How to backup Google Drive

How to backup Google Drive

The pain of having our personal data permanently lost is one that almost everybody can relate to. It’s bitter, cold, and leaves you feeling powerless. Google Drive has often been a solution for many people to keep their data safe by creating a backup on this cloud storage server.

Yet even that data isn’t necessarily safe. That’s why it’s a great idea to learn how to backup Google Drive.

Everyone is prone to deleting their files by accident. It’s normal, but painful nonetheless. The consequences are far from desirable.

Malicious malware, viruses, and cyberattacks can also put your data at risk and leave you vulnerable. Even the people you share Google Drive access with could end up deleting or modifying your data.

No matter what the risks are, it’s always good to keep your files backed up. In this article, we’ll be giving you comprehensive yet simple ways how to backup Google Drive. Let’s get right into it!

Table of Contents

  1. How to backup Google Drive
    1. Using external hardware
    2. Using Google Takeout
    3. Using the Backup and Sync application
    4. Backup data to Google Vault
  2. Wrap Up

How to backup Google Drive

Using external hardware

There are a lot of options, but the most straightforward solution for keeping data off the cloud is external hardware. From USBs to hard drives and physical data banks, your options are plentiful.

All you need to do is to back up your files to this device and you’ll always be able to restore those files if you keep the hardware safe.

Here’s how you can backup your Google Drive with this method:

  • Connect your external hardware to your PC and browse to where you want to store all your data. For ease of access, it would be better to create a new folder in your hardware and name it accordingly, like “Google Drive Backup”;
  • Open Google Drive and make sure you are in the “My Drive” menu, although this method can also work for files shared with you;
  • Select all your files. Using the cursor for this is more time-consuming than it needs to be. Keyboard shortcuts are always your friend, so Press Ctrl + A to select all of your files;
  • Right-click on your screen, and select “Download” from the pop-up menu. All your files are going to be compressed into a ZIP format and then downloaded. You can either choose the download destination or have it automatically downloaded to your default destination. In the end, make sure that the ZIP file ends up in your external hardware.

Once you’re done, it’s only a matter of extracting files from this folder to access whatever you need.

Using Google Takeout

Google Takeout is an application that automatically works to save a copy of all your Google data. This includes Google Drive, but also Gmail, Photos, and other platforms.

In this article, we’ll be focusing only on how you can use this tool to backup Google Drive. Google Takeout is especially useful if you’re looking for one-time data backups.

Here’s how it works:

  • Log in to your Google account on your browser;
  • Visit the Google Takeout website, or click this link;
  • You’ll notice that all your data across all your Google apps have been selected for backup. On the right side of the selection menu you should see an option saying “Deselect all”;
  • Select the data you want to backup from Google Drive;
  • Click on the Next Step;
  • All your options to backup your data will now appear in front of you. Pick and choose your preference and just relax as the software handles everything else.

The time taken for your data to be ready may depend on the volume you are trying to backup.

Using the Backup and Sync application

The Backup and Sync client is an easy way provided by Google to automate your data backups. This method is the opposite of a one-time backup as mentioned previously.

Using this tool is great if you want to fully automate your Google Drive backup so that it saves any new files or changes to existing ones automatically.

Here’s how you can set it up:

  • Download the application here;
  • Once your download is ready, open the file to install and run and client;
  • Sign in using your Google account details;
  • You’ll have a range of options in front of you that may seem complex, but I assure you there’s nothing to worry about. You can choose folders or individual files and the destination file which you can specify.

While this application does backup your Google Drive, there are some cautions to be taken while using it.

Firstly, you should know that this is method saves your files on your PC’s hard drive. You need to make sure you have enough space available for the backup.

Secondly, your Google Drive and your hard drive are synced through this method. What this means is that a change in your Google Drive will automatically update the backup destination, but the opposite also holds true.

For this reason, it is recommended that if your worry about data loss has to do with people who have access to your Google Drive, then you should save important files using other methods.

Backup data to Google Vault

You’ll need a G Suite account for this. Google Vault is a premium service that is ideal for businesses and people looking to secure sensitive and highly important data.

There are two major drawbacks to using Google Vault: it’s very expensive, and it is an archiving tool – NOT a restoration tool. Your files will be securely stored for reference and viewing, but cannot be restored to your PC.

Using Google Vault to backup Google Drive is fairly simple:

  • Go to the Google Vault page, or click here;
  • Sign in using your G Suite account;
  • Click on the “Retention” menu on the left side of your screen;
  • Select your Google Drive and choose your backup preference;
  • Check on “Set a default retention rule for Drive” so you won’t have to worry about changes in your preference;
  • Select “indefinitely” on the radio button showing.

And that’s it, you’re all done!

Wrap Up

This article essentially addressed the official ways you can choose from to backup your Google Drive.

However, don’t forget that you can also opt for a bunch of great third-party applications to back up your data. Some of the more popular ones have proven pretty reliable.

Good luck keeping your data safe!

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