Activate Drive with These Powerful Features

The power of Google Drive is at your fingertips.

In IST’s Between U and G, you can explore how Google Drive protects your files from harmful malware and ransomware, uses machine learning to intelligently find files, and allows you to automatically remove access to shared files after a set amount of time.

Google Drive is a secure, reliable platform to store your work. However, it’s not just a place to store things: it’s also a place to create things. From text documents in Google Docs, presentations in Google Slides, spreadsheets in Google Sheets and surveys in Google Forms, Google Drive is a state-of-the-art collaboration tool.

Between U and G will dive into Google Drive’s best and little-known features. Follow these tech tips to keep on top of your work and stay secure.  


Google Drive helps protect files from harmful software

Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides in Google Drive are protected against threats of harmful software, including viruses and ransomware. This is because a computer that accesses these files does not actually store any of the files. Editing is done completely through a web browser, and files are encrypted and stored securely in the cloud.

If the Google Drive Sync application is used to synchronize files from Drive's cloud to a folder on the desktop computer, Docs, Sheets, and Slides are still safe. Even if the Google Doc encrypted file is affected by ransomware or other harmful software, it will not sync back to the Google Drive in the cloud.

Google Drive also offers some protection for other file types (Microsoft Word, PDFs, images and more) that are stored. Using the Managed Versions feature, other file types can be recovered from a previous “non-infected” version.

Learn more here.


Upload files via drag and drop, plus deduplication

Drag and drop is a quick and easy way to upload files (including Word documents, PDFs, images, and more) from your computer to Google Drive. Using the latest version of the Chrome web browser, just drag the files directly from the computer to the Google Drive window. A status window will display Upload complete when all the files have uploaded successfully.

If a file is uploaded that matches the name of an existing file, Drive will add it as a new version instead of creating a duplicate. To prevent the file from being deduplicated, click “Keep as separate file” once it’s been uploaded.

Reminder: Any type of file containing personally identifiable medical information should not be uploaded to Google Drive.

Learn more here.


Set expiration dates for access to Drive files

When sharing files in Google Drive for others  to comment or view, you can specify the duration of time they will have access. Once the date is reached, Drive will automatically remove the sharing of the file. An expiration date can be set for 7 days, 30 days, or custom if a more specific date is required.

Note: expiration dates cannot be set for people with edit access.

Learn more here.

Recommendations for sharing with Google Drive:

Google Drive is a powerful collaboration tool that can store many types of files, including photos, videos, PDFs, and even Microsoft Office files. It is important to remember the following tips when sharing files with others:

  • do not share files with others if you are uncertain whether they should have access;
  • carefully consider with whom you want to share;
  • share only the specific files and folders required (do not blanket share folders);
  • determine what type of access is necessary (e.g., Can Edit, Can Comment, or Can View). The more restricted the access, the more secure the data will be;
  • if the shared files and folders are no longer needed, consider removing access or set an expiration date prior to sharing.


Quick Access

Save time searching for the right file with Quick Access for Google Drive. Quick Access uses machine learning to intelligently predict the files you need, before you’ve even searched for them.

Quick Access intelligently predicts and presents files based on:

  • who you frequently share specific files with;
  • when relevant meetings occur;
  • what files are used at certain times of the day.

Learn more here.


View details and activity

Keep track of changes made to files and folders in Google Drive with the View Details & Activity feature. To see recent changes and information about the selected file or folder, click the view details  button in the upper right of the window. Details include:

  • edits or comments made in the Google Document;
  • renames of a file or folder;
  • moves or removes of a file or folder;
  • uploads of a new file to a folder;
  • sharing and unsharing of an item.

Learn more here.


Search within images and PDFs

Google Drive can find files (Docs, Sheets, and Slides) by searching both the name and the contents of the file. Drive also scans through images and PDFs when doing a text search. For example, Drive can find whiteboard pictures from a meeting, scanned receipts from a lunch, or a PDF version of a memo that contains your search keywords. Try searching for text that you know is inside a picture or PDF and watch Drive find it!

Learn more here.


Additional Resources

G Suite Training: Interactive Coaching and Walkthroughs

The G Suite Training Chrome extension is integrated in a way that provides a training experience like no other. Need assistance sending an email? With G Suite Training, users will be guided through the task visually from start to finish — all without leaving the application.

G Suite Training is perfect for those users who are new to Google applications and would like to learn key tasks, such as sending an email, and for those users who are more experienced and need assistance with more advanced tasks, such as setting up labels.

Ready to install? Visit the G Suite Training (Chrome extension) to get started.

Google Drive Help Centre

Get all your answers through the Google Drive Help Centre, available here

Posted by Sheena Moore