Tag Archives: Drive

10 fun facts to celebrate a decade of Drive

Engineer Darren Smith remembers the day that Google Drive launched in 2012. “We were all in a conference room, sort of like a war room,” he says. “We all cheered when the first user was live with Drive!" And just like that, Drive was...well, alive. (Fun fact: The team who launched it actually had “It exists” shirts made.)

  1. Drive was originally available via invite only when it was first rolling out. “We were all given tokens — sort of like digital passes — that we could share with family and friends,” says Darren. “It was really fun to see people finally using this thing we’d been working on for so long.”
  2. It’s hard to remember a time before you could save files from Gmail directly to Drive, but it was only a short while ago: Attachments in Gmail were introduced in 2013, saving us all from that agonizing experience of downloading file after file after file.
  3. You can store a lot in Google Drive — but maybe you don’t know how much. Ahem, a few numbers that may surprise you! You can store up to:
    • 1.02 million characters in a Google Doc
    • 10 million cells or 18,278 columns in a Google Sheet
    • 100 MB of data in a Google Slide presentation

Check out this Help Center article for more impressive storage stats.

4. The icon for Google Drive went through many, many iterations. Eventually, the team settled on the one we know and love — except it used to be rotated slightly differently so that it looked a little like a “D.” Eventually the team realized it looked too similar to the Google Play icon, so they rotated it . “Now it points up, sort of suggesting you’re uploading something to the cloud,” Drive Product Manager Scott Limbird says.

5. Accessibility is a major priority for Drive and all Google products — everyone should be able to use Drive, and get the most out of it. A huge step toward making this happen was the launch of screen reader compatibility in 2014, an update specifically designed for blind and low-vision users.

6. Google’s productivity expert Laura Mae Martin regularly shares her Drive tips with other Googlers — here’s a handy one for handling advanced images in Drive: In Drive, select New + and then Google Drawings (or type drawing.new into your browser!). From there, copy/paste, drag, upload or import your image file; then you can edit it, download it in any format and share the image like you would any other Drive file. Of course you can also use Google Drawings to make your own image entirely and import it into a Doc or Slide, or save it in various file formats.

Animated GIF showing how you can navigate to Google Drawings.

7. If you’re one of the many people with way too many things in your Drive, then search chips are your friend. We introduced this feature in February of this year, and it helps you find what you’re looking for based on what kind of file it is, who else is working on it with you…the list goes on and on.

8. Keeping users and their Drive content safe is important, which is why we’ve introduced features like suspicious file warnings, labels for sensitive files and more secure ways to share to broad audiences.

9. In 2017, we introduced Backup and Sync to make it easy for folks to control how their photos and files were backed up to Google services — and then in 2021, Drive for desktop replaced Backup and Sync, which made it even easier to access files from any device, anywhere. (Not to mention it made file and photo management simpler and faster!)

10. Darren says one of his favorite Drive memories actually happened outside the office. “When my daughter was getting married, her wedding planner was sharing all these files and folders with us,” he says. “And of course, she did that with Drive!”

Happy 10 years, Google Drive! You’re an excellent home for our Docs, Sheets, Slides…and everything else.

Sync content across all devices with Drive for desktop

Each year, people are creating more content and using more devices to access that content. So it’s more critical than ever to be able to keep files, folders and photos safe, synced between devices, backed up and organized. To address this, in the coming weeks we’ll be rolling out a number of new features for Drive for desktop (Windows, macOS), our unified sync client that lets you easily sync your content across all your devices and the cloud.

Quickly sync and access content directly from PC or Mac 

While many people access Google Drive directly from their web browser or from mobile apps, some people prefer to have access to their files and photos directly on their desktop, just like files that are stored locally on your device. Drive for desktop is an application for Windows and macOS that lets you quickly access content directly from your desktop, helping you easily access files and folders in a familiar location. Drive for desktop also automatically syncs local files to the cloud in the background, which minimizes the time you need to spend waiting for files to sync.


With Drive for desktop, you can access files directly from the cloud on your Mac or PC, which frees up your disk space and saves your network bandwidth. Because Drive files are stored in the cloud, any changes you or your collaborators make are automatically updated everywhere, and you’ll always have access to the latest version.

