Google Drive is great for storing and editing all kinds of files. But Google Drive for Desktop makes accessing and using your files and folders so much easier. In this video, Scott Friesen shows you everything you need to know to install, set up, and use Google Drive for Desktop.
You already know the many benefits of using Google Drive online. However, if you want to save time and get more flexibility out of all of your files and folders, you should consider installing Google Drive for desktop. So in today's video, I'm gonna share with you everything you need to know in how to get the most out of this app. Everything from installing and setting up your settings to why you should consider using the desktop app in the first place. Hello everyone, Scott Friesen here at Simpletivity, helping you to get more done and enjoy less stress. And let's start off with the two key benefits of downloading and using the desktop application. Number one, you're probably used to logging in and opening up your browser to access all of your files. Here you can see I've got a couple of test folders up here and then a variety of different files down below. But sometimes I get tired of always having to go to my browser, keeping a tab open, or just opening up a new tab to find all of my files. When I'm working here on my computer, wouldn't it be easier if I could just open up my File Folder system, my Explorer system, or Find File and go directly to those files? Yes, absolutely. The number two reason I would encourage you to use the desktop application is if you don't always want to be simply using your Google Drive applications, such as Docs or Sheets or Slides. Maybe you prefer to use some Microsoft Office applications and you wanna keep editing in that format. Here's an example right here. You can see by the icon that this is actually a Word document, which I've uploaded. Now, if I double click on this, it's gonna open it up in Google Docs that really shouldn't be a surprise because we're here within Google Drive. But what if I don't like working with Google Docs and the menu options here up above? What if I'd like to continue to work in Word? Well, no problem, you can do that with Google Desktop. So where do you go to get the Google Drive for desktop application? Well, I'd actually recommend that you do a search rather than just give you a URL. Why? Because the URL is not very memorable. Here you can see the second one down is download Google Drive and if I click on this link, you'll see a screen such as this. Now, all you really need to pay attention to here is the blue button to Download Drive for desktop, whether you are a PC or a Mac user, and also keep in mind, you can download Drive directly to your iOS or Android device. Now, once things are installed, let's open up our desktop and see how it looks and feels there. Well, we don't have to go very far. All I need to do is open up my File Folder or in this case, my Explorer Window. And you can see at the very bottom here, I've got a listing of some of my most common locations on my PC, including my Desktop, Documents, Downloads, some other areas here. Here's my Window C file and then down below, I've got my G Drive, Google Drive G. And as you can see here, I've got two different sections. I've got My Drive and then I've got Other Computers. Now I'm gonna come back to this Other Computers here in just a moment. But if I click on My Drive, you can see I have now access to all of the same files and those two test folders that you saw on Google Drive. If I open things back up again, here are those two test folders, here's the files down below. I can now access everything here on my desktop computer, so I no longer have to launch a browser to find those files. If I want to look at an image here, I can just double click on this and it's gonna open up this image right here on my computer. Now I can edit it here with any other application that I have installed on my computer. And if we go back to this Word document, remember this About Page Revisions that we saw on our online version of Google Drive? Well, of course it's a Microsoft Word document. If I double click it here, it's gonna open it up within Word. So maybe I'm more comfortable using Word here I can do so, but everything here is going to be saved, continue to be saved to Google Drive. So one of the nice advantages of using the Google Drive for desktop application. Now, of course, you probably have a mix of different types of file types here within your Google Drive account. And although I have a Word document here, many of my files here are either a Google Sheets or a Google Docs, or maybe a Google Form. So for example, if I open up this Google Form, it can't launch it within the desktop because Google Forms does not have a desktop application. However, it's going to take me directly to this file by opening up my browser. So it was a simple double click to open the file up just like I would anywhere else and it's taken me directly to this file. So I didn't first have to go to my online Drive tab and then search for it, I can go directly to that file. I can make my changes and know that I can always access it right here from my desktop. The other nice thing, because you've got your own Drive here, your own Google Drive, you can drag in any other file into this account. So if I want to use this as a backup service, maybe if I want to share a particular file or a folder with others through my Google Drive account, all I need to do is drag and drop that file into my file here. So