Google Drive is a cloud storage service that expands your ability to store and share files with anyone, on any device. It’s simple, easy to use, and integrates seamlessly with all Google apps. As long as you have an Internet connection, you can access your files anywhere. With Drive File Stream, you can easily access all your Drive files right on your Windows PC just like any other files or folders.

Google Drive is part of G Suite for Education.

Whether you're new to the concept of always-on, always-available cloud storage, or a grizzled veteran with old Dropbox, Box, and SugarSync accounts strewn about, Google Drive has something for you. In the case of G Suite for Education, that something is everything, since Drive is where all your files live! 

 

Accessing Google Drive

Probably the quickest way to access Google Drive via the Web is by visiting drive.google.com

 

 

You can also access Drive through the Google apps menu Picture of the Nine Dots button in G Suite (the nine-dots icon).

Good news: Your official Weber School District PC already has Drive File Stream installed on it -- if you've never used it before, all you need to do is sign in!

 

 

In the Windows Start Menu, select Drive File Stream to begin. It will ask for your WSD login information. After you've logged in, you'll see a new G: Drive on your computer named Drive File Stream. It'll take a while for everything to sync up, especially if you have a lot of files, but once it's done, you can store all your files here and access them on any device.

 

Adding Files and Folders to Your Drive

It's easy to add files to Drive. If you're using Drive File Stream, it's as easy as moving (or saving files) to the G:Drive File Stream  ... er, drive. On the Web, you can either drag-and-drop files directly from your computer onto the Drive homepage (if you're using Chrome as your browser), or you can click the +New buttonPicture of the + New button in Google Drive and select File upload

 

Gif demonstrating uploading a file to Google Drive

 

Browse for the file (or files) you'd like to upload, then click open. Once your upload is complete, you'll see a confirmation of such:

 

Picture of the upload complete confirmation box in Google Drive

 

... assuring you that all is good in the world, and your file is easily available to you on the Web, now and forever. 

You can also upload entire folders if you wish (choose +New > Folder upload), and create, move and delete files and folders, just like you can on any computer. To create a new folder, follow the same process as with a file, but instead of choosing +New > File upload, choose Folder instead.

 

Picture of the New Folder drop-down menu in Google Drive

 

Type the name of your folder, then click Create.

 

Picture of the folder naming dialog box in Google Drive

 

... and you're done. Well, you're in education, so your work is never really done, so let's do some more:

 

Moving and Sharing Files in Google Drive

Here's how to move files in Google Drive on the Web: First, select the file, then click the three-dots button Picture of the more (three dots) indicator in Google Drive in the toolbar (the "More" button), choose the new folder you'd like to move your file to, then select move or move to.

 

Gif demonstrating moving files in Google Drive

 

You can also just right-click the file for the same options.

In Drive File Stream, you can move and delete files and folders just like you would any other files or folders on your computer. Just make sure they end up somewhere in the G:Drive File Stream drive, and you're good!

On the Web, you can click on any file in Google Drive and preview it, which is handy when you're browsing through, looking for just the right file for the occasion. Right-click the file and select Preview, or, with the file selected, click the Preview button Picture of the preview button icon in Google Drive in the toolbar.

 

Picture of a file preview viewed in Google Drive on the Web

In the file preview, you can choose to open the file, print it, download it, or click the more button  Picture of the three-dots button in Google Drive to share, rename, move it, and more! The possiblities are endless, really.

 

Searching, Sharing, and Starring in Google Drive

At some point, with heavy usage your Google Drive might begin to look like a hoarder's basement. No worries: Drive offers a ton of ways to quickly access and organize files. Let's check out a few: 

 

Picture of the right-click context menu in Google Drive with Add to Starred selected

 

To quickly access important files or folders, right-click the file or folder and choose Add to Starred. Starred files are always quickly accessible via the left-hand menu.

 

Picture of the left menu in Google Drive with Starred files selected

 

To view your starred files, click on Starred in on the left menu.

Do you suspect you have a file on your Google Drive somewhere, but you can't quite remember where (or even the name of the file)?  Click on the Search Drive field and enter any text from a file (either the name or even the contents of a file). 

 

Picture of the search field in Google Drive

 

It helps if you can think of the most unique or original word that might be in your file, in order to narrow down your search results. Clicking the arrow on the right side of the Search field allows you to search files by type, owner, date, and so, so many more options.

 

Picture of the advanced search options in Google Drive

 

All of these are great features of Google Drive, but one of the best parts of cloud storage is the ability to instantly share files of any size with anyone in just a few clicks. Remember when we had to deal with how large a file could be to attach it to email, or searching the back of drawers in hopes of finding a thumbdrive, or burning a disc? Thankfully, we all now live in the future, where everything's a little bit easier. (But, K-pop also, exists, so, there's that to deal with. Still a net positive.)

To share a file or folder on Google Drive, right-click it and choose Share Picture of the Share button in Google Drive. You can also select the file and click the Share button Picture of the Share button in Google Drive

 

 

Gif demonstrating sharing a file in Google Drive

 

Then in the Share with others pop-up, start typing the names and/or email addresses of whomever you'd like to share that file or folder with. You can choose whether you'd like to give view, edit, or comment access to the file or folder (remember, files inherit the settings of the folder they're in, so if you give someone edit access to a folder, they have edit access to any file in that folder).

 

In fact, this might be a good time to review the types of file access in Google Drive, straight from the source:Picture of the sharing options pop-up in Google Drive

  • View: People can view, but can’t change or share the file with others.
  • Comment: People can make comments and suggestions, but can’t change or share the file with others.
  • Edit: People can make changes, accept or reject suggestions, and share the file with others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you'd like to send out a link to a file, click on Get sharable link to copy a direct link to your file. Click advanced to see even more options!

 

Gif demonstrating accessing advanced sharing settings in Google Drive

 

 And we're done with Google Drive for now. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more cloud-based storage excitement!

 

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