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Hidden Google Drive features that only Power Users know about

by Felix Omondi
google drive

For some (myself, included) life without the clouds seems impossible. I can’t imagine how people back in the days had to make do without the clouds. Well, none of us can make do completely without the clouds (those up in the sky), but in this context, I am talking about the network of servers that allows us store/retrieve files remotely across multiple devices.

Over the years, I have picked up some few hidden (well, not hidden, but not so obvious) tricks on Google Drive, that I bet most people don’t know about. Without much further blurb, let me share some of these tricks:

Turning on Quick Access: It is a relatively new feature on Google Drive that lets you view more recently modified/viewed files. Quick Access gives you a belt of thumbnails accessible at the top of My Drive view. You turn on this feature by going to Settings > Quick Access, the check on the checkbox that reads, Make relevant files handy when you need them. Then simply refresh the drive

Instead of sending File Attachments in Emails, Send links from your Google Drive: It is not that there is anything wrong with sending email file attachments anymore, it is just that the process can be cumbersome. Especially if you are sending large files (above the 25MB limit set for sending file attachment on Gmail. Once you get started with sending links, you will wonder why you ever sent file attachments in the first place. Next time you are composing mail on Gmail, there is that little attachment icon at the bottom, click it and instead of attaching the file, select the option of sending a link instead.

Filtering your Search on Google Drive: You will be amazed at how many people don’t know about this incredibly useful feature just hiding in plain sight within the Google Drive. Go to the search box, at the very top of Google Drive, click the down-arrow located at the right edge. A panel of search options will appear on the drop-down menu to help you filter your search. This feature is especially useful for folks who have used Google Drive for years and over that time accumulated quite a lot of files. You can narrow down your search by filtering with regards to file types, date modified, and the drive

Clear the clutter in Drive’s Recent view: The good thing with Google Photos, it automatically backup pictures and videos you take using your camera phone. However, when you go to Recent view on Google Drive, the Photos tend to clutter everything up. You see files and documents you recently viewed on the Drive together with the recently taken Photos/Videos or the ones you just viewed on the Google Photo app on your phone.

Backup your Phone with One-Tap: To backup important files on your smartphone, go to Settings > Backup and select what you would like to backup; contacts, photos, videos, or calendar events. Then tap on Start Backup and sit back. It is going to take a while, so you better do it overnight preferably when it is plugged in and connect to a Wi-Fi unmetered internet connection.

Backup your PC or Mac: With the recently released Back and Sync app by Google to the soon-to-be-deprecated Drive app for PC and Mac, you can backup your entire computer(s). Download and install the Backup and Sync app on your Mac or PC and go to Preferences > Sync Options. You can then proceed to sync up the entire computer or just specific drive

I am certain the above are just the tip of the iceberg of features on Google Drive you can use. If you know of any we have left out, please feel free to share with the rest of us down in the comments section.

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