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Drive is the most popular cloud service in the world. In fact, anyone with a Google account automatically gets a Drive account, as well. This makes Drive a convenient solution for anyone who needs to upload and share files online. Otherwise, keep reading for more information on how Google Drive functions, as well as how you can use it to backup your files and keep your computer free of clutter.

Google Drive is a cloud storage service, and like all cloud services, its primary function is to take some load off your hard drive. This leaves more space on your devices for more important things, like installing large apps and games. However, cloud services offer many more advantages over traditional storage. When your files are in the cloud, you can access them from wherever you are with any device with an internet connection.

Plus, you can share them with other people, which opens up new avenues for online collaboration read our piece on why online storage is useful. If you have a Google account, you already have Google Drive, too. Simply signing up for an account gets you 15GB of free storage, which puts its free plan near the top of our best free cloud storage list.

However, Google uses Drive for Google Photos storage, as well as storing your Gmail attachments and Google Workspace documents, which can take up a lot of that space read our guide on how to remove Google Photos duplicates if you find you have uploaded multiple copies. This means that you might want to upgrade to a paid plan. Unfortunately, Google has often come under fire for its suspicious privacy policies, and Drive is no exception to the controversy. Google gives itself permission to scan any Drive file it wants.

Encrypting your files using an encryption service, such as Boxcryptor , before you upload them to the cloud ensures that no one can scan or view them without your permission. Drive recently expanded its syncing capabilities by adding the option to sync any folder on your computer to the Google Drive servers.

This lets Drive function as a backup service , as well. It works as a sort of hub for all of your Google activity. It is also one of the best cloud services for sharing , thanks to its highly customizable sharing options. You can even let other users edit Google Docs files with you, allowing you to collaborate with up to people on any Google Workspace document. This means that if your work demands a lot of online collaboration, the best solution for you might be to use Google Drive, especially if you need to work together on a lot of Google Docs files.

Signing up for an account will let you use Google Drive, plus you get access to other Google services, such as Gmail and Google Docs. If you already have an account, but you want a new one, you can check out our guide on how to change your default Google account.

Next, choose your preferred privacy options and agree to its privacy policy, then your account will be created. There are several ways to access Drive. Your first encounter will probably be through the Google Drive website.

To access Drive in your browser, go to drive. Its design is clean, with lots of white space to help you make out the important features. If a good-looking interface is important to you, you can read our Icedrive review for more information about one of the best interfaces around.

These tabs organize your files by various categories. This is also where the Drive folder on your computer gets synced. These tabs have their own folder structure, so you can create subfolders to organize your files better. There are other tabs, as well. The central area of the browser interface is where you can see all your files and folders.

You can drag and drop items to move them around, and you can right-click an item to open its menu of options. At the top of the screen, there is a search bar that lets you look for files by name. When you click on a Drive file or folder, several icons appear in the area below the search bar.

These same options and more can be found in the right-click menu. Now comes the most important part: how to interact with Drive files. First, you have to upload a file to Drive. An easier method is to simply drag and drop the file into the browser window, which will upload it into the folder you have open in the website interface. Now that your files are in the cloud, you can right-click on them or use the icons at the top of the screen to interact with them.

Both have the same options. Probably the most important of these options are the two sharing options. You can then set various permissions for each person. Moving items around is an easy enough task: just click and drag an item to move it into another folder. This is your main sync folder, a feature that was first introduced by Dropbox , but it is now a standard feature among cloud services.

Files in this folder are automatically uploaded to Drive. Plus, you can choose to sync any other folder, too. It appears as an icon in your taskbar, and clicking it only brings up shortcuts to your Drive folder, the Drive website and Google Photos. The most important thing the app does is that it adds options to your right-click menu.

Then, to upload files, you can just put them in that folder, and whenever you edit them, it will update the cloud versions, as well. Files that have already been synced get other options in this menu. Though any folder you sync to Drive is accessible from the website, only the Drive folder is a true sync folder.

This means that having the app installed on multiple computers will result in the same Google Drive folder being synced across all the devices. This can be very useful in some scenarios. This can be especially advantageous to businesses that can give all of their employees access to the same files. The mobile app is very easy to use, and it can work on both Android and iOS. There are two settings for the quality of the uploaded photos. Your Gmail and Drive accounts have a mutual give and take.

Gmail uses Drive to store your email attachments, and these count toward your storage limit. Likewise, Drive uses Gmail to share files. Google Drive has outstanding third-party app support, but how does Google Drive work with these apps? Of course, it works with Go ogle Workspace — Google version of Microsoft Office — but it also has a whole app store called the Google Workspace Marketplace formerly the G Suite Marketplace before its rebranding. This can let Drive preview and open many more file types.

There are many apps in this store, and they can really change the way you work with Drive. To connect an app, click on the plus icon in the toolbar on the right side of the screen. Now you can use apps like Pixlr to edit images, you can create 3D files with SketchUp, organize your workflow with Asana and much more.

Google Drive is a very powerful cloud service, but it comes at the cost of privacy. We recommend Sync. That said, Drive is still very capable and you probably already have it, so we hope you now understand more about it. You can also check out our guides on how to transfer ownership of a Google Drive folder and how to transfer Google Photos.

Thank you for reading this guide on what Google Drive is and how it works. A numbered checklist would be much more to my liking. It assumes a fair amount of knowledge of terms. A glossary would assist. No one asked you to criticise. You are meant to get the information you need and be appreciative, not leave ungrateful comments like this. Agreed Boss. We should be thankful for folks willing to stop and document what the know thank you and leave the whiny food critic like assessment of ones personal preferences…… well……..

You need to learn some manners or get your information elsewhere and perhaps keep your ungrateful mouth shut. Thank you! Nice explanation of the difference between syncing and backing up. This helped me a lot. When someone views a link to my Google drive file, does the file download onto their device?

I always thought one of the beauties of Google drive is that when someone sends a link to a file it is viewed from within G D…. The file only downloads when you expressly move it over or move over a copy. Thankyou very much for your comprehensive guide which, even I, understand and will be able to return to when needed.

I am just going to let it run and hope for the best. Since the new version of Google Drive has been released, I am finding many of my files and folders arer e-duplicated. One of these folders will be empty. Why is this? Google Drive on my PC has eaten up all my drive space. How can I delete files from computer without losing them on the cloud.

Is there a way to check that all the files in the local google drive folder are in the cl. If you go into the settings in Google drive on your computer, I believe you could select which file folders are synchronized to your computer from Google drive. Hopefully that will limit it to just the ones you want on your home computer, and not fill it up.

This is fantastic.



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Jun 30,  · Adding Google Drive to File Explorer. To add the Google Drive folder in the File Explorer side menu, you need to download and set up the Backup and Sync app on your PC. Here’s how. Step 1: Head. This help content & information General Help Center experience. Search. Clear search. Dec 04,  · a) Press the ‘Windows + W’ key on the keyboard. b) Type troubleshooter in the search box and then press enter. c) Click hardware and sound and click on ‘Playing Audio’. Try to update Audio drivers from the computer manufacturer website, I . Jul 18,  · After that, click on the Drive for desktop icon on the right-bottom corner, hit the Settings button and choose Preferences, now you can start the setup. 4. First you can choose Add Folder in the My Computer tab. It allows you to specify the certain PC folders to sync with Google Drive. 5.