Get started with Drive

1. Upload and store files in Drive

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You can store any file in Google Drive: pictures, drawings, videos, and more. You only need to store a file in Drive on one device, and it will automatically be available on all your other devices. There are three ways to get your files into Drive.

In this section, you learn how to:

1.1 Upload files to Drive on the web
1.2 Store files on your desktop
1.3 Upload files from your phone or tablet

1.1 Upload files to Drive on the web


  1. Go to Drive.
  2. Click Plus Newand thenFile upload or Folder upload, and then choose the file or folder you want to upload.
  3. Click Open.

If you’re using the latest version of Chrome or Firefox, you can simply drag files directly from your computer to the Drive page on your browser.

If you upload a file that matches the name of an existing file, Drive will add it as a new version, instead of creating a duplicate. To see the previous version of that file, you can manage versions.

When you see Upload complete, your files have uploaded successfully and can be accessed in any browser or device that has Drive installed.

Upload files to Drive

1.2 Store files on your desktop


Note: If you’re using Backup and Sync Sync instead of Drive File Stream, see Back up and sync files with Drive.

If you want to work on files from your desktop, install Drive File Stream. Your files live in the cloud and you access them on demand. This frees up space on your computer’s hard drive, saves network bandwidth, and means less time waiting for files to sync. You can also make files in Drive available offline, and they’ll sync to the cloud when you’re back online.

After you install Drive File Stream, you access My Drive from My Computer (Microsoft Windows) or Finder (Apple Mac) like any regular folder. You can then move your files to Drive, where it will sync to the cloud and free up your computer space.

(If you decide later to uninstall Drive File Stream, your Drive files won’t be affected. They can still be accessed from Drive on the web.)

Drive File Stream is only available if your administrator has turned it on for your organization or team.

For more details, see What can you do with Drive File Stream.

Install Drive File Stream:

  1. On your computer, go to Use Drive File Stream with work or school and follow the installation instructions to download and install Drive File Stream. 
  2. At the bottom right (Windows) or top right (Mac), click Drive File Stream ""and thenOpen Google Drive "".

When you install Drive File Stream on your computer, it creates a drive in My Computer or a location in Finder named Google Drive File Stream. All your Drive files appear here.

Move files to a folder:

  1. Decide which files you want to store in Drive.
  2. (Optional) Organize the files in folders the way you want them to appear in Drive.
  3. Click Drive File Stream "".
  4. Click Open Drive Folder Folder.
  5. Move the files and folders into a folder. From now on, these files exist in the Drive folder and are synchronized with other devices that also have Drive installed.

If your internet connection breaks or you need to go offline in the middle of a sync, Drive File Stream picks up where it left off when you’re back online.

Move Drive files

Pause syncing:

  1. Click Drive File Stream "".
  2. Click Settings Settings and thenPause Syncing.

When paused, Drive File Stream won't upload local changes to Drive, and new versions of files made available offline won't be downloaded. Click Resume Syncing to start sync back up.

Pause Drive file stream sync

1.3 Upload files from your phone or tablet


You can also use the Drive app to store files on your Android or Apple iOS device. (If you decide later to uninstall the app, your Drive files won’t be affected and can still be accessed from Drive on the web.)

  1. Depending on your device, choose one of these options:
    • Android phone or tablet: Tap Google Play Google Play.
    • iOS devices: Tap App Store ios app store.
  2. Find and install the Drive app.
  3. Open the app containing the file you want to upload, tap Share, and then tap Drive.

Upload files from a mobile device



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