Ah, the cloud. It sounds so gentle, so fluffy, so worry-free — does not it?
Right here in the actual world, although, cloud providers aren’t all the time so easy. With Google Drive, particularly, whether or not you are storing and managing multimedia belongings or coping with paperwork and spreadsheets, there is a respectable likelihood you may run into some method of murkiness alongside the best way.
Drive does a number of issues nicely, but it surely actually has its share of, let’s assume, quirks. I’ve heard it everywhere in the years — and now, I’ve put collectively a set of a few of the commonest Drive challenges I’ve encountered together with some quick ‘n’ easy options to beat ’em.
Learn by means of these fixes, hold onto any that appear related for future reference, and prepare to look at your cloud-related worries float away.
Google Drive downside #1: Tough downloads
For one thing that is primarily a storage service, you’d suppose the fundamental act of, y’know, transferring information with Drive could be easy. Sadly, although, Drive is considerably infamous for making downloads a large ache within the patootie — no less than, when multiple file is concerned.
When you choose a number of information on the Drive web site after which attempt to obtain ’em all concurrently, the positioning begins to package deal the information right into a compressed zip archive — after which, all too usually, takes an eternity to complete that course of and begin your precise obtain. It is a often irritating expertise and the very last thing you need to take care of if you’re simply attempting to avoid wasting stuff and transfer on.
There’s not a lot you are able to do in regards to the course of itself, however you can keep away from the web site solely and switch information in an easier, sooner, and extra dependable method. You have received a couple of completely different choices, all of which put the Drive web site technique to disgrace.
First, in case you’re utilizing Chrome OS, the operate you want is constructed proper into your Chromebook: Simply open up the system Information app, discover the Google Drive part within the left-hand menu, and drag and drop any folders or information between there and your native storage.
On a Home windows or Mac pc, seize Google’s official Backup and Sync program or the team-based File Stream various for managed enterprise environments. You may then set this system as much as maintain any folders out of your Drive storage synced to your pc’s storage — so a folder in your pc mainly turns into a mirror for the equal folder in Drive. Something you save to it or drag to it should robotically get uploaded to Drive, and the native folder and the Drive folder will all the time be equivalent.
And eventually, if you wish to get actually geeky, you may truly use an FTP program to signal into your Drive account after which drag and drop issues immediately between it and your pc with none annoying interfaces or pointless time-wasters. If that sounds too difficult or complicated for you, then it is most likely not one thing you want. However in case you use FTP in different components of your life and discover the chance alluring, the particular program you may need to seize to make it occur is a free and open-source FTP consumer referred to as Cyberduck. It is obtainable for each Home windows and Mac (and there is actually no want for it on Chrome OS, for the reason that identical primary functionality is constructed immediately into the system file supervisor on that platform).
As soon as you’ve got put in this system, click on the Open Connection button, choose “Google Drive” from the dropdown menu on the high of the connection field, then click on Join. A web page will pop up in your browser prompting you to permit the app entry to your Drive storage, after which you may be given a particular code that you’re going to want to repeat and paste again right into a immediate that’ll be ready for you within the app.
After you’ve got executed that, you may have a file-system-like view of your Drive storage proper in entrance of you — and you may drag and drop something out of your pc into it or something from it into a neighborhood pc folder.
As an extra-geeky bonus, Cyberduck can do the identical factor with each Dropbox and OneDrive as nicely, in case you may have any want to hook up with both of these providers.
Google Drive downside #2: Workplace awfulness
I do not find out about you, however I are inclined to get an entire lot of Phrase information despatched my method. And since I way back despatched Microsoft’s Workplace apps a-packin’ and converted to Google Docs for all of my very own writing, I normally find yourself dragging these information into the Drive web site to open ’em and do no matter’s wanted inside my most well-liked atmosphere.
