Back up Google Docs

Table of contents:

Back up Google Docs
Back up Google Docs

Google's Drive program lets you create and store spreadsheets and word processing documents in the cloud. The former Google Docs (Docs) is now part of the Google Drive program. Google Drive lets you store files in the cloud, but can also help you sync with a computer drive to avoid losing important data. Learn how to back up Google Docs here.


Method 1 of 4: Download Google Docs to a computer

Backup Google Docs Step 1

Step 1. Sign up for your Google Drive account

You use the email address and password associated with your Gmail account.

Backup Google Docs Step 2

Step 2. Click on the word "Drive" in the top horizontal header

You should land on a page that lists all your active Google Docs.

Backup Google Docs Step 3

Step #3. Click on the box to the left of the word "Title."

This will select all your documents.

  • If you prefer to select a limited number of documents, check the boxes to the left of the document titles one at a time. You then have to download them separately.

    Backup Google Docs Step 3Bullet1
Backup Google Docs Step 4

Step 4. Create a 'Google Drive' folder in your computer's Documents folder

You can save the files to this location whenever you want to back up your files, after deleting them from the Downloads folder.

Backup Google Docs Step 5

Step 5. Right click on the first title

You will see a list of choices.

Backup Google Docs Step 6

Step 6. Move your cursor down and click on the word 'Download'

A dialog box should appear.

Backup Google Docs Step 7

Step 7. Select the 'All Items' tab, instead of the 'Selected Items' tab

You can download up to 2 GB at a time.

Backup Google Docs Step 8

Step 8. Choose the format you want your articles to be saved in

You can choose Microsoft Office, Portable Document Format (PDF) or Open Office.

Make sure you have a program that will open the type of file you choose. For example, you don't want to save it in MS Office if you don't have it on your computer

Backup Google Docs Step 9

Step 9. Click the 'Download' button

Your files will be converted to a zip file to shrink before downloading.

Backup Google Docs Step 10

Step 10. Remove the documents from your 'Downloads' folder and place them in your Google Drive backup folder on your computer

Step 11. Repeat these steps regularly, replacing the files with updated copies or saving different versions

Backups should be made at least weekly, if not more often.

Method 2 of 4: Sync Google Drive

Backup Google Docs Step 12

Step 1. Sign in to your Google account

Go to the Google Drive tab.

Backup Google Docs Step 13

Step 2. Download the Google Drive application for Mac or PC

Google may recognize what type of computer you're using and suggest the appropriate application at the top of the Google Drive page.

Backup Google Docs Step 14

Step 3. Click on the Google Drive program in your download folder

Follow the dialog boxes to install it on your computer. Store the Google Drive program in your applications folder for easy access.

  • Enter your Google account information as needed.

    Backup Google Docs Step 14Bullet1
Backup Google Docs Step 15

Step 4. Open the Google Drive application on your computer

It will automatically sync with your online Google Drive account if you don't change your preferences.

  • Select the "Preferences" or "Settings" option from the Google Drive menu. These are different depending on whether you have a Mac or PC program. Make sure a box is checked that indicates that you want to sync Google Drive documents to your computer as a form of backup.

    Backup Google Docs Step 15Bullet1
Backup Google Docs Step 16

Step 5. Decide which specific folders you want to sync, if you want to at all

If you want to do this, select 'Sync only some folders with this computer' in 'Settings'.

  • Choose the folders you want to sync. Click 'Apply changes' every time you change the settings.

    Backup Google Docs Step 16Bullet1

Method 3 of 4: Using Google Takeout

Step #1. Go to Google Takeout

Through this service, you get a zip folder with all your Google Drive data and can store it locally, offline and on multiple hard drives.

Step 2. Click on the blue 'Create an archive' button

Check the Drive logo and follow the instructions given there.

Step 3. Wait for the zip folder to download

Then save and use that backup as desired.

Method 4 of 4: Using a backup provider

Backup Google Docs Step 17

Step 1. Research other Google Doc backup method providers, such as Spanning, Syscloud, or Backupify

There are a number of providers, and they all vary based on what services they offer, what level of security they use, whether they offer free trials or have free accounts, and how much their paid service costs.

Backup Google Docs Step 18

Step 2. Choose the service that best suits your needs and sign up for a free trial if they have one

This will often be their service with limited functionality, or will be a fully functional service that will expire after a short time.

Backup Google Docs Step 19

Step 3. Try as many services as you want, and choose the ones you want to keep using (if there are any)

If you pick one, sign up for their full account.

  • Most services charge a small fee for their full functionality, usually a few euros per month.

    Backup Google Docs Step 19Bullet1

Step 4. Set up the backup

Once signed in, your Google Docs backup is often automatically created and stored in the cloud, where you can access your information, restore old data, or make changes from anywhere on any device.

Popular by topic