How to get started with Google Drive


Dropbox, Box, SkyDrive, and other cloud storage services (reluctantly) welcomed a new competitor today: Google Drive. The freemium service, which replaces Google Docs, lets you store files and access them from your computer, phone, or tablet, no matter where you are.

To get started with Google Drive, head to and enable the service. Once you have access to your Drive, you're ready to get started.

Right away, you'll notice that Google Drive looks and acts a lot like Google Docs -- you can create files, collections (folders), use the top bar to search, and upload files by dragging and dropping into the browser window.

However, unlike Docs, you can now manage your entire drive from your desktop by installing the Google Drive application. To get it, head to and select "Download Google Drive" in the left sidebar. After a short installation process, a "Google Drive" folder will be added to your desktop. That folder is synced with your Google Drive, so any changes you make to it will be reflected in the Web interface, and vice versa.

So, when you add a file to the Google Drive folder, it will be uploaded to your Web drive (as long as you're connected to the Internet.)

Now that you're synced up, check out these Google Drive features:

Documents are free. Google gives you 5GB of free storage space, but any docs you create within Drive don't count against your storage.
Upload up to 30 types of files. Photoshop, movies, photos -- you name it. Google Drive supports the storage and viewing of all the popular file types. So, you can upload a movie to your Drive and play it back within your browser, no matter where you are.
Share files, folders, or your entire Drive. Have a document you want to share? Or a home video stored on your drive? Just like Google Docs, you can share those files. Simply right-click a file or folder, select "Share...," and choose your sharing option. To give someone access to your entire drive, click the button with the person and a plus sign at the top.

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