For years, Drive relied on a Chrome-connected system referred to as Workplace Compatibility Mode to make that doable. It is a stripped-down interface the place you may view and carry out primary edits on Workplace information however the place most superior phrase processing options — together with commenting — are lacking in motion. And fairly actually, it is sort of irritating to make use of.
There’s truly a a lot higher choice, although — one you’d most likely by no means know existed in case you’ve been utilizing Drive for lengthy sufficient to have that Compatibility Mode system in place. So right here it’s: Since mid-2019, Drive has supported native Microsoft Workplace file modifying inside the usual, absolutely featured Google Docs interface and with none conversions or stripped-down setups required.
In the event you’re nonetheless seeing that previous Compatibility Mode when dragging Workplace information into the Drive web site, all you’ve got gotta do is take away the Workplace Enhancing extension out of your browser — by opening its Chrome Internet Retailer web page and clicking the Take away from Chrome button (which might be current if the extension is put in) — after which refresh the Drive web site, in case you already had it open. The following time you drag an Workplace file into the positioning, Drive will robotically open it in an editor that appears and works precisely just like the common Docs editor, solely with a blue “.DOCX” chip subsequent to the file’s title to let you are utilizing the Phrase format. (Simply notice that considerably confusingly, it’s good to drag the file into the Drive web site, not add to the Docs web site, for this to work.)
The file will stay in its unique format all through any edits you make. If it’s good to export it to ship it again to somebody after modifying, you may all the time obtain or share it from Drive or immediately from the Docs modifying interface. (And whereas we’re been speaking about paperwork particularly right here, by the best way, all of this identical stuff applies to Excel and PowerPoint information as nicely.)
Only one last item to test: Drive has an choice inside its settings (which yow will discover by clicking the gear-shaped icon within the Drive web site’s upper-right nook after which deciding on — yep, you guessed it — “Settings”) that’ll robotically convert all uploaded paperwork into the Docs modifying format. That usually is not enabled by default, however if you wish to ensure that any Phrase information stay within the Phrase format, as described above, you would possibly need to take a fast peek and ensure that that choice is certainly deactivated in your account.
Google Drive downside #3: Conversion challenges
Talking of file codecs, have you ever ever discovered your self watching a file in your Drive and wishing you had a technique to flip it into some different sort of file? Whether or not it is a doc it’s good to remodel right into a PDF, a PNG it’s good to morph right into a JPG, or a WAV you need saved as an MP3, shifting from one method of file to a different is a fragile and sometimes troublesome dance.
It does not must be, although. Initially, if the conversion you want revolves round any method of ordinary textual content file — PDF, RTF, DOCX, TXT, and even HTML or EPUB — you may truly deal with your transformation immediately inside Docs. Simply open the file into Docs (both by double-clicking it inside Drive, if it already has the Docs icon subsequent to it and is about to open there by default, or by right-clicking it after which deciding on “Open with” adopted by “Google Docs” if not).
From there, if the file is a PDF, it’s going to robotically get transformed right into a plain-text doc on the spot. If it is some other sort of file, you may click on “File” adopted by “Obtain” to seek out choices for saving it into an alternate format.
However what in case you’re coping with one thing past a primary textual content file? The reply there lies inside an ultra-handy Google Drive add-on referred to as CloudConvert. Open up the add-on’s web page throughout the Google Workspace Market, click on the button to put in it, and comply with the steps so as to add it into your account.
You may see some warnings in regards to the stage of entry you may be granting the service, however do not fret: Initially, CloudConvert could have entry solely to the Drive information that you just explicitly ship to it or create with it, to not your whole Drive storage — and second, the corporate’s privateness coverage makes it clear that it by no means reads or collects information from uploaded information or does something shady along with your information. (The corporate makes its cash by promoting subscriptions, however until you anticipate doing greater than 25 file conversions a day, you will not must pay to make use of it.)
After you’ve got received that added, you may right-click on any file inside Drive after which choose “Open with” adopted by “CloudConvert” to pick out a brand new format and start a conversion. The ensuing file might be saved again into your Drive storage as quickly because it’s completed.
