This article is a complete guide on how to backup Google Drive data for individuals and businesses both manually and with the help of third-party tools.
If you are here, you probably already experienced the bitterness of important data loss. Maybe you deleted it by accident, or someone who shared access to Google Drive with you deleted the initial data. Maybe your business became a victim of some malicious actions, which resulted in major data loss. Or maybe, you’re just cautious and working ahead of the curve.
In any case, you know what Google Drive backup is, and that backup files on Google Drive should be backed up as well. So you came here to find out how to back up your Google Drive data, and this step-by-step guide is here to help you. As an expert in data backup and recovery solutions, we will tell you about five main methods that will surely save your data from disaster.
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Just saving data to local devices or other cloud storage may preserve your personal or your company’s files if they get deleted, but not if your files were corrupted by ransomware or viruses, even though Google encrypts your data on their servers.
Table of Contents
How to Backup Google Drive Manually
Google Drive App provides some in-built functionality to back up its data. Please note that most of them aren’t automated and you’ll need to manually copy data from your Google Drive.
Google backup should be part of the cybersecurity strategy of any business regardless of its size. However, in our opinion, these options to back up their data manually, without using any tools, do not meet the needs of businesses. Though it does depend on the amount of data generated and stored on a regular basis.
For example, they’ll be great for entities that have an insignificant amount of data (often stored in a single Google Drive folder and updated once per month or even less frequently).
For such purposes, you have three means, and every one of them works in the same way – you are supposed to copy your data – just in a bit different ways. All have their pros and cons, so choose the one that is the most convenient for you!
Learn about email recovery in Gmail and Drive recovery.
Backing up Google Drive to the external hard drive
If you are dealing with a small amount of data you need to save one time, the best way to backup Google Drive is to back it up locally. The simplest and fully manual method to make a backup of Google Drive is to copy your files and download them on your hard drive.
The simplest and fully manual method to make a backup of Google Drive is to copy your files and download them on your hard drive.
- Quick and easy
- Requires no software
- Manual backup
- Possibility to forget to save new or updated files
- It either takes your hard drive place or requires constant manual copying to other cloud services.
- Go to your Google Drive documents.
1. Hold Ctrl+A to select all files or manually chose those you want to copy.
2. Right-click and select Download. The files will be in a zip format.
3. Preserve this copy in a reliable place and extract files whenever needed.
Using Backup and Sync Client by Google
This app from Google allows you to synchronize your local drive with Google Drive. This way, you don’t just make a one-time copy; you sync your local and Google Drive data, which means all new files added to Google Drive will be automatically saved on your hard drive.
But here is one moment. Think of this method as an auto backup to Google Drive. Since files will be synced, every change in your Drive files will be reflected on the desktop as well.
That’s why we suggest combining method with an automatic laptop backup to an external drive. Even if you messed up with your data on-prem and this error has been transferred to your Google Drive through the sync files option, you’ll still be able to restore it via on-prem backup.
Deleted from Google Drive = deleted from a hard drive. Keep that in mind and save files to other devices or folders if needed.
- Full automation. All chosen files and edits will be backed up on your computer whenever they appear on Google Drive.
- Double-sided backup. It works both ways: you can save your cloud data on your computer and customize it to automatically save your hard drive data on the cloud, making it available from any device.
- It takes your hard drive space, so you need to be selective with the files you save
- Copied files can still be deleted or changed since your hard drive, and Google Drive are synced. It means you still need to resave important files somewhere else.
- Download Backup and sync.
- Install and launch the application.
- Sign in to your Google account and set up synchronization options:
- For your local drive. If you want to back up some files from your hard drive to Google Drive, at this stage, you can choose folders for backup.
- Then sync settings to back up your Google Drive in your local disk. You can choose the folders that need to be backed up, or you can choose to copy all your data from Google Drive. Press Start.
After that, it will start copying. It can take time depending on the amount of data, so be patient.
Using Google Takeout
Google Takeout is designed to make one-time copies of your Google account data. It includes Google Drive, Gmail, Photo, Contacts, and so on. In our case, you need to make a copy of your Google Drive data, in particular, so we will focus on them in our tutorial.
- Supports all Google services
- Ability to send copied data directly to other clouds or download them on your desktop
- One-time save with no automatic backup options. It means you can lose files if you forgot to save them previously.
