your browser, there are plugins for Chrome and applications for iOS and Android, as Windows and Mac.

For those using Linux or Windows Phone, there are still no native applications, but the service is available via Google Sync or through the system browser. By this same method it is also possible to access apps on more exotic systems like MIUI or Ubuntu Phone.

It’s also nice to remember that Drive syncs other files like Photos, videos, compressed files and proprietary formats of other software, such as Photoshop and AutoCad without problems.

For these files it is not possible to edit online, but they will still be protected and synchronized between your machines. The size limit is 5 TB (that’s right, WILL HAVEbytes). More than enough for most people.

What are the disadvantages of Google Drive?

Despite being ridiculously useful, not everything here is flowers. Google Drive also has its flaws.

The main one is that the files created by the Docs, Spreadsheets, Forms and Slides applications are not really synchronized with the computer. What the program does is put a placeholder, a kind of marker, that tells you the name of the file and its location, but does not allow you to edit it outside the system.

So, if you synchronize your spreadsheet folder, for example, you will know how many they have, their names and location, but you need to return to Spreadsheets to work on them.

This is not much of a problem when the internet connection is stable, but we know that this is not always true in London lands.

Another problem is that if you do not have access to native applications, as in Windows phones, the mobile versions are a bit clunky and do not serve to do any minimally sophisticated work.

How to use Google Drive?

There are two main ways to access your files in Drive: via synchronization on your machine (Windows and Mac, natively) or through the web client. For either, you will need a Google account.

Accessing via web client

To access through your browser, just go to

The supported browsers are:

  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Safari
  • Microsoft Edge / Internet Explorer

If you use others, like Opera, you may still have access to your files, but some functions may not be performed correctly.

In Google Calendar, for example, you can consult your appointments, but not edit or add anything.

In the Docs, Spreadsheets and Slides applications, preview errors and unexpected page breaks can occur.

The offline editing mode, which, although limited is very useful, only works on Google Chrome.

Accessing via application

To install Google Drive, you can log in to your account, click on the gear in the upper right corner, and select the option “Download Drive”.

how to use google drive

You can also go to and download the executable from there. This page also has shortcuts for the Android and iOS mobile apps.

When clicking on the download button, you need to accept the terms of use before downloading the installer.

how to use google drive: Installer screen. Just download the file from the official website!

The installer doesn’t even have a megabyte, and will download quickly. When you open it for the first time it will download the files needed to run. Here it took less than 30 seconds!

Then, a brief setup will be presented to configure the program. The first step is to sign in with your Google credentials. Then, 4 screens are presented with some information about the application.

Then a “Google Drive” folder will be created, even with a cute icon, which is your shortcut to send and synchronize your files. Look:

how to use google drive: Drive folder icon in Windows 10

In your notification bar, next to the clock, there will also be a new icon, indicating that synchronization is active:

how to use google drive: notification bar icon

I know, I have a lot of files.

The step that I recommend you do immediately is right-click on this icon, then click on the three dots and go to “Preferences”.

how to use google drive: drive menu

There you can choose whether to synchronize all your folders, or just a part of them. You may not want to synchronize work files on your home computer or vice versa, for example.

how to use google drive: preferences menu

It is also possible to see your available space, choose about the program’s automatic startup and place limits on the available bandwidth for upload and download.

Now that the program is configured, just place the files you have synchronized into your folder and access them from anywhere!

Champion tips on making the most of Google Drive

Now that you’ve understood the basics of how Google Drive works, it’s time to put it to work! Here are some ways to get the best out of the tool:

Ensure your security with two-factor authentication

If you use passwords like your birth date, your dog’s name or girlfriend’s nickname, just stop.

Seriously, man! You are hosting potentially important files there. Work, college, personal documents. You don’t want this in the wrong hands, do you?

Fortunately, there is a simple and very efficient solution for this: authentication on two factors.

This means that, in addition to your password, you will also need an additional factor to log into your account for the first time. This factor can be an application installed on your smartphone or sending an SMS to your cell phone.

It is very easy and you just need a phone to do it. Click here and configure yours.

Import the files you’ve already created

There is a good chance that you have documents, including texts, photos and spreadsheets, that will need to be loaded into Drive, now that you saw the light, I mean, adopted the system.

But copying and pasting the contents of these documents would be a real nightmare, wouldn’t it? But calm down, no problem!

