How to Remove Files from Google Drive

We've already explained in previous tutorials that, once you upload files to Google Drive, you can share them with other people or download them to other devices.  But what if you don't want to store some of your files on Google Drive anymore, either because you don't feel like sharing them anymore or you're running out of memory storage space?  Not to worry; Google Drive makes this easy, too!

How to delete files from Google Drive

  1. Go to drive.google.com in your web browser and log in.

  2. Find the file that you wish to remove from Google Drive, and click on it to select it.  Then, click the Remove icon in the upper-right corner (it looks like a trashcan).

    Note that removing a file from your Google Drive will not prevent anyone with whom you have shared the file from still accessing it.  This is because you have not permanently deleted the file yet; we'll go over how to do that in the next step.

  3. You can click the Trash menu on the left-hand side to see any files that you have temporarily removed from your Google Drive.  Though other people may still be able to access them (if you have shared them), their usual actions will not be available (at least for you).

    Click on a file to select it, and then click Delete Forever in the upper-right corner to permanently delete it from Google Drive (this will prevent anyone whom you've shared it with from accessing it anymore, too).  A window will pop up warning that this action is irreversible; click Delete Forever in this window if you are sure that you wish to permanently delete the selected file from Google Drive.

    You can also click on a file and then click Restore to put it back into your Google Drive.

That's it!  You now know how to delete files from Google Drive!


Downloading from Google Drive

Okay, so you've uploaded some files to Google Drive, and maybe even shared them with others.  But what if you want to put them onto another device, or get them back onto your computer if you've lost the original files?  Fortunately, Google Drive makes this a piece of cake!

How to download a file from Google Drive in 5 easy steps

  1. Go to drive.google.com in your web browser and log in.

  2. Find the file on Google Drive that you wish to download, and then click on it to select it.  Then click on the More Actions menu (it looks like three vertically-stacked dots) and select Download.

  3. A download prompt should appear.  Click on the button beside "Save File" (if it isn't marked already) and then click OK.

  4. An explorer window should pop up, allowing you to select where you would like to save your file.  Navigate to the place where you want your file to download to, and then click Save.

    (NOTE: If this window doesn't appear, check the Downloads folder on your computer.)

  5. When your file finishes downloading, go to the location where you told it to download to, and it should be right there!

That's how to download a file from Google Drive!  Quick and easy, right?


How to Share Files on Google Drive

Once you have uploaded some files to Google Drive, why not share them with other people?  You can choose what you want to share and what you want to keep private.  And even if you do share some files, you can decide how much you want the people with whom you share them to be able to do with them.

How to share a file on Google Drive in 5 easy steps

  1. Go to drive.google.com in your web browser and log in.

  2. Find the file on Google Drive that you wish to share, and click it to select it.  Then, click the Share icon in the top-right corner (it looks like a little head with a plus sign beside it).

  3. If you click Advanced when the sharing window pops up, you can see all of the different options that you have for sharing files through Google Drive.  We'll start with the ones at the top.

    Underneath the web address of the file, you will see a list of people who have access to the file.  The first option will always be the general sharing settings; click Change to edit them (we'll go over this more in step 4).  Below that are specific people who have access to the file; click the drop-down menu beside their name to choose whether they Can View, Can Comment on, or Can Edit the file.  Or, click the "X" beside their name to remove their access to the file.

  4. If you click Change beside the general sharing settings, you can set who has access to this file.

    Your options are, from top to bottom:

    Public: Anyone on the Internet can find and access your file.

    Public Link: Anyone who knows the Internet address of your file can access it.

    Domain: Anyone within your particular email domain (in this case, Techboomers, or "@techboomers.com") can find and access the file.  (Will only appear if you are using Google Drive as part of a business.)

    Domain Link: Anyone within your particular email domain who knows the Internet address of your file can access it.  (Will only appear if you are using Google Drive as part of a business.)

    Specific People: Only specific people whom you have invited to access the file can do so.

    If you choose any option other than "Specific People", you can also choose the overall access privileges that people who can access the file have.  Like for individual people, you can choose whether they Can View, Can Comment on, or Can Edit the file.