1. First, log in to your Google account and click on Download your data. There you will see all apps that contain your data. All of them are selected by default, so to choose only particular files, press Deselect All, and then put a tick beside the field you need.’
2. To download some parts of your data, just leave all the data selected and uncheck the box near the files you don’t want to save. Then press Next step.
3. Customize your archive by choosing the delivery method, type of export, type, and size of the file.
Done! Your archive soon will be delivered.
Google Drive: Automatic Backup Tools for Businesses
The previous manual options come in handy for individual users. But they won’t be helpful to small-to-medium and enterprise-sized organizations to prevent data loss.
On the other hand, the following options will be a much better option to backup and restore high volumes of business-critical data. They consist of automatic third-party backup services and native Google features accessible to business users only.
Those tools are different by their usability, features, price, and reliability.
Using Google Vault
Google Vault is a web-based archive and eDiscovery service that helps IT administrators keep all Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) users’ data. It backs up and saves files regardless of any next manipulations with the initial ones original.
Initially, this tool serves to retain data that is specified by some industrial and regional compliance requirements in case of legal proceedings. This lets companies preserve some valuable information from data loss even if this data is not subject to legislation.
To archive data with Google Vault you need to set up retention policies that specify what data to preserve and for what period of time.
To gain access to this functionality, you need to buy a Business Plus subscription for $18/month per user.
But here is the important information: Vault is not a backup, but an archiver. And this makes a big difference when it comes to Vault’s data recovery features.
- Requires no installation
- Keeps data for a long time in an unlimited storage
- Lets you to easily search for data you need
- Backs up Google Drive automatically.
- Can restore data only by one piece at a time. The main goal of the tool is to keep data for possible legal reference, not to quickly restore it. So you won’t get quick restoration if something happens to your files.
- You can’t use Vault if you aren’t a Google Workspace Business Plus, Enterprise, or Education package subscriber.
- It is quite expensive: for a 50-person organization, it will cost $10 800/year or more, depending on the subscription.
If you want to know how to save up to 64% on Google Workspace licenses, check out this article→
If you are still interested in Vault as a solution for your business, here is what you should do:
1. Sign in using the admin G Suite account and land on the Google Vault homepage.
2. Go to the Retention pitch left.
3. Choose Drive and edit the retention policy.
4. Mark the field named Set a default retention rule for Drive.
5. Choose the radio button “Indefinitely” and save it.
Using Third-Party Backup Software to Back Up Your Google Drive and Ensuring Data Security
Google Vault and other built-in Google features are not designed to restore and protect your data. It leaves your data insecure and makes it problematic to access and restore your records if they were deleted or stolen. You can’t be sure if your files won’t be leaked to competitors or corrupted by ransomware.
In other words, you pay for unlimited cloud data storage, not for data protection. That’s why knowing how secure is Google Drive and using third-party backup solutions are essential for your data’s safety.
Third-party Google Drive online backup solves all these problems, usually for a very modest price of $4-$5/month per user. For this money, you get over-the-top functionality, security, unlimited storage, and recovery quality. It makes its usage much cheaper than paying for Google Vault or for possible damage due to not having a backup at all.
Benefits of GDrive third-party backups:
- Automation: never forget to backup everything.
- Scalability: increase the number of users as your company needs increase.
- Data management: get better control of your Google Drive data.
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SpinBackup is one such backup provider. To demonstrate to you how to backup Google Drive (and any other data) in a few clicks using Spinbackup, we’ll walk you through the process.
Here is how to backup data with Spinbackup:
Go to www.spinbackup.com and create an account. If you need to sign up, follow the instructions to sign up. Automatic backup of your Drive will start the day after you sign up.
To start the backup of your Google Drive manually, you need to:
1. Tap the Log in as G Suite / Google Apps Administrator button in the upper right corner.
2. Use your credentials to log in or sign in with Google.
3. Click Users on the left dashboard.
4. You will see a list of all your domain users subscribed to Spinbackup. Choose the name of a user whose GD account must be backed up, unfold it by clicking the +/- button, and click the Google Drive button under the user’s name. Press Backup.
5. When the backup process is complete, you will see all your Google Drive files with your folder hierarchy backed up to your Spinbackup account.
In addition to that, you can backup Google Drive to another account in just a couple of clicks.