A screenshot of folders that are syncing with Drive or backing up to Photos using Drive for desktop

A unified, easy-to-use and faster sync client – for all users

Before launching Drive for desktop, we had two sync solutions available: Backup and Sync, which was built primarily for consumer users, and Drive File Stream, which was built for business users. Now, we're unifying these sync clients into the new Drive for desktop, bringing people the best and most used features from both Backup and Sync and Drive File Stream, including the ability to:

  • Upload and sync photos and videos to Google Photos and/or Google Drive

  • Sync external storage devices to the cloud, including flash drives and external hard drives

  • Mirror Drive files on your desktop, which stores your files on your local device and enables quicker access to your content

A screenshot of files being synced using Drive for desktop

Transitioning to Drive for desktop

In the coming weeks, Backup and Sync users will begin to see prompts asking them to transition to Drive for desktop, which we recommend doing by September 2021. After this point, users will see an in-product notification notifying them they’ll need to transition to continue syncing their files. For additional details on the transition from Backup and Sync to Drive for desktop, please refer to this Help Center article. 


You can learn more about the Drive for desktop transition for business users in this Google Workspace Updates blog post.

iPhones just got more helpful with Gmail, Drive and Fit widgets

When iPhone 12 was released a few weeks ago, we launched helpful widgets for your favorite Google apps on iOS. Over the next few days, we’re adding more for Gmail, Drive and Fit—and Calendar and Chrome widgets are on their way too.

Gmail

With the new Gmail widget, you can search your inbox, start a new message and check for unread messages at a glance.
Gmail widget

Google Drive

The new Drive widget helps you access files you’re most likely to need—and lets you search for any file from your homescreen.

Google Drive widget

Google Fit

For those of you keeping track of your activity with Heart Points and Steps in Google Fit, this helpful new widget puts those numbers front and center on your iOS device.

Google Fit widget

Coming soon 

Finally, we’re pleased to announce that in the coming weeks we’ll launch a Calendar widget and in the new year a new widget for Chrome. Calendar will put your upcoming appointments on your homescreen and give you quick access to your full calendar.

Calendar widget

The Chrome widget will give you quick access to search, open a new tab or incognito tab, voice search and QR code scanning— and the smaller widget comes with a little prehistoric surprise. If you have Chrome Beta you can try widgets today, and we’ll be bringing them to everyone early next year.

Chrome widget

To install any Google widget on iOS, first make sure you have the latest corresponding app downloaded from the App Store. Then follow these steps:


  1. Press and hold  on the home screen of your iPhone or iPad

  2. Tap the plus icon on the upper left corner to open the widget gallery

  3. Search for & tap the widget you’d like to install

  4. Swipe right/left to select the widget size

  5. Tap “Add Widget”

  6. Place the widget and tap “Done” at the upper right corner

Source: Drive


An update to storage policies across your Google Account

Over the past decade, Gmail, Google Drive and Google Photos have helped billions of people securely store and manage their emails, documents, photos, videos and more. Today, people are uploading more content than ever before—in fact, more than 4.3 million GB are added across Gmail, Drive and Photos every day. 

To continue providing everyone with a great storage experience and to keep pace with the growing demand, we're announcing important upcoming storage changes to your Google Account. These changes will apply to Photos and Drive (specifically Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms and Jamboard files) and will enable us to continue investing in these products for the future. We're also introducing new policies for consumer Google Accounts that are either inactive or over their storage limit across Gmail, Drive (including Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms and Jamboard files) and Photos, to bring our policies more in line with industry standards. 

These storage policy changes won’t take effect until June 1, 2021. However, we wanted to let you know well in advance and give you the resources to navigate these changes. Google Workspace subscribers, and G Suite for Education and G Suite for Nonprofits customers should refer to our Google Workspace Updates post to understand how these changes may affect them.

As always, every Google Account will continue to come with 15 GB of free storage across Gmail, Drive and Photos, which we estimate should last the majority of our users several years.  Because the content you store with these apps is primarily personal, it’s not used for advertising purposes. We’ll also continue to give you visibility and control over your storage, and provide tools to help you easily manage it. 


