How to upload files to your Google Drive on desktop or mobile (and back them up for safekeeping)

Nopparat Khokthong / Shutterstock.comUploading files to a Google Drive is easy to do on desktop and mobile.

If you’re familiar with Google Drive, you know that creating documents and slideshows in it is super easy. And luckily, if you want to upload other files with other programs to your Drive, that’s easily accomplished as well.

You can upload the following file types to your Drive:

  • Documents (Text files, slideshows, and spreadsheets)
  • Images (including PDFs)
  • Audio
  • Video

Just keep in mind that Google Drive only gives you a limited amount of storage, and any file you upload will take up space. And that includes files shared with your Drive. Consider compressing your files to take up less space.

Here’s how to upload files using either the desktop or mobile app versions of Google Drive:

How to upload files to Google Drive on desktop

Uploading through Google Drive is extremely easy:

1. Go to

1 SCREENSHOT UPLOAD FILE GOOGLE DRIVEDevon Delfino/Business InsiderOpen your Google Drive.

2. Drag the desired file onto the screen to upload it – you should see the screen turn a translucent blue with a big plus sign in the center.

Once uploading begins, you’ll see a notification pop up in the bottom-right corner of your screen.

If for some reason drag-and-drop isn’t an option, or just isn’t convenient for your file’s current location, you could instead upload your file by pressing the down-carrot button next to “My Drive” towards the top of the screen and selecting “Upload files” or “Upload folder,” depending on your needs.

2 SCREENSHOT UPLOAD FILE GOOGLE DRIVEDevon Delfino/Business InsiderYou can also access this menu by clicking the ‘+ New’ button in the top-left corner.

And to get your file into a specific folder already on your Drive, you should open that folder and do the drag-and-drop (or alternative) method to immediately organise your files.

What about backups?

In case you’re worried about having a backup for your Google Drive, Backup and Sync will meet that need. Once you download the application, it will back up your files to your computer. Changes made to the files, either through the Drive or through the backed-up version on your computer, will then sync across both locations. And that same principle applies if you place a file into your computer’s backup folder, rather than to the Drive.

How to upload files to the Google Drive mobile app

The process is the same for Android and iPhone (or iPad) users:

1. Open your Google Drive app.

3 SCREENSHOT UPLOAD FILE GOOGLE DRIVEDevon Delfino/Business InsiderGo to the Google Drive app’s homescreen.

2. Tap the multi-coloured plus symbol in the bottom-right corner of the screen, followed by “Upload.”

4 SCREENSHOT UPLOAD FILE GOOGLE DRIVEDevon Delfino/Business InsiderPress the plus symbol to open the ‘Create new’ menu.

3. Find and tap the correct file, or files, to upload to your Drive.

Keep in mind that files that aren’t already formatted as Google files (like Word docs) can’t be uploaded and edited this way unless your Drive is set up for it. To change your settings, you’ll have to use the desktop version of the Drive. You can do so by going to, and checking the box next to “Convert Uploads.”

This will convert your Word, PowerPoint, and Excel files into editable Docs, Slides, and Sheets files.

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