What is Google Drive and How to Use

May 6, 2021 | Blog

As a Virtual Assistant, I can explore different programs and software that are essential for my work. One of the programs that help me so much and it is something that I can’t do without is Google Drive.

I love the interface that Google Drive offers to its user, I can create documents or spreadsheets without any hassle. I can update or edit a document anywhere in real-time and share it with my team.

Have you used Google Drive? You are maybe familiar with Gmail, and maybe, you have heard about Google drive and its good features, but never had the idea of how it works.

Google Drive is one of the most popular cloud-based storage services on the internet. Google Drive allows you to store, sync, or share files for team collaboration. It is like a Microsoft office on the go. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started.

Here are some Benefits of using Google Drive

  • Free 15GB of storage on the cloud.
  • Create Storage, Sync, and Share files from any device with internet connectivity.
  • Share files with ease.
  • Create documents such as word documents, spreadsheets, presentations, etc.
  • Collaborate on projects with your client or team using Google drive.
  • Let’s you open and edit important files while on the go.
  • Create Notes anywhere and continue where you left off.
  • You may choose to upgrade to premium plans if you need bigger storage. 100GB now costs just $1.99 per month instead of $4.99.
  • You can now get a terabyte of online storage for $9.99 a month, down from $49.99.

How to Access Google Drive

  • To access Google Drive you need to create your Google/Gmail account.
  • Start Creating one if you don’t have it already.
  • After signing up, you can easily access Google Drive by signing in to your new Google account

You can download Google Drive if you want to access your file offline.

  1. How to start using Google Drive

In your web browser type Google Drive, and sign in with your Google Account to get access to  Drive directly. Or if you are already signed in to your GMAIL account you may navigate from your email account from the app symbol at the upper right corner of your email.

  1. How to create or add a file in Google Drive

To create a file in your Google Drive you can click the NEW button. When clicking the new button, a small pop-up window will appear that will give many options Like:

  • Folder         – Click on this option if you want to create a new folder
  • File upload    – Click on this option if you want to upload a specific file
  • Folder upload  – Click on this option if you want to upload a folder
  • Google Docs   – Click on this option if you want to create new Google Docs
  • Google Sheets  – Click on this option if you want to create new Google Spreadsheets
  • Google Slides  – Click on this option if you want to create a new Google Slides Presentation
  • More          – Click on MORE to get access to Google Forms, Google Drawings, and Google Maps


  1. How to change the file display

You can adjust or modify the view of your Drive based on your preference, you may choose to view files in a grid or list view by pointing your cursor to the upper right side of your drive and clicking on the icon.

  • List View – To change the file display to a grid or list view.
  • View Details – Show the full details of your file, and Activity shows when the file is being updated and who edited the file.
  • Settings – Show download backups and sync for windows, keyboard shortcuts, and help.
  • Upgrade Storage – Upgrade storage if you think you need more space for your files, photos, etc.
  • I love color-coding my folders based on my client’s color brand, that way I can find them easily. If you are like me who is crazy with colors you can do that and you will have colorful folders on your drive, you can skip that if it’s not to your liking.

  1. How to Search File

You can search for files in Google drive by just typing the keywords in the search box. You may also choose to click specific files on your search suggestion box and all the files will be shown to you. For a more advanced search click on More Search Tools.

  1. How to Share a File

To share a file, select any document, spreadsheet, or slide presentation you want to share, and right-click the file you want to share. An options box will pop up Click Share from the option box.

When you click the Share button from the option box, a small notification box will pop up it will guide you on what you need to do next. You can then decide how you want to share the file, One (1) you can get the shareable link and directly email the link to your team, or Two (2) just type a specific email address to specific people in the team you want to share the file with.

  • Click Get a shareable link
  • When you click Copy Link, the link will be copied to the clipboard and it is ready to share.
  • Share the link with your team via email
  • You can also share the link to direct messages via Slack or Skype, anyone with the link can view the file.
  • Fill in the specific email address to specific People in the team you want to share the file with, after filling in the email address you can add a short note.
  • When you share a file, you can authorize the person to do the following changes in the shared file:

– Can Edit

– Can Comment

– Can View

  • After selecting these options, you can click Done to share the file.


  1. Link Sharing Settings

Google Drive allows you to add restrictions to the file you are sharing with other people, to do that you need to click Advanced to navigate into the Sharing Settings.

When you click the Advanced button from the lower right corner another window will pop up and will bring you to Sharing Settings. Here you can choose restrictions to your file. Choose the one appropriate for your file:

  • Prevent editors from changing access and adding new people
  • Disable options to download, print, and copy for commenters and viewers

Google Drive Lets you add more restrictions in-depth by changing how you like others to view the file you shared. To do that click Change to view the more accessible option.

When you click Change another small window will pop up showing the Link Sharing option. Here you can choose how you want others to view your file. Click Save when finished.

  1. How to Delete Files

  • Select the file you want to delete, Right-click on the file, and a window will pop up.
  • Click on the Remove tab to delete.

  1. How to Restore Deleted Files

If for some reason you accidentally deleted a file and you want to restore it. Simply go to the side panel of your Drive and click once on the Trash option. Choose the file you want to restore by doing right-clicking on your mouse and clicking Restore. You may also click the Delete forever option if you want your file to delete permanently.

  1. Star Important File and Folder

To Add Star to your important files go to your Drive panel and click My Drive. Choose the file you want to Add Star by just doing a right-click on a file or folder and selecting Add Star from the options window. To see all your starred file you can go to your Drive panel and click the Starred option

Here are Keyboard shortcuts that are easy to use to help you save valuable time. If you tend to forget things, keeping a printout of the shortcuts would be a great idea.

Google Drive is fun to use. You can do numerous things with it from creating, uploading, sharing, and editing while collaborating with your team in real-time with no hassle. When power cuts or your system crashes you can save your data securely.

If the internet connection is temporarily lost, you can modify or edit your file offline and it will update your data as soon as the internet connection becomes available. I am continuously learning new programs to elevate my skills and to serve a wide range of clients. In my upcoming post, I will be sharing more on how-to’s about cool programs that I used.

I hope this step-by-step guide will help you to navigate in Google Drive with ease. If you have questions about this topic or suggestions on what to feature in my next blog post, please feel free to comment below, I would love to hear it.


Link: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-google-drive-how-use-annette-mendoza/