New content that will count toward your Google Account storage

Beginning June 1, any new photo or video uploaded in High quality in Google Photos will count toward your free 15 GB storage quota or any additional storage you’ve purchased as a Google One member. To make this transition easier, we’ll exempt all High quality photos and videos you back up before June 1. This includes all of the High quality photos and videos you currently store with Google Photos. Most people who back up in High quality should have years before they need to take action—in fact, we estimate that 80 percent of you should have at least three years before you reach 15 GB. You can learn more about this change in our Google Photos post.
All existing High quality photos and videos won't count towards your storage


Also starting June 1, any new Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms or Jamboard file will begin counting toward your free 15 GB of allotted storage or any additional storage provided through Google One. Existing files within these products will not count toward storage, unless they’re modified on or after June 1. You can learn more in our Help Center.


A new policy for accounts that are inactive or over storage limit

We’re introducing new policies for consumer accounts that are either inactive or over their storage limit across Gmail, Drive (including Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms and Jamboard files) and/or Photos to better align with common practices across the industry. After June 1: 

  • If you're inactive in one or more of these services for two years (24 months), Google may delete the content in the product(s) in which you're inactive. 
  • Similarly, if you're over your storage limit for two years, Google may delete your content across Gmail, Drive and Photos.

We will notify you multiple times before we attempt to remove any content so you have ample opportunities to take action. The simplest way to keep your account active is to periodically visit Gmail, Drive or Photos on the web or mobile, while signed in and connected to the internet. 

The Inactive Account Manager can help you manage specific content and notify a trusted contact if you stop using your Google Account for a certain period of time (between 3-18 months). Note that the new two year inactive policy will apply regardless of your Inactive Account Manager settings. 

You can learn more about these changes in our Help Center


How to manage your storage

To help you manage your Google Account storage, anyone can use the free storage manager in the Google One app and on the web, which gives you an easy way to see how you’re using your storage across Gmail, Drive and Photos. You can keep the files you want, delete the ones you no longer need and make room for more—all in one place.
Manage Google Account Storage with free Google One tool

If you need more than your free 15 GB of storage, you can upgrade to a larger storage plan with Google One. You can choose from plans starting at 100 GB of space that also include additional member features like access to Google experts, shared family plans and more.

In addition to helping us meet the growing demand for storage, these changes align our storage policies across products. As always, we remain committed to providing you a great experience and hope to continue to serve you in the future. You can learn more about this change in our Help Center

Google Assignments, your new grading companion

Instructors lose valuable time doing cumbersome tasks: writing the same comment on multiple essays, returning piles of paper assignments, and battling copy machine jams. These frustrations are most often felt by instructors with the highest teaching workloads and the least time. For the last five years, we’ve been building tools—like Classroom and Quizzes in Google Forms—to address these challenges. Now you can take advantage of these tools if you use a traditional Learning Management System (LMS). 

Assignments brings together the capabilities of Google Docs, Drive and Search into a new tool for collecting and grading student work. It helps you save time with streamlined assignment workflows, ensure student work is authentic with originality reports, and give constructive feedback with comment banks. You can use Assignments as a standalone tool and a companion to your LMS (no setup required!) or your school admin can integrate it with your LMS. Sign up today to try Assignments.

If you're one of the 40 million people using Classroom: you've got the best of Assignments already baked in, including our new originality reports. For everyone else, Assignments gives you access to these features as a compliment to your school’s LMS. 

Assignments is your tireless grading companion

Using an LMS can create more work than it saves: students turn in all kinds of files, you have to download and re-upload student files one-by-one, and what if students can keep editing after they already turned in their work? Assignments handles all this for you.

Assignments streamlines the creation and management of coursework, and tackles some of your biggest frustrations:

  • Stop typing the same feedback over and over by using a comment bank, and never worry about pressing the “save” button again

  • Check student work for originality and automatically lock work once it’s turned in

  • Assign files with the option to send each student a copy (no more copy machines!)

  • Grade assignments for an entire class with a student switcher and rubrics, and review any file type without leaving your grading interface

  • Comment and leave suggestions on student work with Google Docs

Grade in Google Assignments

Instructors and students can attach anything to assignments: Docs or Word files for papers, spreadsheets for data analysis, slides for presentations, sites for digital portfolios or final projects, Colab notebooks for programming exercises, and much more. 

