Getting Started with Google Drive

In Google Drive getting started is as simple as creating a free Google account. Use this free lesson for step-by-step instructions.

Getting started with Google Drive

Want to get started with Google Drive? Watch the video below to learn how.

Creating a Google account

In order to use Google Drive, you will need a Google account. Google accounts are free, and signing up for one is fairly simple. In order to create a Google account, you'll need to enter some information, including your name, birth date, and location. Creating a Google account will automatically create a Gmail email address and a Google+ profile.

If you have a Gmail address, you already have a Google account, so you won't need to create an account—you can simply sign in to Drive using your Gmail information.

To create a Google account:

  1. Go to www.google.com. Locate and select the Sign in button in the top-right corner of the page.
    Clicking Sign in
  2. Click Create an account.
    Clicking Create an account
  3. The sign-up form will appear. Follow the directions and enter the required information, including your name, birth date, and gender.
    Entering your information
  4. Review Google's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, click the check box, then click Next step.
    Agreeing to the TOS and Privacy Policy, then clicking Next step
  5. The Create your profile page will appear. Click Add a photo if you want to add a photo to your Google+ profile. If you don't want to set a profile photo at this time, click Next step.
    Clicking Next step
  6. Your account will be created, and the Google welcome page will appear.
    The Google welcome page

Just like with any online service, it's important to choose a strong password—in other words, one that's difficult for someone to guess. For more information, check out our Password Tips lesson.

Accessing Google Drive

Once you've set up your Google account, you can access Google Drive by going to http://drive.google.com in your web browser.

You can also navigate to Google Drive from any Google page (such as Gmail or Google search) by selecting the grid icon near the top-right corner, then clicking Drive.

Viewing your Google Drive

The Google Drive interface

Your Google Drive may be empty right now, but as you begin to upload and create files you'll need to know how to view, manage, and organize them in the interface.

Click the buttons in the interactive below to become familiar with the Google Drive interface.

edit hotspotslabeled graphic

Google Drive for mobile devices

Available for both iOS and Android, the Google Drive mobile app allows you to view and upload files to Google Drive using your mobile device.

Screenshot of Google Drive for iPhone

Google also has separate mobile apps for creating and editing documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. To learn more, check out Google's blog post on New mobile apps for Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

Google Drive for desktop

If you prefer to work on the desktop, you can download the Google Drive desktop app to your computer. Available for Windows and OS X, this app makes it a bit easier to upload your existing files and work offline. Once it's installed, you'll see a new Google Drive folder on your computer. Any files you move into this folder will automatically be uploaded to your Google Drive.

Screenshot of Google Drive for Desktop

Challenge!

  1. Visit www.google.com to sign up for a Google account if you don't already have one.
  2. Open Google Drive.
  3. Notice on the left side how much of your storage is used and how much is available.
  4. Try clicking some of the menu options, like Shared with Me and Google Photos.