it can be used as a backup tool, could be used in a variety of different ways as well. Now that you know, a little bit more about how to use Google Drive on your computer, let's make sure that you're comfortable with the different settings and some of the things that you may want to switch when first installing the desktop app. So in order to access your settings, all you need to do is come down to the task bar and find your Google Drive for desktop icon. I'm gonna click on this and you can see that we are given some of the most recent activity here, including the file that I just opened here letting me know that everything is now up-to-date. If there are any particular notifications, you can find them here as well. But where are you gonna want to pay attention to is this little gear icon. So you can set your own personal preferences, and that's gonna open up this little dialogue here. Now we're actually gonna start on this first tab, you can see that there's two. One is Google Drive and the top one is going to be listed either as My Laptop or Your Computer or whatever you've named the system in which you've downloaded the application. So I'm gonna start here because this is, I think one of the key benefits of using this tool. Here we can safely back up our files or just make them accessible on either Google Drive or Google Drive and Google Photos. So in this case, I'm displayed with this option here because I have yet to add a folder, but maybe I have an existing folder here within my laptop and I'd like to access it on Google Drive. So in order to choose a folder on your computer, select the Add Folder button and this is gonna open up your Explorer bar or something similar, so you can find your files. So here's the particular folder in which I'd like to add to my Google Drive account. I'm just going to select it here, say Select Folder and now I have the choice to either Sync with Google Drive, or I can also back up to Google Photos. Now, in this case, I'm just gonna keep this first option here and I'm going to select Done. So now under My Laptop, I can see a full listing which in this case, of course is just the one folder, which is now being backed up to my Google Drive account. Of course you can add as many folders as you like, as long as you have room within your Google Drive account and you can see them listed here. Now, the second option that we have here is Google Drive, and that is folders from Google Drive. Now I actually like this, it's giving me a warning here, I'm gonna go back 'cause I forgot to hit the Save button. So I'm gonna hit Save to make sure that this file is going to be uploaded and backed up to my Google Drive account. Now I'm gonna go to my Google Drive here and now I can access my files and open in Explorer. This is simply gonna open the exact same screen that we saw earlier but what we do wanna pay attention to are the two choices down below, Stream Files or Mirror Files. Now by default Stream Files will be selected when you first download and install the Drive desktop application. And what this means is that all of your Drive files are stored in the cloud only. We do have the choice to set specific files or specific folders to be made available offline, but by default, you are simply streaming or accessing those folders in the cloud. The second option that we have down below is to mirror those files. And what that means is that all of your Drive files will be stored in the cloud and on your computer. So by default, that means that you'll have access to everything offline even if you're away from the internet, those files will actually reside on your computer. One of the big differences beyond just online and offline of course is hard drive space. If you choose Mirror files, you'll be storing a lot more information on your local computer. So you can take a look at the pros and cons and see what is best for you. Now, before we leave this dialogue we wanna come up here and hit this icon as well, 'cause there's a couple of additional things that I want you to pay attention to. There's a few other tweaks that you can scan down this screen. Some of them are maybe a little more detailed or a little more specific that you won't need to get into or make changes to. But I do want to pay your attention to this very first option here. So we can see that there's a check box that says, Real-time Presence in Microsoft Office. And again, this is very helpful to any of you who are using a lot of Microsoft Office products, such as Excel or PowerPoint or Word. And if you're sharing those documents with others, if we leave this checked, we can see if someone else is editing a shared Microsoft Office file. So just like you're used to seeing this within your own Drive files when you're working online, now we can see something similar. So I would usually recommend that you keep this checked, so that you can see when others are working on that file. Lastly, you can choose a different Drive letter if you wish. Now, it's not surprising that Google has chosen Drive G for Google but if you have a preference, you can choose from one of the other drives that is available to you as well. So if you want the convenience and flexibility of accessing all of your Drive files from your desktop computer or to back up and upload your desktop files directly to Google Drive, be sure to check out the Google Drive for desktop application. Remember, being productive does not need to be difficult, in fact, it's very simple.
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