    When you're done making changes, click Save.

  5. At the very bottom of the screen, you can click the two check boxes here to prevent people who can edit your file from changing the access privileges to the file (including inviting new people to access it), or prevent anyone who cannot edit the file from downloading it, printing it, or copying it either.

    Above these check boxes, click in the box labelled "Invite People" and type in the names or email addresses of people with whom you want to share this file.  Click the "X" beside the name of someone whom you've already added to remove them.  You can also click the drop-down menu beside this box to decide whether these people Can View, Can Comment on, or Can Edit your file (as we explained above, though, you can change this later).

    If you want to send emails to these people to tell them that you've shared this file with them, click the check box beside "Notify People via Email" (or just leave it marked if it is already).  You can also click Add Message to create a custom message to send to the recipients, or click the check box beside "Send A Copy to Myself" to send copies of the invitations that you give out to your own email address.

    When you're ready to share your file, click Send (or Okay, if you decide not to send out email notifications).

That's everything that you need to know about sharing files with Google Drive!


How to Upload a File to Google Drive

Once you've created a Google Drive account, one of the first things that you'll probably want to learn how to do is store your computer files on Google Drive.  That way, they're (relatively) safe on Google's servers, and you can get at them from anywhere that you can log into Google Drive.  You can upload office documents, videos, pictures, audio tracks, etc. — pretty much anything that a computer can read — in this way.

How to upload files to Google Drive (documents, videos, pictures, music, and more)

  1. Go to drive.google.com in your web browser.  When asked to log in, click in the box labelled "Enter your Email Address" and type in the email address that you used to sign up for your Google Drive account.  Then click Next.

  2. After entering your email, Google will ask you to enter the password for your account.  Click in the box labelled "Password" and type in the password that you picked to secure your Google Drive account.  Then click Sign In.

  3. Once you're on your main screen for Google Drive, click New in the upper-left corner, and then select File Upload.

  4. An explorer window will pop up, allowing you to search your computer for the file that you wish to upload to Google Drive.  Navigate to the file that you want to upload, click it to select it, and then click Open.

  5. A window will appear in the bottom-right corner that will show you what files you are currently uploading.  Click Cancel beside a file to stop it from uploading, or click Cancel All to stop all files that are currently uploading from doing so.

  6. Once your file(s) has successfully uploaded, you should see it in your main Google Drive screen.  If you don't see it, don't panic.  A message should pop up when you upload your file, and you can click Locate beside it to find out where your file has gone.

Those are the basics of uploading a file to Google Drive!


How to Create a Google Drive Account

Google Drive is part of a whole network of services owned by Google that can be accessed from the same account.  So if you have an account on Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Finance, etc., then you can use it to log into Google Drive.  If you haven't used any other Google services, though, then we'll show you how to create a new Google Drive account here.

4 Steps to Create a Google Drive account

  1. Go to drive.google.com in your web browser, where you'll be asked to log into your Google account.  If you don't have one, click Create Account.

  2. The sign up form for a Google account is kind of long, so we'll split it up for you.

    In the top part of the form, click in each of the boxes shown in the screenshot above and type in:

    – Your first and last names
    – Your email address
    – A password that you will protect your account with
    – A copy of the password that you just entered
    – The month, day, and year of your birth
    – Your gender
    – Your phone number (click the flag to select a different country code)

    (NOTE: You can click I Would Like a New Gmail Account if you want to get a Gmail address and account at the same time as your Google Drive account.)

  3. In the lower half of the form, click in the box labelled "Type the Text" and type in the word(s) or numbers that appear in the picture above the box.  This is simply a security check to make sure that you are an actual person and not a computer program designed to create fake accounts.

    Next, click the drop-down menu labelled "Country" and select which country you live in.  To wrap up, click in the check box near the bottom to say that you agree to Google's rules regarding your account and what you do with it.  Then click Next Step.

  4. The next screen will show you a preview of what your Google Account profile will look like to other people.  You can edit it if you'd like by clicking Create your Profile; otherwise, click No Thanks to go right to Google Drive.

That's about all there is to creating a Google Drive account!