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Library Services During COVID-19: Google Drive

A guide to library services and academic support center services during the COVID-19 pandemic

Google Drive overview

What is Google Drive?

Google Drive is where your files will be stored. Think of it as your desk where you store your homework and your extra notebooks, because Google Drive is where your work is saved but also where you can create a new Doc, Slide, Spreadsheet, etc.

The NEW button

New buttonThis button is your new best friend.

This is how you’ll create new Docs, Slides, Sheets, Folders, etc. You can also upload files (like Word documents, for example) or entire folders to your Drive so that you can access them from wherever. You can do the same thing by clicking the dropdown arrow next to My Drive.

Organizing content into folders

Moving your files into folders can help you stay organized. 

You click that "NEW" button and Folder is your very first option. Once you’ve created your folders, you can right click on them and find the Change Color option to really step up your organization game.

Folder exampleFolder example

Uploading from mobile

Uploading from your phone or tablet to Google Drive

1. Download the Google Drive app. (It’s free.)

2. Sign in to your Google account in the app.

3. Tap the plus sign in the bottom right corner of your screen.

4. Tap upload.

5. Tap Photos and videos or browse.

6. Tap OK when Drive asks to access your photos.

7. Tap the photo or file you want to upload to drive and then tap UPLOAD in the top right corner of your screen.

8. A black bar at the bottom of the screen will say “All pending uploads have completed” when your item is fully available in your Google Drive.

9. To double check, you can log into your Drive from a laptop or computer and make sure that file is sitting in your Drive.

Adding a Library Database Article to Drive

Adding an Article from the Databases to Drive

If you've found an article from the library's databases ( and you want to save it to your Drive, follow these steps.

1. The first option on the top right under Tools is Google Drive. Click it. (See red circle in image below.)

Add to google drive option

2. Choose the account you want to use or sign in to the account you want to use, depending on your options. 

3. You'll be prompted to accept some privacy notifications. This is totally up to you! You do NOT have to save articles to your drive to be able to access them, by any means, so proceed as you see fit.

4. If you accept the conditions, you'll see a confirmation message (like the image below) back on the article's page.

Saved to Google Drive confirmation message

5. Simply open your Google Drive to see the file in Google Drive.

Google Drive Tutorials

  • This official YouTube Playlist from Google helps you through some of the main problems you might have doing schoolwork from home.  There are 9 videos in the Playlist.  They will play back to back in this window, or you can click on the title and open them on YouTube to see them all.
  • Searching your Google Drive

    You can do a basic search, but if you run into trouble, you can do an advanced search that’ll let you choose what file type you’re looking for—is it a picture? A slide show?—and type in a few words that you know your document contains, among other criteria that you can see in the form below. Check the box that says In trash if you think you might have deleted it.

    Advanced Google Drive search

    Sharing from Google Drive

    Share from menu

    Sharing content from your Google Drive

    This is a handy feature for group work! You can control whether your partners get to edit, comment, or view, and they can do the same when they share an item with you.

    If you want to share with your group so that they can edit, right click the file you want to share, and choose Share.

    You’ll then be able to either copy a link to send to your parterns, or you can enter their email addresses in the second box.

    Make sure you give them permission to edit!

    Advanced options let you set an expiration date for others to access the file you shared with them.



    Checking your activity in Google DriveI can't remember if I shared this file....

    One way to check if you've already shared a file is to check your Activity on that file.

    • Click the file you're curious about to select it. 
    • Click the little blue circle with an "i" in it.
    • Click the Activity tab to see if you ever shared it.