How to Make a Google Drive Backup

By its nature, Google Drive is a backup for the files that you upload to it from your computer.  But once you start sharing your files on Google Drive, you may be opening the door to having them changed or even deleted (if you transfer their ownership) against your will by other Google Drive users.  You may also accidentally delete a file yourself that you or someone else ends up needing at a later occasion.

Fortunately, just as you can upload files from your computer to Google Drive in order to keep them safe there, so too can you download your Google Drive files to your computer or other device if you fear that they will be changed or deleted while on Google Drive.  However, downloading your files one (folder) at a time from Google Drive is rather inefficient, so we’re going to show you a way to download all of the files on your Google Drive at once with a service called Google Takeout.

How to back up Google Drive using Google Takeout

  1. Go to in your web browser and log in.

  2. Click on your profile picture or email address in the top-right corner, and then click My Account.

  3. Under the Personal Info & Privacy section, click Control Your Content.

  4. Under where it says “Download Your Data”, click Create Archive.

  5. On the next screen, click the checkmarks beside all of the Google products EXCEPT “Drive” (or leave the ones beside the other products that you want to back up).  Then click Next.

  6. On the next screen, you will be asked to specify how you want to download your archive of Google Drive (and any other Google products that you selected).  Make sure that .zip is selected in the drop-down menu under “File Type”, and that Send Download Link Via Email is selected in the drop-down menu under “Delivery Method” (these should be the default settings).  Then click Create Archive.

  7. When your archive is ready, click Download beside it.  (You will be asked to log into your Google Drive account again; do so.)

  8. A download prompt will appear for your archive.  Make sure the button beside “Save File” is selected (click it if it isn’t), and then click OK.

  9. A window should appear that will allow you to select where you want to save your archive.  Navigate to the place where you want to download your archive to, and then click Save.

Just like when you download folders from Google Drive, your Google Drive archive will have all of its files data-compressed to save memory space and speed up download times.  You will usually have to decompress the files to get them into a format where they’re usable again; follow these instructions to learn how to do so.


That’s how to make a backup of Google Drive!