Create assignments with Google Assignments

Help students turn in their best work with originality reports

With originality reports in Assignments, you can check student work for missed citations and possible plagiarism without interrupting your grading workflow. When students turn in a document, Assignments will check students’ text against hundreds of billions of web pages and tens of millions of books. 

If you enable originality reports on an assignment, students can also check their work for authenticity (a limited number of times) to correct issues, turn in their best work, and save instructors time grading. Since both you and your students can see originality reports, they’re designed to help you teach your students about authenticity and academic integrity. 

Analyze student work with originality reports

Getting started with Assignments

Starting today, you can sign up to get access to Assignments when it becomes available in a few weeks. Assignments will be available for free as part of G Suite for Education and can be used by instructors alongside or integrated with an LMS. 

Instructors can use Assignments even if your school has an LMS. There’s no setup required, all you need is to sign up and have a school-issued Google account. 

Admins can turn on access to Assignments within your LMS. Assignments is available as an LTI tool, which provides a more integrated experience and enables roster syncing and grade transmission to your LMS gradebook. Assignments is an improved and expanded version of Course Kit, so if you’re already in the Course Kit beta, you’ll automatically have access to Assignments. 

If you use Canvas, we’ve worked with their team to complement the Assignments LTI tool with a set of additional features that make Docs and Drive work seamlessly across all Canvas assignments. 

Source: Drive


A new way to help students turn in their best work

Today’s students face a tricky challenge: In an age when they can explore every idea imaginable on the internet, how do they balance outside inspiration with authenticity in their own work? Students have to learn to navigate the line between other people’s ideas and their own, and how and when to properly cite sources.

We've heard from instructors that they copy and paste passages into Google Search to check if student work is authentic, which can be repetitive, inefficient and biased. They also often spend a lot of time giving feedback about missed citations and improper paraphrasing. By integrating the power of Search into our assignment and grading tools, we can make this quicker and easier. 

That’s why Google is introducing originality reports. This new feature—with several reports included free in every course—will be part of Classroom and Assignments, which was also announced today. We create originality reports by scanning student work for matched phrases across hundreds of billions of web pages and tens of millions of books. 

When assigning work in Classroom and Assignments, instructors will have the option to enable originality reports. Students will then be able to run up to three originality reports on documents they attach to the assignment before submitting their work. This heads-up gives students an opportunity to proactively improve their work, and also saves time for instructors. 

After submission, a fresh originality report will automatically be available to instructors when grading the assignment. These reports will flag text that has missed citations and has high similarity with text on the web or in books.

Analyze student work with originality reports in Google Assignments

But comparing work to search results isn’t the only way to ensure authentic work. Coming soon, schools can choose to have their own private repository of past student submissions, so instructors can receive originality reports that include student-to-student matches within the same school. 

Once the feature is generally available, instructors will be able to access originality reports at no charge for up to three assignments in each course they teach. Schools that would like unlimited access can upgrade their instructors to G Suite Enterprise for Education.  During the initial, limited testing period, all instructors can use originality reports as much as they would like to, at no charge. We’ll continue to add features at no additional cost to G Suite for Education.

To use originality reports with Classroom, sign up to apply to be part of the testing program by filling out our form. To try Assignments, which includes originality reports automatically, sign up through our website.

We’re looking forward to seeing how teachers and students alike use the tool to create work that’s both authentic and original. 

Source: Drive


A new way to help students turn in their best work

Today’s students face a tricky challenge: In an age when they can explore every idea imaginable on the internet, how do they balance outside inspiration with authenticity in their own work? Students have to learn to navigate the line between other people’s ideas and their own, and how and when to properly cite sources.

We've heard from instructors that they copy and paste passages into Google Search to check if student work is authentic, which can be repetitive, inefficient and biased. They also often spend a lot of time giving feedback about missed citations and improper paraphrasing. By integrating the power of Search into our assignment and grading tools, we can make this quicker and easier. 

That’s why Google is introducing originality reports. This new feature—with several reports included free in every course—will be part of Classroom and Assignments, which was also announced today. We create originality reports by scanning student work for matched phrases across hundreds of billions of web pages and tens of millions of books. 