Google Drive downside #4: Cell syncing
The Drive syncing methods we talked a couple of minute in the past are nice on the desktop entrance — however if you’re utilizing Drive out of your cellphone, you are way more restricted in choices.
Certain, you should utilize the Drive app’s built-in “Make obtainable offline” operate — which yow will discover by tapping the three-dot menu icon alongside any particular person file — if it’s good to maintain particular Drive information accessible in your machine even if you aren’t on-line. If you wish to truly sync whole folders in both route, although, or have any information obtainable to be used outdoors of Drive itself, the official app will not be of any assist.
On Android, an app referred to as Autosync for Google Drive will fill that void. It is amongst my picks for the finest Android file administration apps round, in reality, and for good motive: The app makes it as simple as will be to create pairs of folders which might be repeatedly synced between your Drive storage and your cellphone — in each instructions, in only one route, and even in an upload-and-then-delete kind of association. You simply select the native folder and the Drive folder you need to use, choose the suitable parameters, after which sit again and let the app do its work silently within the background over time.
Autosync is free to make use of for a single folder pairing and with information which might be 10MB or smaller. You may take away these restrictions and unlock different superior options with a one-time $5 in-app fee.
Google Drive downside #5: Fast Entry irritation
Drive’s Fast Entry panel — that large strip o’ recommended information on the high of the web site’s essential web page — is supposed to make it sooner so that you can pull up objects you’ve got accessed lately or that Google for some motive thinks you are more likely to be searching for quickly. If it appears extra like wasted area than a useful useful resource for you, although, take notice: You may disable it.
It’s going to take you all of 10 seconds to do: Click on the gear-shaped icon within the upper-right nook of the Drive web site, choose “Settings,” then scroll down throughout the first part till you see “Recommendations.” Uncheck the field subsequent to it, and bam: Similar to that, Drive’s Fast Settings might be out of your life perpetually.
Google Drive downside #6: The buried file blues
All of us have these perpetually vital information — paperwork, pictures, and different resource-like objects we pull up on a regular basis. And all the time having to seek for stated VIP information to seek out ’em is not precisely enjoyable or productive.
Drive does not have any technique to pin information to the highest of a listing, but it surely does have some useful instruments for treating sure information as excessive precedence and making them particularly simple to seek out and entry. First, you may star any file (and even a complete folder) by right-clicking it and deciding on “Add to Starred” on the Drive web site or by tapping the three-dot menu icon alongside it after which deciding on that very same choice throughout the Drive cell app. Doing so will trigger the merchandise to look in a particular starred part that you would be able to then get to by clicking the “Starred” choice in the primary left-of-screen menu or by bookmarking this direct hyperlink for the desktop — or by tapping the star-shaped icon inside the primary bottom-of-screen menu within the cell app.
You can too create your personal customized shortcuts for information or folders in order that they successfully seem in a number of locations — if, say, you may have an vital merchandise that is buried a couple of folders deep in your Drive. By making a shortcut for it, you may make it obtainable from the primary “My Drive” listing whereas technically nonetheless leaving it in its correctly organized dwelling. Excellent-click on any file or folder and choose “Add shortcut to Drive” to get began with that from a pc; faucet that three-dot menu icon subsequent to any merchandise to seek out the identical choice on cell.
In the event you’re utilizing Android, it’s also possible to add a direct shortcut to any file or folder proper onto your cellphone’s dwelling display screen for one-touch entry with out even having to open the app. Faucet the three-dot menu icon alongside the merchandise you need, then scroll down and search for the “Add to Residence display screen” choice to offer it a whirl.
Whew — that pesky ol’ cloud is certain beginning to really feel a heck of lot lighter, is not it? For much more on-the-spot tech troubleshooting, click on over to a few of my different latest “quick fixes” guides: