Files available on Google Drive are maintained on storage protected by Google. By signing on to a Google account, the owner can access these files from any computer, tablet or smartphone with internet access. The owner can also email files or share them by specifying collaborators under the File menu of Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides. Apple, Microsoft, Samsung and other corporations have their own version of cloud storage.
I save all my files on Google Drive. If submission guidelines request a Microsoft Word document or PDF, I open Google Docs and save or email documents in their preferred format.
Access from Google Drive
Any file created by a Google app is available from Google Drive. I organize mine in folders by function: Household, Personal, Business, and one for each project. To make a folder from Google Drive:
- Select the blue “new” button, top left.
- Select “New folder.”
- Enter a folder name in the data entry rectangle.
Drag related documents, spreadsheets, presentations or other files into the appropriate folder.
The Files icon, a manila file folder in a blue circle, is more general than Google Drive. Select the Files icon to see all recent files stored on your local computer, all downloads, and any external storage connected to the Chromebook or computer. An external drive is represented by a trident or pitchfork symbol.
My Chromebook is the go-to travel computer. Outdoor destinations have sketchy internet, or none. So I have set the offline switch, which keeps a copy of recent files on the Chromebook. Files are synchronized with the cloud in the background when I get to a library, motel room, or coffee shop and connect through wifi. Here’s one way to do it:
- Select Google Drive.
- Select the settings gear icon (or daisy, as some of us see it).
- Check the box right of “Offline” to keep a synchronized copy of recent files on your Chromebook or computer.
Icons visible from the Chromebook search key (magnifying glass) or a Tic-Tac-Toe symbol in the top right corner of the Chrome browser are automatically rearranged by frequency of use. If you do not see the blue, green and yellow triangle of Google Drive or the File app, look on the second page by selecting the blue “all apps” circle or the gray bar at the bottom of the first page of icons.