Importing from the web application

By clicking on “new” you can import files individually, or even an entire folder in one stroke.

The procedure couldn’t be simpler. Just browse to the chosen location and select the file or folder.

how to use google drive: how to import a file

An important detail is that you can choose whether to just host the files, or also convert them to the format that can be edited online using Google tools.

To do this, just click on the gear, on the upper right side of the screen, and on “settings” or “tools”. You will come across these options:

how to use google drive: google drive tools menu options
  • Storage: Shows how much space is available and gives you the option to buy more
  • Convert upload: check to convert your files automatically

Attention! Converting office files with rich formatting, many formulas, VBA, and some advanced features can ruin your formatting! Make this migration carefully and always keep a backup!

  • Language: Change the interface language, do not interfere with files.
  • Offline: It allows the listing of files to be available offline, on your computer.
  • Density / Density: Controls how much information the screen shows at once. I prefer “confortable”, but if you have a smaller monitor you can use “compact” to show more things at once.
  • Create a Google Photos Folder / Create a folder for Google Photos: Integrates Google’s photo service into Drive. Especially useful for those using android phones, which tend to have Google Photos integrated as standard. It can also be used with iOS, just install the app.

Importing from the desktop application

As we saw above, the Drive desktop application creates a virtual folder, which is a kind of mirror of your online storage. So, if you want to upload one (or many) files to the drive, just make a copy of them inside this folder. Simpler impossible!

When you have a lot of files, or separate work and personal documents, for example, you may not want all the drive files have a mirror on your machine, right?

Smoothly. Just right-click on the application icon and go back to preferences. It is the same menu that you saw during the installation of the program!

If you remove any folders here, they disappear from the desktop, but remain safe within Google Drive!

Create collaboratively

This may be my favorite Google Drive feature. Through the platform you can share the files in a controlled manner, in addition to providing editing access or just viewing in a very, very granular way.

Perfect for teams, like the one you’re working on now to bring all the fantastic content on this blog to you!

Permission and sharing

If you have a document (be it text, spreadsheet or presentation) open, you will see this nice blue button in the upper right corner:

how to use google drive: share button

It can say “Share”, if you use Google Drive in London.

In the web interface, you can use the icon on the top bar, or right-click on the file / folder you want to share, like this:

how to use google drive: how to share

When you click on either one, a box will appear for you to configure the accesses. It’s pretty easy, check it out:

how to use google drive: how to share

In the bar “People” or “People” you choose, within your list of contacts, who receives access. In the gray button on the right, you choose the permission level, which can be:

  • Can edit: listed people can view and change the content of the documents
  • Can comment: you can view and add comments, but they can only be approved or disapproved by those who have “can edit” permission.
  • Can view / can access the document, but cannot make any changes

Attention! By default, the “can view” permission also allows the person to make copies (which will be editable and editable) of your document.

Assigning permission by email – the one we’ve seen above – requires that the person is logged into an account recognized by Google to prove their identity.

This way, however, is not practical when we need to configure the permission based on the article itself, and not on the people who can access it.

This happens, for example, when we want to include an entire team, or leave the article public for collaboration.

In these cases, you must use “Get shareable link”, or the advanced editing permissions, on these buttons:

how to use google drive: how to share files

The “Advanced” button opens a screen like this:

how to use google drive: shareable link

At the top, the link for employees is displayed, as well as buttons for sharing the link. Below is the list of people with access to it. By clicking on “Change”, any combination of permission and access assignments is configured:

how to use google drive

If your file is public, it can be discovered by crawlers, and appear on Google’s result pages.

In “anyone with the link” access is allowed to everyone, but it is necessary to know the link to get to the file.

You can know immediately that you are viewing your file by looking at the top of the screen. People logged into Google appear with a name and photo. Whoever is not, is identified as an anonymous animal:

how to use google drive
how to use google drive

Now that you’re a true Google Drive master. You are ready to assemble your team, produce and collaborate in the cloud to accomplish any mission!

How about reading now the Guide on how to use Excel and Spreadsheets, which I prepared, to sharpen your knowledge in creating spreadsheets?

If you want, we already have one ready for you to control your marketing and sales routines. Download here!

CTA spreadsheet monthly marketing and sales metrics

And don’t forget to leave your tips and questions in the comments! To the next!