When assigning work in Classroom and Assignments, instructors will have the option to enable originality reports. Students will then be able to run up to three originality reports on documents they attach to the assignment before submitting their work. This heads-up gives students an opportunity to proactively improve their work, and also saves time for instructors. 

After submission, a fresh originality report will automatically be available to instructors when grading the assignment. These reports will flag text that has missed citations and has high similarity with text on the web or in books.

Analyze student work with originality reports in Google Assignments

But comparing work to search results isn’t the only way to ensure authentic work. Coming soon, schools can choose to have their own private repository of past student submissions, so instructors can receive originality reports that include student-to-student matches within the same school. 

Once the feature is generally available, instructors will be able to access originality reports at no charge for up to three assignments in each course they teach. Schools that would like unlimited access can upgrade their instructors to G Suite Enterprise for Education.  During the initial, limited testing period, all instructors can use originality reports as much as they would like to, at no charge. We’ll continue to add features at no additional cost to G Suite for Education.

To use originality reports with Classroom, sign up to apply to be part of the testing program by filling out our form. To try Assignments, which includes originality reports automatically, sign up through our website.

We’re looking forward to seeing how teachers and students alike use the tool to create work that’s both authentic and original. 

Source: Drive


Google Assignments, your new grading companion

Instructors lose valuable time doing cumbersome tasks: writing the same comment on multiple essays, returning piles of paper assignments, and battling copy machine jams. These frustrations are most often felt by instructors with the highest teaching workloads and the least time. For the last five years, we’ve been building tools—like Classroom and Quizzes in Google Forms—to address these challenges. Now you can take advantage of these tools if you use a traditional Learning Management System (LMS). 

Assignments brings together the capabilities of Google Docs, Drive, and Search into a new tool for collecting and grading student work. It helps you save time with streamlined assignment workflows, ensure student work is authentic with originality reports, and give constructive feedback with comment banks. You can use Assignments as a standalone tool and a companion to your LMS (no setup required!) or your school admin can integrate it with your LMS. Sign up today to try Assignments.

If you're one of the 40 million people using Classroom: you've got the best of Assignments already baked in, including our new originality reports. For everyone else, Assignments gives you access to these features as a compliment to your school’s LMS. 

Assignments is your tireless grading companion

Using an LMS can create more work than it saves: students turn in all kinds of files, you have to download and re-upload student files one-by-one, and what if students can keep editing after they already turned in their work? Assignments handles all this for you.

Assignments streamlines the creation and management of coursework, and tackles some of your biggest frustrations:

  • Stop typing the same feedback over and over by using a comment bank, and never worry about pressing the “save” button again

  • Check student work for originality and automatically lock work once it’s turned in

  • Assign files with the option to send each student a copy (no more copy machines!)

  • Grade assignments for an entire class with a student switcher and rubrics, and review any file type without leaving your grading interface

  • Comment and leave suggestions on student work with Google Docs

Grade in Google Assignments

Instructors and students can attach anything to assignments: Docs or Word files for papers, spreadsheets for data analysis, slides for presentations, sites for digital portfolios or final projects, Colab notebooks for programming exercises, and much more. 

Create assignments with Google Assignments

Help students turn in their best work with originality reports

With originality reports in Assignments, you can check student work for missed citations and possible plagiarism without interrupting your grading workflow. When students turn in a document, Assignments will check students’ text against hundreds of billions of web pages and tens of millions of books. 

If you enable originality reports on an assignment, students can also check their work for authenticity (a limited number of times) to correct issues, turn in their best work, and save instructors time grading. Since both you and your students can see originality reports, they’re designed to help you teach your students about authenticity and academic integrity. 

Analyze student work with originality reports

Getting started with Assignments

Starting today, you can sign up to get access to Assignments when it becomes available in a few weeks. Assignments will be available for free as part of G Suite for Education and can be used by instructors alongside or integrated with an LMS. 

Instructors can use Assignments even if your school has an LMS. There’s no setup required, all you need is to sign up and have a school-issued Google account. 

