Get started with Drive

3. View and update files in Drive

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Learn the basics of viewing and updating Drive files.

In this section, you learn how to:

3.1 Preview and download stored files on the web
3.2 Open your files
3.3 Update Drive files
3.4 Delete your files
3.5 Restore deleted files

3.1 Preview and download stored files on the web


To take a quick look at a Drive file, right-click it and select Preview.

In the overlay, you can:

  • Scroll down or up in your file.
  • Click Left arrow Back arrow or Right arrow Next arrow to see the previous or next file in Drive.
  • Open your file to edit it.
  • Click Add comment Add comment to comment on non-Google files.
  • Print your non-Google file.
  • Click Download Download to download your file.
  • Click More "" to share, move, rename a file, and more.

To save a file to access later, download it one of the following ways:

  • From the preview screen, click Download Download.
  • From Drive, select a file, click More "", and select Download Download.

Preview and download stored files on the web

3.2 Open your files


On the web

  1. Open Drive.
  2. Double-click the file you want to open.

Open Drive files

On your computer

  1. Click Drive for desktop "".
  2. Click Open Google Drive Folder.
  3. Double-click the file you want to open.
    • Files created by Docs, Sheets, Slides, or Forms open in your browser.
    • Other files open in their regular applications on your computer.

3.3 Update Drive files


On the web

To restore an earlier version of a file that wasn't created in Docs, Sheets, or Slides:

  1. Right-click the file and select Manage versions.
  2. Click Upload new version and select a file from your computer.
  3. When the new version is done uploading, click Close.

Versioning Drive files

On your computer

To update a file:

  1. Open your file from Drive for desktop "" on your desktop.
  2. Make your changes.

    They’ll automatically update to Drive on the web.

It works the other way around, too. Changes you make in Drive on the web sync back to your computer. Your files and folders are now up to date everywhere.

3.4 Delete your files


Removing a file moves it to Trash:

  • If you own the file, moving it to Trash removes it from your My Drive view. The file is permanently deleted after 30 days in the Trash. If you shared the file, those people can still see the file until it's deleted.
  • If you don't own the file (for example, if it's been shared with you), moving it to Trash removes it from your My Drive view, but doesn't delete the file. Only the owner can delete the file.

Note: Removed files you own are moved to Trash in Drive and still count towards your total storage, until you permanently delete them on the web.

On the web

  1. Select the files or folders you want to remove and click Remove Delete.
  2. (Optional) To delete files permanently, do one of the following:
    • When you’re in Trash, select a file and click Delete forever.
    • To permanently delete all your Trash files, click Trash and select Empty trash.

Delete items from Drive

On your computer

Just select the files or folders you want to remove and delete them as you would any other file on your computer.

3.5 Restore deleted files


If you change your mind after deleting a file or folder, you can restore it to Drive. Whether you delete it from Drive on the web or from your computer in Drive for desktop, you restore it the same way.

On the web

  1. Open Drive.
  2. Click Trash "".
  3. Select the files you want to restore and click Restore "".

Restore deleted Drive items

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