Manual upload settings in Google Drive

Learn how to set your upload preferences and about privacy of uploaded files.

Manual upload is when you select individual files and folders to upload into Google Drive, which is different than the automatic syncing that happens when you use Google Drive for your Mac/PC. All manually uploaded files will show in My Drive.

Set your manual upload preferences

Setting your manual upload preferences makes it easier for you to have consistency when you're uploading files or folders. Every time you upload a file or folder, these preferences will be applied.

In the "Upload settings" dialog, you can select from these options:

  • Convert documents, presentations, spreadsheets and drawings to the corresponding Google Docs format.
    • Select this option to convert all of your files from their existing format, like an Open Office document, into an editable online version in Google Docs. If you don't select this option, this document will appear as a view-only document in the Google Docs Viewer.
  • Convert text from PDF or image files to Google Docs documents.
    • Select this option to convert image files into a collaborative online version in Google Docs by using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. Learn more about OCR.

These settings will apply to all future uploads, but you may change your settings at any time either by clicking on the gear icon and choosing "Upload settings", or by clicking the Settings drop-down menu in the box that indicates the progress of your upload.

Sharing settings

The default visibility setting for uploaded files and folders is "Private". This is true even for Google Apps domains that may have selected a different default visibility setting.

If you’d like to change the visibility setting or share this file or folder with other people, you have a couple of options in Google Drive:

  • In the box indicating the progress of your upload, you’ll see a Share link next to each file name. Click this link to change the visibility setting of that file to "Anyone with the link" or "Public," or enter the email addresses of the people you’d like to share the file with.
  • In Google Drive, check the box next to the title of the file you'd like to share. From the More menu, select Share and then Sharing settings. From the sharing dialog box, you'll be able to change the visibility setting or share the file with other people.