How To Back Up Your Mac to Google Drive

It will be a disaster if something goes wrong with your Mac and you lose all the data you’ve built. Therefore, it’s highly recommended that you backup your data regularly. The traditional and most common way to back up your Mac is using the pre-installed Time Machine program. Or you can use iCloud as an alternative. We’ve covered how to use Time Machine and iCloud in this guide, you can check it out to know how to do so. In this article, we will provide you another guide on how to back up your Mac to Google Drive. 

Step 1: Create Your Google Account

If you haven’t had a Google Account for Gmail or other Google services, you need to make one in order to continue. It’s very simple to make, everything you need to do is visiting Google’s Account website via your browser and follow the on-screen instruction to make one. Sign in with your account to Google homepage afterward and you will be able to use all Google’s web services, including Google Drive.

Step 2: Check Your Google Drive Storage

By default, you will get 15 Gb of storage for free. But if you use Google Drive for other purposes like storing work documents then it may be running out soon. Luckily, Google also offers you the choice to subscribe to a membership plan and get up to 2 TB of extra storage and other benefits.

To create a backup for your Mac with Google Drive, you need to make sure you have enough space for it. Depending on the size of your data, you may need to buy more storage for your Drive. We highly recommend you spend at least 10GB of storage before proceeding to the next steps. You can check your remaining space by singing in to your drive and switch to the Storage tab.

Step 3: Download and Run the Tool

You will need to use the Backup and Sync tool from Google. This background tool will automatically sync your data to the Drive after you finish setting it up. Here is what you need to do:

  • Head to this site and click Download Backup and Sync.
  • Read the Terms of Service and click Agree and download.
  • After it’s downloaded, open InstallBackupAndSync.dmg.
  • Move Backup and Sync to your Applications folder.
  • Open Backup and Sync. If you see a warning that “Backup and Sync is an application downloaded from the Internet“, click Open.
  • Sign in with your Google Account username and password.

Step 4:Choose Which Files You Want to Back up

After you signed into the app, you have to select which folders you want to back up to Google Drive.  The tool will automatically select some folders like Pictures, Videos, and Documents. You can add any folders by clicking on the Choose Folder button.

What Google's Backup and Sync app can and can't do - CNET

In this window, you also have the option to reduce the size of your uploaded photos and video to save some space on your Drive. To do this simply select the “High quality (free unlimited storage)” option. Furthermore, you are able select the option to upload your photos and video directly to Google Photos as well.

After you’re satisfied with your settings, hit Next.

Sub-Step: Sync your Drive Data to Your Mac

In the next window, you will get the option to sync what is already on your Google Drive storage to your Mac at the same time. You can choose to Sync everything or only specific folders.

If you only want to back up your computer’s files into Google Drive, uncheck the “Sync My Drive to this computer” box located at the top of the window.

Step 5: Start the initial Back Up

When you are ready, hit the blue Start button in the lower-right corner and your files will start to sync to your Google Drive. The process may take hours depending on the size of your files. 

After the process is completed, any changes you make to the synced folder will automatically be updated in your Drive backup.

And that’s basically it, but there’s something more you can do with your Google Drive backup.

How to Get Your Data form Google Drive

In case you want to sync your data back from Google Drive, here is what you need to do:

  • Open Backup and Sync.
  • Click More and then Preferences.
  • To the left, click Google Drive.
  • Select Sync My Drive to this computer.
  • Choose if you want to Sync everything in My Drive or Sync only these folders
  • Click OK.

Choose how Backup and Sync deletes files

When you delete a file from your computer, you can choose what happens on your Drive

  • On your Mac, open Backup and Sync.
  • Click More and then Preferences.
  • Next to “Removing items, click on the arrow that’s pointing down
  • You will get 3 options here:
    • Always remove both copies: When you delete something on your computer or your drive, it will be deleted everywhere.
    • Never remove both copies: When you delete something on your computer, it will be remaining on your Drive.
    • Ask before removing both copies: When you delete something on your computer, it will ask if you want to delete it everywhere.
Options for deleting files in Google Backup and Sync

After you select the option that suit you, Click OK.

Stop Syncing Your Data to Google Drive

To stop syncing completely, you can sign out of your account.

  • Open Backup and Sync.
  • Select More and then Preferences.
  • Hit Settings.
  • Click Disconnect account.
  • Select Disconnect.

To temporarily stop syncing, you can pause the app. What you need to do is:

  • Open Backup and Sync.
  • Click More
  • Select Pause or Resume.

Change The Uploading/Downloading Speed

If you have a slow connection, it’s a good idea to limit the amount of bandwidth the app is allowed to use for uploading and downloading your files. Here is what you need to do:

  • Open Backup and Sync Backup and Sync.
  • Click More and then Preferences.
  • Select Settings>Network settings.
  • Next to “Download Rate” or “Upload Rate,” select the following options based on your need:
    • To use a slower rate: Choose Limit to, and then use the arrows to change the rate.
    • To use a faster rate: Choose Don’t limit.
  • Click OK

And there you go, that’s everything you need to know about how to how to back up your Mac to Google Drive. We hope that our article will be useful for you. If you have any question, let us know in the comments!

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