7 Amazing Google Drive Features You Didn’t Know About

7 Amazing Google Drive Features You Didn't Know About
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Google Drive logo.

Many people take Google Drive for granted. It stores the files there and you go and retrieve them when you need them. But there’s more to Google Drive than meets the eye. Here are some of the useful features you may have overlooked.

Find Files with Advanced Search

The more files you upload to Google Drive, the more files you need to look at when you need them. Fortunately, you have progressed Search options this makes the job easier.

RELATED: How to Quick Search in Google Drive?

Enter a keyword or phrase in the Search Drive box at the top of the home page. Then click the Show Search Options icon on the right side of the search box.

You will see many options that you can use to find your file. Choose the file type or owner, use keywords within the file or filename, choose the location, choose an option with a changed date, or use one of the other fields you see.

Search options in Google Drive

Select “Search” and then view your results. If you know which folder a file is in, search directly in a Google Drive folder.

Link Directly to Files

Another useful Google Drive feature is get a direct link to your file. You can also do this without opening the file. Then save it to your notes for quick access or with a collaborator.

Right-click the file and select “Get Link”.

Get Link in shortcut menu

You can then select “Copy Link” to place the link on your clipboard and paste it wherever you want. You can also use this box to share the link by entering your contact’s email address.

Copy and share options for a Google Drive link

Using the Public Access section at the bottom of the window control who can open the file containing the link. You can select “Restricted” to allow access only to the people you share with, or “Anyone With Link” to allow anyone who clicks the link to open the file.

Public Access for a file link

Work with Microsoft Office Files

If you have Google Drive, you don’t need to have Microsoft Office to work with Office files. You may receive a Word, Excel or PowerPoint file that you need to view or edit. You can open these files in the corresponding Google app, Docs, Sheets, or Slides.

RELATED: How to Download Files and Folders from Google Drive?

Additionally you can: download Documents, Sheets, and Slides documents in Microsoft Office formats.

To open an Office document, upload it to Google Drive like any file. Then, double-click or right-click, go to Open With and choose from Google Docs, Sheets or Slides.

Open with Google Docs for a Word file

When the file is opened in the corresponding application, you will see the file format overridden. Your changes are saved automatically and you can then download the file in its original Office format.

Open Word document in Google Docs

If you have a Docs, Sheets, or Slides file that you want export and save In Office format, it’s just as easy. Open the document and go to the File tab. Go to Download and select the format from the drop-down menu.

Download a Google Doc in Word format

Manage File Versions

Similar to getting a link without opening your file, you can manage its versions. This feature works with images as well as PDF and Microsoft Office files.

Right-click the file and select “Manage Versions”.

Manage Versions in shortcut menu

Then you will see a popup with every version of the file, including the current version.

Manage Versions window in Google Drive

As you can see at the top of the window, old versions can be deleted after 30 days or 100 stored versions. If you want to avoid losing a previous version, click the three dots to its right and select “Keep Forever”.

Always Keep in the Manage Versions window

If your device has a newer version that you want to use, select “Install New Version”. Then browse to the file and select “Upload”.

Upload New Version button

Two other actions you can take are to delete or download the versions you see. Use the three dots to the right of the version to select “Delete” or “Download”.

Download or delete a file version

View Activity, Details and Description of a File

While it may seem like such a simple thing, being able to see the activities and details of a file may be exactly what you need to do. In addition, you can enjoy the benefits. Annotations in Google Drive to add your own details

RELATED: How to Change Owner of a File in Google Drive

Open the Details sidebar in one of these ways:

  • Right-click the file and select “View Details”.
  • Select the file and click the View Details icon (lowercase “i”) in the upper right.
  • Select the file, click the three dots at the top and select “View Details”.

Next, you will see the sidebar with two tabs for Details and Activity. You can review the file type and size with details. owner, creation date and more. With the Activity, you see things like when the file was loaded or when it was edited.

Details and Activity for a file in Google Drive

Use the Details tab in the sidebar to annotate the file. Enter your text in the Description box at the bottom and press Enter or Return. This is a good way to distinguish files with similar names.

Description box for a Google Drive file

Add Comments to Files

Another useful Google Drive feature is add comments to files. This is useful for notes for yourself or collaborators.

Open the file in Preview mode. You can do this by selecting the file and clicking the Preview icon (eye) at the top, or right-clicking and selecting “Preview”.

Select the part of the file you want to comment on, and then select the Comment icon on the right or top.

Type your comment in the box that appears and click “Comment”.

Comment box in Google Drive

Note that you can use the @ (At) symbol to refer to a collaborator if you wish. As a bonus, you can assign your comment to that person. Check the Assign box and click “Assign”.

Comment box to assign a note in Google Drive

Upload Files With Your Mobile Device’s Camera

If you use the Google Drive mobile app, you have an additional feature that can: make downloads easy. You can use your device’s camera to capture a file or other item and upload it as a PDF (Android) or image (iPhone).

RELATED: How to Upload Files and Folders to Google Drive

he android

Hungry Android Google Drive app and tap the plus sign to upload a file. Then select “Scan”.

New document and scan in Google Drive on Android

Tap the shutter button to scan the item and then use the checkmark to save it. If necessary, you can select the trash can icon to recapture the scan. Select “Save”.

Checkmark and Save option for a scanned item

Select the location to save in Google Drive, then tap “Save” again. Then you will see your scanned file as a PDF.

Saving a scan to Google Drive on Android

o iPhone

Hungry iPhone Google Drive app and tap the plus sign to upload a file. Then select “Use Camera”.

New document and Use Camera in Google Drive on iPhone

Tap the shutter button to take the photo, tap “Use Photo” to upload it. If necessary, you can also select “Retake” to recapture the shot.

Use Photo to save to Google Drive on iPhone

After a few minutes you will see your picture in Google Drive.

Sometimes features are obvious, especially if you use them frequently. But then there are others that you didn’t realize existed and that you would find very helpful. We hope at least one of these Google Drive features is useful to you.

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