How to Use the Google Backup and Sync Feature


The Google backup and sync feature can be extremely helpful in keeping your files protected. Here’s exactly how you can use Google Drive to safely backup files.


Are you one of Google Drive’s billion active users? Many people rely on Google’s free and easy-to-use service.

It’s easy to get started with Google Drive. All you need is a Google account, and you have access to a safe place to store documents. You also get access to Docs, Sheets, and more.

If you want to go a step further, though, you should be using the Google Drive app. Officially known as Google Backup and Sync, it has all sorts of features, which can help you keep your files safer.

Ready to learn more about how to use this great feature? This guide will show you the way.

What Is Google Backup and Sync?

Google introduced Drive in 2012. It’s a synchronization and file storage service. You can upload a file from your computer, then access it across all your devices.

You can even share it with other people in your organization and collaborate with them.

The Drive desktop app was launched at the same time. Over the years, Google has made changes to the app. One of the biggest came in 2017 when Google rolled out Backup and Sync.

Backup and Sync rolls the Google Drive app and the Google Photos app into one piece of software. With it, you can keep certain folders always in sync with your Google account Drive folders.

Google backs these folders up. They do count against your Google Drive, Gmail, and Photos storage though. If you need extra storage, you can always buy more from Google.

How to Use Google Backup and Sync

To use Google Backup and Sync, you’ll first need a Google account. If you’re using Drive already, you have one.

Next, you’ll want to download the Backup and Sync app from Google. Once you’ve done this, install the app on your computer. You’ll then need to sign in to your account.

Once you’ve launched the program and signed in, you’ll be taken to the Preferences section of the app. Here, you’ll have a chance to choose which folders you want Google to sync.

There are two sets of folders to choose from. First, you’ll need to select folders on your local drive to sync with Google. You’ll also select which Google Drive folders you want to sync.

You’ll also be able to tell Backup and Sync how to handle files that are removed from one location or another. One option is to have Google ask before removing a file from any location.

How It Works

Let’s suppose you have a folder called “Work” on your desktop. You store all your work documents, like your accounting spreadsheet and your invoices, here.

You want to sync this folder you have access to these files all the time. That way, you can always work on an invoice, even when you’re on the go. You can also access documents to confirm details when you’re in a meeting, and you can even share them with other collaborators.

To sync this folder, you’d select it as you set your preferences in the Backup and Sync app.

What if you do work while you’re on the go? Suppose you create a new invoice while you’re commuting from the office to home one day. You’ll want this folder to sync with your computer as well.

The default setting is to have everything from Google Drive sync with your computer. If you only access certain folders from your desktop, it may be a good idea to have Google sync just a few folders from Drive.

Syncing Google Photos

Backup and Sync replaces the separate Google Photos app. Instead, you’ll also be able to sync your Google Photos from this app.

Again, you’ll head to the Preferences section of the app. From there, you can check a box that allows Google to upload new photos and videos to Google Photos.

Google automatically classifies photos. It will then move them to Google Photos.

Why Use Backup and Sync?

Using Google’s desktop app for Drive has quite a few benefits. The syncing options allow you to make sure you’re uploading just what you need, without worrying about whether you forgot to upload a file.

This is great for productivity. Instead of needing to spend time moving certain files, you can tell the app to automatically sync for you. You’ll have instant access to the latest version of your files across devices.

It also creates more security for your files. If something goes wrong with your desktop, you may be able to access your backup from Drive. It also means you can restore older versions of files, so you never need to lose anything again.

You’ll also get access to a search function. Google also allows for filtering, so you can sort documents by file type, owner, and more.

Finally, it also makes collaborating much easier. Whether you’re working on a school project, something for work, or something just for fun, Backup and Sync makes it easy to share.

What About Google Drive File Stream?

Google Drive Backup and Sync is great for personal use. If you’re running a business, then you might want to look at Google Drive File Stream. It offers a bit more functionality, such as decreasing sync times and more.

If you want to use File Stream, you’ll need to remove Backup and Sync from your Mac or PC. You’ll also need to upgrade to a GSuite or other Google business account.

Store Your Files Safely

Now you know how to use Google Backup and Sync for all your organization needs. Whether you’re collaborating, working on the go, or making sure your data is safe, Google’s app can help you do it all.

Looking for more great tech tips to keep your files and your memories safe? Check out the archives for the best advice on converting old videos, software, and more!

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