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Google Drive can do more than you think

9/8/2022

There are many choices for virtual drives, but Google Drive gets an A+ rating from me and it is free, up to 15GB. Your computer probably has a C drive and a D drive. Open File Explorer to see your drives and folders. If you connect a thumb drive, also called a flash drive, File Explorer will show you that drive too. If you also install the Google Drive app on your computer, you now have a G drive in addition to the others. The G drive is virtual meaning that it is completely in the cloud.

Sync work between your home and work computers

You can use the G drive the same way that you use your other drives. For example, when saving a Word document on your at-home computer, just browse and save to the folder "My Drive" on the G Drive. That file will be saved in a storage space on a computer in a Google data center. It is not actually physically on your own computer. This is a good thing. Now, when you use your at-work computer. you can just open that same Word doc by browsing to your G drive on your at-work computer to find the file. Of course, you have to have installed Google Drive on the work computer too.

Share files

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All the files and folders on your G drive are private, but you can choose to share them with others. You can specify other people with Google accounts or just make a file available to anyone who has the link. To get the link, open File Explorer to your G drive. Right click to the option "Share with Google Drive", add permissions, and copy the link. This is especially handy if your need to share a really, really large file. Chances are your email provider will not allow you to attach anything over a certain size. So, being able to provide this link in place of an attachment is very helpful. If you are a Gmail user, Gmail makes it super easy and will just automatically copy your file to your virtual drive so that it can send the link.

See all "shared with you" files in one place

You can also view your Google Drive using a browser. Just go to https://drive.google.com/ You can see all the files you have stored in the cloud. In addition, you can see any file others have shared with you through their Google Drive. Just click on "Shared with me". You may have long ago lost that email with the attachment you want to review, but all those attachments are there for you to see on Google Drive, in alphabetic order, if you wish, with even a handy search option.

Sync files from any folder on your computer

Finally, after you install Google Drive on your computer, you can also sync any file or folder on your computer with Google Drive so that you will have an extra copy of that file on the cloud. Google Drive will automatically keep those files or folders synced so that if you make a change to a file or folder, that change will also be made to the file or folder on the cloud. In this case there are two copies of everything. If, instead you save a file directly to your G Drive, there is only one copy, and that copy is in the cloud.

Today Data and Web Services, Inc.

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