Google Backup and Sync

Quick instructions

  1. Open Chrome. Log out of your personal Gmail if you have one.
  2. Click this link to Download Backup and Sync. Drag the app to the Applications folder, open the app, and sign in with your GPS credentials.
  3. The Backup and Sync Preferences window will open. Click My MacBook Air (Pro) on the left to choose files/folders to backup from your laptop to Google Drive.
  4. Click OK to start Backup and Sync. An icon will appear on the top right of your computer screen  with moving arrows as the backup runs.
  5. After all files have backed up to Google Drive, click the Backup and Sync icon to access Preferences . Click Google Drive on the left to choose files/folders to sync from Google Drive back to your laptop (see below for details).
  6. New folders
    1. You will now have a Google Drive folder in Finder with the folders you backed up from Google Drive online to your computer. Files can be rearranged and open from Google Drive; Google files will open in your Browser.
    2. You will have a Computers folder in Google Drive online with the folders you backed up from your laptop to Google Drive. Non-Google files will have to be downloaded before working on them (unless you have an extension allowing you to edit Microsoft files.)

Backup versus Sync

  • Any type of file can be backed up to Google Drive in the cloud. This includes photos, videos, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, Photoshop, etc. If changes are made to a file, Google Backup and Sync will back up a new copy of the file.
  • Any Google File (Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms)

Detailed instructions

All students, faculty, and staff have a Google Drive school account with unlimited storage. To easily set up your student/faculty/staff Google account, click here.

In this article, learn how to download Google Backup & Sync and automatically backup all your files and folders to Google Drive (online, in the cloud), including photos, videos, Word, PowerPoint, etc. Once this is done, you can work online from anywhere on any device and never lose your files.

Download and install Google Backup and Sync (this has replaced the older Google Drive download)

  1. On your computer, open this article in Chrome (don’t have Chrome? install here). Log out of your personal Gmail if you have one.
  2. Click this link to Download Backup and Sync.
  3. Click Download. Read the Terms of Service and click Agree and download.
  4. After it’s downloaded, open Finder  , click Downloads,  and double-click InstallBackupAndSync.dmg. (or double-click the downloaded file at the bottom of the Chrome browser window).
  5. Click and drag the Backup and Sync icon on top of the Applications folder icon. This installs Backup and Sync.
  6. Click Launchpad  and double-click Backup and Sync from Google .
    • If you see a warning that “Backup and Sync is an application downloaded from the Internet,” click Open.
  7. Sign in with your GPS username (example: eresnick) and GPS password.
  8. Choose your sync settings (see Sync Settings #1 below).
  9. Click OK, and Backup and Sync will start uploading files. An icon will appear on the top right of your computer screen  with moving arrows as the backup runs.
  10. Open Finder  and you will see a new Google Drive folder on the left. Anything you add to your Google Drive, Documents, or Desktop folders will be synced to the Google Drive in the cloud unless you change your settings.

Sync Settings #1: Choose what to sync from your laptop to Google Drive

You can sync some or all your files and folders on your computer to the cloud in Google Drive. Unless you change it, the default will sync everything in your Google Drive, Documents, and Desktop folders.

  1. On your computer at the top right of your screen, click once on the Backup and Sync icon Backup and Sync.
  2. Click Settings More , then choose Preferences.
  3. In the left column, select your device. On the right, click the folders you want to sync: Desktop, Documents, and Pictures.
    • To add a folder not on the list, click Choose folder.
    • Add the folder you want to sync (for example, Downloads).
    • Click OK.
  4. Photo upload size: Choose Original Quality
  5. Google Photos: check the box to upload photos & videos to Google Photos (recommended). Click here for more information.
  6. A new Computers folder will appear in Google Drive online. It will contain a backup of the folders you chose in Sync Settings #1 above.
    • You will now have a Google Drive folder in Finder with the folders you backed up from Google Drive online to your computer. Files can be rearranged and open from Google Drive; Google files will open in your Browser.
    • You will have a Computers folder in Google Drive online with the folders you backed up from your laptop to Google Drive. Non-Google files will have to be downloaded before working on them (unless you have an extension allowing you to edit Microsoft files.)
  1. New folders

Sync Settings #2: Choose what to sync from Google Drive back to your laptop

You can sync files and folders in Google Drive (in the cloud) to your computer for offline use.

  1. Wait until all your computer’s files are backed up (synced) to Google Drive in the cloud (Sync Settings #1) before completing Sync Settings #2.
  2. On your computer, click Backup and Sync Backup and Sync.
  3. Click More More , then Preferences.
  4. On the left, click Google Drive.
  5. On the right, click Sync My Drive to this computer.
  6. Pick one of 2 choices:
    • Sync everything in My Drive
    • Sync only these folders
      • Check the folders you would like to keep synced on your laptop.
      • Uncheck folders you would like to have in Google Drive online, but you don’t need them on your laptop (for instance, files from a previous school year).
  7. Click OK.

 How Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides appear on your computer

Links to your Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides will be stored in the Google Drive folder on your computer. Each file type has its own extension (URL):

  • Google Docs: filename.gdoc
  • Google Sheets or Forms: filename.gsheet or .gform
  • Google Slides: filename.gslides
  • Google drawings: filename.gdraw
  • Google Sites: filename .gsite

When you open a Google file (Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Sites, Forms, or Drawings) from your Google Drive folder in Finder or Windows Explorer, the file will launch in a new tab or window in your default browser (Chrome, Safari, etc.) as long as you have an Internet connection.

Resouce: All information can be found at the Google Help site here.

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