Google Drive: Creating and Uploading Files

Objectives and Overview

This lesson provides an overview for creating and uploading files to Google Drive.

Lesson Objectives

  • Identify how to create files and folders within Google Drive
  • Identify how to upload files to Google Drive
  • Think about how you could use folders to organize your Google Drive

Creating Files and Folders

There are two main categories of things you can create in Google Drive: files and folders. Since Google Drive is part of G Suite, you’re able to create files from tools such as Google Docs, Google Sheets, etc. These files then show up directly in your Drive! You’re also able to create folders. Folders are a helpful way to organize your Drive. Let’s get started!

This gif shows the steps for creating a new folder named “Summer 2020.” The first click is a right mouse click in the Files area. Follow along and create this folder in your Drive:

Steps for creating a folder in Google Drive - right clicking and selecting "New folder" and then entering a name.

To create a new folder, right mouse click in the Files area. This brings up a menu of options. Select New folder:

A box drawn around the menu that appears when right-clicking in Google Drive.

After clicking New folder, you’ll be asked to name it. This name is what shows up as the folder name in your Drive. Enter a name such as “Summer 2020”:

The Google Drive "New folder" window with the text "Untitled folder" entered into the input.

After entering the name, click the CREATE button. Clicking this adds the folder to your Drive:

The Google Drive "New folder" window with the text "Summer 2020" entered into the input and an arrow pointing to the "Create" button.

The new folder is now available in your Drive. Here’s an image showing the new folder named “Summer 2020”:

Clicking on this folder opens it up. You’ll be able to see where you are in the Drive by the navigation “breadcrumbs” above the file area. This image shows that I’m in the Summer 2020 folder inside the Drive. You’re also able to drag and drop files or create new ones to add to your folder. You can even create new folders inside folders!

Google Drive main view with an arrow pointing to the "Drop files here" upload button.

The > arrow means that the “Summer 2020” folder is inside My Drive. What do you think this would look like if you added another folder inside Summer 2020? Think about it and try it to see if you’re right!

Uploading Files

Since you have a generous amount of Drive storage, it’s definitely good to know how to upload files from your computer to your Drive. You could use Drive as a cloud backup of important documents. This is a useful way to work with Drive.

One thing to keep in mind is that any files you upload from your device are combined with files you create within Drive. For example, if you upload documents from your laptop, these are combined in your Drive with files you create with Google Docs. Think about how you want to organize your Drive so that it doesn’t get too cluttered!

Let’s look at how to upload files from your computer. Here’s a gif showing the steps for uploading a file from your computer:

Uploading a new item by clicking the "New" button and selecting an item from the computer's file browser.

To upload a file, click on the New button in the top left of the sidebar:

Google Drive main view with an arrow pointing to the "New" button.

Clicking this button shows options for creating files or uploading files. To upload a file from your computer, click the File upload button:

Google Drive main view with an arrow pointing to the "File upload" option in the menu that pops up after clicking the "New" button.

Next, you’ll have to select a file. A window opens where you can select a file:

Computer's file browser showing a list of files that can be uploaded to Google Drive.

After choosing the file, you’ll see the upload progress bar in the lower right corner:

Google Drive with an arrow pointing to the file uploader progress indicator.

Once this finishes uploading, your file will be available in your Drive. You’ll be able to access this file from any device where you can connect to the Internet! This is an effective way to store important files that you may need on multiple devices.

As you start creating and uploading files, you’ll definitely want to think about organization. Move to the next lesson once you’re ready!