Admins can turn on access to Assignments within your LMS. Assignments is available as an LTI tool, which provides a more integrated experience and enables roster syncing and grade transmission to your LMS gradebook. Assignments is an improved and expanded version of Course Kit, so if you’re already in the Course Kit beta, you’ll automatically have access to Assignments. 

If you use Canvas, we’ve worked with their team to complement the Assignments LTI tool with a set of additional features that make Docs and Drive work seamlessly across all Canvas assignments. 

Source: Drive


Changing how Google Drive and Google Photos work together

Many of you store your photos and videos on both Google Drive and Google Photos, which keeps them safe and easy to access. We’ve heard feedback that the connection between these services is confusing, so next month, we’re making some changes to simplify the experience across Drive and Photos.

Changes to automatic sync between Google Drive and Google Photos

Starting in July, new photos and videos from Drive won’t automatically show in Photos. Similarly, new photos and videos in Photos will not be added to the Photos folder in Drive. Photos and videos you delete in Drive will not be removed from Photos. Similarly, items you delete in Photos will not be removed from Drive. This change is designed to help prevent accidental deletion of items across products.

 New “Upload from Drive” feature in Google Photos

We’ve heard that many of you would like more granular control when copying photos and videos from Drive into Photos. So we’re bringing a new feature to photos.google.com called “Upload from Drive,” which lets you manually choose photos and videos from Drive, including “Shared with Me” items, to import into Photos. Once copied, these items are not connected between the two products. Since photos and videos will no longer sync across both products, items copied in Original Quality will count towards your storage quota in both Drive and Photos.

 Backup and Sync for Windows and Mac will continue to work

You’ll still be able to use Backup and Sync on Windows or macOS to upload to both services in High Quality or Original Quality. As before, items uploaded in High Quality won’t count against your account storage quota, and items uploaded using Backup and Sync in Original Quality to both services will count only once towards your quota.

 Your existing photos and videos will stay in Google Drive and Google Photos

Any photos or videos from Drive in Photos that you have uploaded prior to this change will remain in Photos. If you have a “Google Photos” folder in Drive, it will remain in Drive, but will no longer update automatically.

 Our goal with these changes is to simplify some features that caused confusion for our users, based on feedback and our own research. We’ll continue to look for more ways to help support Drive and Photos users going forward.

 If you want to take a closer look at these new changes, please check out our guide.

Source: Drive


Changing how Google Drive and Google Photos work together

Many of you store your photos and videos on both Google Drive and Google Photos, which keeps them safe and easy to access. We’ve heard feedback that the connection between these services is confusing, so next month, we’re making some changes to simplify the experience across Drive and Photos.

Changes to automatic sync between Google Drive and Google Photos

Starting in July, new photos and videos from Drive won’t automatically show in Photos. Similarly, new photos and videos in Photos will not be added to the Photos folder in Drive. Photos and videos you delete in Drive will not be removed from Photos. Similarly, items you delete in Photos will not be removed from Drive. This change is designed to help prevent accidental deletion of items across products.

 New “Upload from Drive” feature in Google Photos

We’ve heard that many of you would like more granular control when copying photos and videos from Drive into Photos. So we’re bringing a new feature to photos.google.com called “Upload from Drive,” which lets you manually choose photos and videos from Drive, including “Shared with Me” items, to import into Photos. Once copied, these items are not connected between the two products. Since photos and videos will no longer sync across both products, items copied in Original Quality will count towards your storage quota in both Drive and Photos.

 Backup and Sync for Windows and Mac will continue to work

You’ll still be able to use Backup and Sync on Windows or macOS to upload to both services in High Quality or Original Quality. As before, items uploaded in High Quality won’t count against your account storage quota, and items uploaded using Backup and Sync in Original Quality to both services will count only once towards your quota.

 Your existing photos and videos will stay in Google Drive and Google Photos

Any photos or videos from Drive in Photos that you have uploaded prior to this change will remain in Photos. If you have a “Google Photos” folder in Drive, it will remain in Drive, but will no longer update automatically.

 Our goal with these changes is to simplify some features that caused confusion for our users, based on feedback and our own research. We’ll continue to look for more ways to help support Drive and Photos users going forward.

 If you want to take a closer look at these new changes, please check out our guide.

Source: Drive